India may play role in Palestine peace: Prof

NEW DELHI:India’s opinion may count when the US reveals its peace proposal on the Israel-Palestinian issue, according to David Newman, a professor from Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

ROBINSINGH@TRIBUNE.COM

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7

India’s opinion may count when the US reveals its peace proposal on the Israel-Palestinian issue, according to David Newman, a professor from Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Pointing out that the US peace proposal conceived by US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is wrapped in secrecy, but selectively leaked, Prof Newman was of the opinion that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be mindful of the opinion of two of his close associates in the region – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) today, Prof Newman felt any peace proposal would face strident opposition because views have become polarised due to the absence of negotiations for over five years.

“The question being asked is will Netanyahu respond” given that Trump has given him “nice presents” such as recognising Jerusalem as the capital and Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

But even if Russia and India sided with the Kushner peace plan, there is a big question mark on whether Netanyahu will yield ground. He could use the likely opposition from extreme right and religious parties in his coalition to buffer him from accepting the proposal, he said.

Official sources here believe that PM Modi has positioned India as a factor in the Israel-Palestinian peace process by dealing separately with each piece on the West Asian chess board. 

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