Even to the casual observer, the symbolism of Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel this week was hard to miss. But the visit also reflects deep changes in India’s domestic politics. Traditional opponents of a closer India-Israel relationship have lost in the court of public opinion.
Mr. Modi’s three days in Israel, the first visit ever to the Jewish state by an Indian prime minister, unfolded as a series of carefully choreographed photo-ops designed to emphasize the warmth that exists between New Delhi and Jerusalem. Accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Modi paid tribute to Holocaust victims and to Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism.
The two leaders underlined their common opposition to Islamic terrorism by meeting a 10-year-old Israeli boy whose parents were murdered by Pakistani terrorists during the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which claimed 166 lives. Mr. Modi also traveled to Haifa to honor Indian soldiers who died helping liberate the city during World War I.
It’s easy to attribute India’s dramatic shift over the past quarter century—from reflexive support for the Palestinians to an intense partnership with Israel—to changing global circumstances.