India’s two-sentence response to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week elicited mixed reactions after New Delhi for decades strongly backed the Palestinian cause.
The static statement to a dynamic situation was described by some as muted, others as pragmatic, and still others alleging it imbibes the anti-Muslim right-wing consensus of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesman of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said last Thursday.
But critics say this was deliberately vague and India should have posited a more vigorous reaction, considering the serious and retrograde effect of US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.
“A more robust response would be to state India’s position up front. In any case, it would call for a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state,” Manoj Joshi, senior analyst at the Observer Research Foundation, told Al Jazeera.