The “Zionist Hindu Crusader” Alliance Marches On Posted In: Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Religion, Rise of Asia

Documents captured from radicals and terrorists in Pakistan warn darkly about a new axis of evil in the world: a ‘Zionist Hindu Crusader‘ alliance bringing Israel, India, and the United States together in a war on Islam.  They are wrong about the last part; all three countries want peaceful relations with Islamic countries based on mutual recognition and respect.  The alliance isn’t a closed club, and Islamic countries are welcome to join.  Otherwise, however, the radicals have a point.  The deepening relations between the United States, India, and Israel are changing the geopolitical geometry of the modern world in ways that will make the lives of fanatical terrorists even more dismal and depressing (not to mention shorter) than they already are.  Israel and the United States are both in a better long term position than many Americans sometimes think; one of the main reasons is an Indian-Israeli connection that most Americans know nothing about.


Americans often underestimate Israel: we underestimate Israel’s ability to conduct a foreign policy independent of US support and we underestimate Israel’s long term prospects for success in its region.  Indeed, Americans often talk about Israel as if we were the Jewish state’s only real friend — and that Israel is completely dependent on American goodwill.

That’s not true historically and it’s not true today.  The Soviet Union (through its Czechoslovakian satellite regime) provided Israel with the arms that gave it the decisive advantage in its War of Independence.  The British and French armed and supported Israel in the 1956 Suez War.  France provided Israel with the core of its nuclear technology and France supplied Israel with the Mirage jets which destroyed the Arab air forces at the outset of the Six-Day War.  During all this time the United States government did not provide Israel with much help; no Israeli prime minister was even invited to Washington until 1964 when Levi Eshkol met with President Lyndon Johnson.

While the United States today is unquestionably Israel’s most important ally and partner, we are not the only game in town.  The United States isn’t the country where Israel enjoys its highest favorable ratings; according to a survey carried out for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2009, India is the country where people like Israel the most.  According to the survey, 58 percent of Indians supported Israel; 56 percent of Americans in the survey felt that way.

Shimon_Peres_and_Moulan_Umair_AHmed_IliyasiWhat makes that more surprising is that India is the country with the third-largest number of Muslims in the world.  An estimated 160 million Muslims live in India, 13.4 percent of the total population.  Even Muslims in India are (relatively) pro-Israel; in 2007 a delegation of Indian Muslims led by a group representing the 500,000 member All India Association of Imams met in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres on a visit intended to advance the ‘democratic understanding’ of Israel among Indian Muslims.

The relationship isn’t just about good wishes.  India has the largest (reported) defense budget of any developing country; Israel is India’s largest supplier of arms.  As two of the leading IT countries in the world, India and Israel also collaborate on a variety of high tech projects, some with military implications.

Although both India and Israel were born at the same time — a collapsing British Empire was hastily liquidating its overseas commitments — for many years they had little to do with each other.  Britain’s inglorious scuttle from imperial responsibility left festering issues for both countries: Palestine and Kashmir.  It was a strategic objective of Indian foreign policy to keep the Kashmir question away from the United Nations, and in particular to avoid a united Islamic bloc on the question.  Siding with Israel seemed a good way to trigger exactly the hostility India wanted to avoid.  Later in the Cold War period, India’s close relationship with the Soviet Union encouraged a distance between India and America’s close Middle Eastern ally.  As a result,  as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, India was one of Israel’s toughest opponents, voting consistently with the Arabs to isolate Israel in international bodies  (informally, ties were often closer, especially in business).

In one of the least-noted but perhaps more important shifts of the post Cold War world, that has all changed.  Currently, Israel isn’t just popular in India.  It is India’s largest supplier of high-tech weapons and the growing cooperation between the two countries is spreading into both economic and political fields.  There is a strategic compatibility in their interests.  Economically, the marriage of Indian and Israeli high-tech know how with India’s enormous force of educated, English-speaking labor, its vast internal market, and Israel’s marketing experience and connections with the advanced industrial economies make for a natural complementarity.  Israel welcomes the rise of Indian economic and political influence in the Middle East and East Africa.  Both countries view the activities of radicals in Pakistan and their use of Pakistan and Afghanistan for wider regional ambitions with deep concern.

There’s another connection.  The United States increasingly favors the emergence of India as a world and regional power.  In the context of the Middle East and Africa, Americans see India as a stabilizing, anti-extremist force.  More broadly, while the United States isn’t (and shouldn’t be) operating a policy of containment against China, the growing prosperity and power of India in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East is an important positive factor in maintaining the kind of international order the United States wants to see.  That means, among other things, that the United States is likely to look with more favor on transfers of technological know how and the sales of advanced weapons systems from Israel to India than from Israel to China.  This preference reinforces the ties between the two most successful democracies to emerge from British colonialism in modern Asia.

The growing Israel-India connection is only beginning to make itself felt.  Long term, the relationship provides Israel with another great power ally to supplement its relationship with the United States.  From both a geopolitical and an economic point of view, the relationship with India helps assure Israel of a long-term future in the region.  As India develops and its power grows, the Gulf Arabs, Iran (a natural long-term ally for both India and Israel once it moves beyond the delusional and dead-end geopolitical agenda of its current government), and countries like Sudan and Somalia will increasingly feel its influence.  India and Israel, with the quiet blessing of the United States, can also do more to promote economic development and democracy in East Africa — a region that has historically had close links to India and which is of great strategic importance to Israel.


This “Zionist Hindu Crusader” alliance is a nightmare scenario for radicals and terrorists in the Islamic world.  The emergence of closer relations between the American global superpower, the regional Israeli military, and technological superpower, and the rising superpower of India is a basic challenge to the worldview of the extremists.  The radicals have imagined a world in which the west and especially America is in decline, Israel faces a deep crisis, and a resurgent Islamic world is emerging as a new world-historical power.

Suppose none of that is happening.  Suppose instead that both the United States and Israel are going to prosper and grow, based in part on their economic relationship with India.  Suppose that Israel’s extraordinary culture of high-tech innovation will be energized by the relationship with India so that Israel’s technological and scientific lead over its neighbors continues to grow over time.  Suppose that Indian power will be returning to the Gulf and East Africa, and that not only Pakistan but the Arab world will be increasingly focused on accommodating the rise of a new regional, and ultimately global, superpower.  Add to this that immense natural gas discoveries off Israel’s coastline are revolutionizing the country’s long term economic position and security strategy. 

In that kind of world the arguments and the ideas of religious radicals won’t make much sense to most people.  On the other hand, the economic dynamism created by the explosive growth of the Indian economy (assuming of course that the trend toward double-digit GDP growth continues) will offer the Arab world (and Pakistan) new opportunities for rapid economic development of their own.  At the same time, the growing diplomatic and political influence that a rising India will have in the region will add new weight to American efforts to help the region move toward peace and reconciliation.  In this kind of world, Islamic radicalism can’t deliver and its basic assumptions look shallow and unconvincing.

India has some unfinished business at home and in the neighborhood before it can fully emerge as the kind of power it hopes to become.  The benefits of economic growth need to be felt more widely and long-festering social tensions and issues need to be addressed.  More Indians need more access to more education and more personal and intellectual freedom.  Relations with Pakistan need to improve; nothing would improve India’s security at home or enhance its ability to play a major regional role as much as reconciliation with Pakistan  (And nothing could be worse for India than the continued descent of Pakistan into the horrors of terrorism and civil strife).  India must also keep up with China in the race to develop; one area in which it lags considerably behind is infrastructure, and unless India finds a way to accelerate the construction of roads, power plants, port facilities and to provide for the orderly and rapid development of land for industrial sites it will have a hard time matching China’s awesome surge forward.

It will take time for India to overcome these obstacles, but in the last twenty years it has managed to double its economic rate of growth while changing the fundamental orientation of its foreign policy after the Cold War.  These are the marks of a country led by serious people who understand their long-term interests, have a clear view of the world, and are prepared to move with great determination to secure their vital interests.  They are, in other words, good people to have on your side.

Israel’s strategic relationship with India–warmly embraced by both countries and cheered on by the United States,– may well turn out to be one of the most important international connections in the twenty-first century.  That it receives so little attention in the US and abroad illustrates the difficulty of understanding the twenty-first century with ideas and assumptions forged in the twentieth.  India is no longer a relatively minor power and it is no longer anti-American and anti-Israel.  Those are big changes; attention must be paid.


That last paragraph is so important, I think, and relates to some of the themes in God and Gold about the lens through which we view history.

I first came across the idea that generals, and all of us really, are always fighting the last war in Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August. I’m not sure how much weight that book commands among today’s historians of the first world war, but it seems like such an important psychological insight. It almost dates from Hume, who I’ve noticed must have had some inspiration from Hobbes. We see the world empirically, which is how we collect evidence, and make predictions. But that predisposition also blinds us to change that isn’t obvious. Heidegger also made the point, I think, that we “walk backwards into the future.”

Vis a vis Israel, Walter has suggested on the blog that, if you want to identify a lever with which to influence U.S. policy, then it’s important not to fixate on traditional scapegoats.

And I can’t help but think, when reading a lot of criticism leveled at Israel and, invariably, neocons, that those writers who perceive a usurpation of establishment power by upstart, Jewish arrivistes aren’t really looking at the real world. They are just lamenting the passing of what in their minds was a halcyon era of government by the privileged class. Whether or not those days were really so rosy is almost beside the point; the fact is, the world has changed and moved on, irrevocably.

Walter really highlights how much things are changing, in areas of the world where we tend to have an idee fixe of how things actually work. I hope this blog audience grows.

Comment by Roy – April 22, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

Must you really spill the beans about the Zionist Hindu Crusader alliance??? As you certainly know, also on an individual level, many Israelis are absolutely crazy about India — admittedly, I’m one of them. Some 10 years back, I had the good fortune to spend a few months there (not as a tourist); in the same year, I spend a few weeks in China. That was a most fascinating contrast; ever since, I have believed that China will achieve whatever can be achieved with hard work — but in creativity, India will have a vast advantage.

Comment by PetraMB – April 22, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

Thank you for highlighting what those of us who follow both Israel and India see. If only the current American president could see Israel the way India does. Also, Israel’s relationships with both China and Russia are probably stronger than the U.S. with either.

Comment by K2K – April 22, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the Himalayas would appear to be an insuperable obstacle preventing India from playing the role of an effective counterweight against China in the balance-of-power on the Eurasian continent (at least not in the way France, Germany, Spain, Russia, etc. were in Europe for England.) Maybe I am mistaken.

Comment by Luke Lea – April 22, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

Add Confucian Asia to the ‘alliance,’ because of radicals’ attacks on Koreans and China, and the Middle East is basically encircled:

AQAM’s (Al Qaeda & Associated Movement) embrace of Huntington’s clash of civilizations was supposed to fire Muslim revolutionaries but has led instead to encirclement of Gulf Islam. Israel and India on the flanks have lined up against the radicals between them, with the US fighting in the middle and Europe behind them. The only ‘civilizations’ left out are the Confucian states of East Asia and the Catholic states of Latin America, and that may be changing in Asia.

The great irony of AQAM’s endorsement of Huntington is that it provoked a self-defeating anti-Islamist coaliton, just as Huntington would have predicted and your post makes clear. It’s a suicide course…

Comment by Robert E Kelly – April 23, 2010 @ 12:40 am

On a similar theme–Chinese investment in Africa–this is a template-breaking piece by Howard W. French in The Atlantic:

Comment by Roy – April 23, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

Beyond geo-political interests, it’s worth pointing out cultural-religious reasons for Israeli-Indian ties as well. Hinduism and Judaism are both non-proselytizing, rooted in a unity between nationality and spirituality and, except for extreme fringes, have come to terms with the modern world.

Comment by Benjamin – April 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

Nice pick-up on Walter’s piece over at Tablet Magazine:

Comment by Roy – April 23, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

“nothing would improve India’s security at home or enhance its ability to play a major regional role as much as reconciliation with Pakistan (And nothing could be worse for India than the continued descent of Pakistan into the horrors of terrorism and civil strife)”

Agreed. Problem is, Pakistan as a state is DEFINED in opposition to the very existence of India. It was formed out of the idea that India, as a secular, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, pluralistic democracy could not and should not exist.

Comment by hexag1 – April 23, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

“We underestimate Israel’s ability to conduct a foreign policy independent of US support and we underestimate Israel’s long term prospects for success in its region.”

How can we underestimate something that doesn’t exist? – an Israeli foreign policy independent of US support (oh yes, qualify that as in the last 40 years, it’s so important to recognize that).

How do you define Israel’s success in its region? If it is simply the low bar goal of remaining a Jewish democratic state, then it’s prospects for success look awfully bleak right now. An appropriate goal of peace with its neighbors looks impossible without a radical breakthrough.

Comment by Norwegian Shooter – April 24, 2010 @ 10:36 am

“Iran (a natural long-term ally for both India and Israel once it moves beyond the delusional and dead-end geopolitical agenda of its current government)”

Excuse me, but that means AIPAC is delusional and has a dead-end geopolitical agenda with regard to Iran. How can you claim such an organization is good for all Jews?

Pardon me, but that also means a super-majority of the US Congress is delusional and has a dead-end geopolitical agenda with regard to Iran. I haven’t heard any criticism of them.

Comment by Norwegian Shooter – April 24, 2010 @ 10:45 am

Oops. I think you were referring to Iran, not Israel, as delusional and dead-end. Well, fine. You’re not a hypocrite. However, those terms still apply to Israel, AIPAC and the US Congress in my book.

But that brings up the point of how delusional Iran’s current government really is. With all the war-mongering of current US and Israeli politicians, US-occupied countries on its eastern and western borders, and no way to defend itself from attack without a threat of nuclear weapons, just how delusional is it for Iran to try to acquire them? I’m not saying it’s right, but it seems very rational to me. It may also be a dead-end, but we drove them into the back alley, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it turns out to be a dead-end.

Comment by Norwegian Shooter – April 24, 2010 @ 10:52 am

“In that kind of world the arguments and the ideas of religious radicals won’t make much sense to most people.”

You’re overstating the appeal of religious radicals in the Muslim world. Their arguments don’t make much sense to most Muslims right now. They’ve been reviled everywhere they attempted to wield power. However, we have forced most Muslims into the middle between a small number of reactionary salafists and the US led crusades in Muslims countries. If you’re a moderate Muslim, pick your poison.

Comment by Norwegian Shooter – April 24, 2010 @ 10:58 am

Anyone else find it strange that a Norwegian feels the need to assert his opinion here? When your socialist paradise collapses and you realize you’ve never contributed anything to civilization but your natural resources (which–nothing personal–but a neanderthal could probably do) you’ll come crying to Israel, India and America begging for minds that know how to innovate, that understand the necessity of confronting those who stand against our way of life and who actually have something to offer the world.

Comment by BGold – April 24, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

[...] MORE [...]

Pingback by The “Zionist Hindu Crusader” Alliance Marches On « THE BLACK KETTLE – April 24, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

Actually, the Norwegians have made extraordinary contributions to civilization. Abel, Sylow and Lie in mathematics, and Ibsen in drama, are of worldwide significance. And for a small country to also have a Grieg in music and a Munch in the visual arts is also impressive.

What’s pathetic is when the heirs of great civilizations, do nothing to continue the legacy of their forbears, and instead choose simply to live off of their memories, impotently languishing and lashing out at cultures where there is still a vital, enterprising spirit.

That dynamic is a common one, and one sees it all the time in Europe, especially vis a vis the U.S. That it should now be directed toward India and Israel is not a surprise. But for the sake of “old Europe”, and “old America” for that matter, those who would still see their own countries prosper in the future had best recognize the rising historical forces in the world, including Russia, Brazil and China as well.

Guarding the gate of your exclusive country club will do nothing to secure the future of your prosperity.

Comment by fw – April 24, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

I totally agree, India being the largest democratic country in the world and has shown the world that we have control of our nuke power and we will not miss use them. Its about time that all three countries join hands to make the world a better place to live.

Comment by Pradeep Shinde – April 24, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

I’m a natural-born American citizen, BGold. But thanks for admitting Norge is a socialist paradise. Some facts to back that up from Wikipedia:

“Foreign Policy Magazine ranks Norway last in its Failed States Index for 2009, judging Norway to be the world’s most well-functioning and stable country.”

“Norway was ranked highest of all countries in human development from 2001 to 2007, and then again in 2009. It was also rated the most peaceful country in the world in a 2007 survey by Global Peace Index.”

“Norwegians enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and third highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world. Norway maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001–2006), and then reclaimed this position in 2009.”

Don’t hold your breath for its collapse, though.

Nothing to offer civilization? So you’ve never had lutefisk then. But seriously, Munch, Grieg and Ibsen. And if the Normans had their act together and got to England on time, the Battle of Hastings would have before after the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and you’d be speaking Norwegian influenced English right now.

Oh, and if you have time, why don’t you offer something other than ad hominem attacks.

Comment by Norwegian Shooter – April 24, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

what does the Indian government think should be done about the West Bank? Is there any government in the world outside Israel that supports what the Israeli settlers are trying to do in the West Bank?

Comment by newageblues – April 24, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

[...] to Pakistan here. We shovel mountains of money to the Pakis so they can scare the hell out of America’s emergent ally in Asia through this month’s huge military exercise right on India’s border (pic above). I noted last [...]

Pingback by Ahh, the Navel-Gazing Pakistani Military: One More Reason to Be Out the Door of South Asia… « Asian Security & US Foreign Relations Blog – April 24, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

The alliance between India and Israel is natural, but the rosy outlook of the article is naive.
[material deleted: ed]
Specifically the conflict between Islam and the Hindus will intensify, this will naturally align Hindus with Israel.

[material deleted: ed]

Comment by Ray Bright – April 24, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

Actually, Norwegian Shooter, the “appeal” of muslim terrorist radicals in your own country has now erupted into vile anti-Semitic riots — as I’m sure you know, [unnecessary personal charge deleted -- ed]…

For those who don’t know – because the MSM dooesn’t find such pogromish incidents ‘newsworthy’, please read the FREE e-book available on line. It’s called:


Just type in the title and you’ll have a copy. It’s horrifying, and well worth reading.

Comment by Mickey from San Fran – April 24, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

Another pick-up of Walter’s essay is over at

Comment by Meir – April 25, 2010 @ 1:54 am

One key shared value of India and Israel is that they are both democracies. Their governments will change and evolve under the power of the voters. Israel will become more multicultural, as the Arab population becomes a larger fraction of the total. India will become more export and trade oriented, as opposed to the autarky of the Nehru years.

Comment by Laurent – April 25, 2010 @ 7:11 am

I want to second PetraMB’s comment. I think non mainstream philosopher Robert Pirsig who built a metaphysics around the idea of static and dynamic quality in his novel Lila can be used to describe the difference between India and China. He argues that we need both kinds of quality – creativity and also the structure to contain it – otherwise the fruits of creativity just dissipate. China has recapitulated the industrial revolution in an amazing leap forward contained by its one party structure and strong Confucian value system. India is messy but has anticipated the future by becoming an center of computer technology. So in terms of static quality China is far ahead. In terms of dynamic quality India has a real lead. India needs to build roads; the Chinese are shutting down Google. Both cultures have clearly different balances between static and dynamic that will play out differently in the future.

Comment by Lorenz Gude – April 25, 2010 @ 9:03 am

Brilliant and useful post. I would add that, notwithstanding the dillusional nature of the Iranian state, they still enjoy a trade relationship with Iran worth an estimated 13 billion US dollars (at least according to wikipedia which isn’t always reliable) and India’s cultural influence in Iran is ever-growing. Why we (the US) continue to single-mindedly court Russia in the hope that they’ll play ball on Iran’s nuclear program instead of reaching out to the Indians and getting their help is beyond me.
India-Pakistan: Kashmir is sort of necessary to both country’s self-conception: India needs it to reaffirm it’s secular, multi-confessionalism while Pakistan needs it to reinforce it’s somewhat tattered status as a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent (for more on why it’s tattered see Bangledesh, 1971…or 72, never can remember the year). Not sure how you square that circle, but I think a comprehensive Indo-Pak peace deal brokered by the US could be the biggest revolution in global affairs in the first half of the twentieth century, if we can get it done.
Hey, Norwegian shooter, it’s nice to see you’ve got such…robust opinions. You might try citing a few actual facts. You could even go wild and mention the sources in which you found said facts if you felt like it.

Comment by A.J. Nolte – April 25, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

India had to oppose Israel before because of Kashmir and the looming threat to Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Sadly they did not get the positive response they expected from the Arab countries. Quite contrary, Congress party started to become anti-Indian and anti-Hindu. This led to establishment of BJP. Formed as a pro-Hindu right wing party, it was the first to start full diplomatic relations with Israel. In 2003 Ariel Sharon was the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India. He was welcomed by the center-right wing Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance coalition government of India. Similarly BJP’s Prime Minister of India A.B.Vajpayee was the first minister from India to visit Israel. Also BJPs sister organisation RSS organised and invited the first ever Hindu-Jewish summits and the Chief Rabbis of Judaism for the first time visited India after being invited by BJP’s chief L.K.Advani
India is Israel’s second largest trade partner and largest importer.
On a wider and more subtle level, The chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, said during the first Hindu-Jewish summit;
“For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and have now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history”.
In fact I am a student of Judaism and Hinduism. And if we leave apparent idolatries in Hindus, they are more common in nature than others.

Comment by ami – April 25, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

I’m Jewish and have been working with the Indian/Hindu community here and in South Asia. Please see my speech from 2008, and my recent article,

Richard Benkin

Comment by Dr. Richard L. Benkin – April 25, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

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