NEW YORK (May. 7)
India’s reluctance to admit the Israeli Davis Cup tennis team to New Delhi for a tournament in July is the latest example of that country’s “condemnation and ostracism” of Israel over several decades, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Noting that India “has already hinted its unwillingness to allow Israeli players,” Abraham Foxman, ADL’s associate national director and head of its International Affairs Division, said “few countries outside the Arab world have been so unrelentingly hostile to Israel.”
The ADL report, titled “India’s Campaign Against Israel,” pointed out that “the New Delhi government, showing disdain for international agreements of both a political and non-political nature, long ago established a pattern of selective discrimination by denying Israeli government officials, scientists, athletes and others the right to attend and participate in international gatherings held on Indian soil.”
The report stated that in the past year alone, Israeli architects, academics and athletes have been barred from five international events in New Delhi and listed a total of 17 instances of exclusions of Israelis since 1980. Included were two incidents last February — the denial of visas to Israeli delegates to a conference sponsored by the International Association of Chambers of Commerce, and the exclusion of members of the Israeli table tennis team from an international competition.
URGES WORLD COMMUNITY TO RESPOND
“It is time for the international community,” Foxman declared, “to let India know that unless it ceases to inject its anti-Israel politics into events aimed at furthering the spirit of international cooperation and goodwill, it will be forced to forfeit its role as host nation.”
The Israeli team, after its upset victory against Czechoslovakia, won the right to play India in the Davis Cup quarter final matches in New Delhi July 24-26. Should India go ahead with its exclusion of Israel, it would risk forfeiture of the competition.
“That India is considering barring Israeli participation even in the face of forfeiture,” Foxman said, “is merely the most recent evidence of New Delhi’s historical pattern of hostility toward the Jewish State.”
Noting that India pledged in 1982 to be “second to none” in what it called “exposing Israel,” the ADL report said that New Delhi has carried out the pledge through “its rhetoric, its actions and its frequent disregard for the minimum standards of civility and law required among nations.”
INDIA IS HISTORICAL FOE OF ISRAEL
While India permitted Israel to open a consulate in Bombay in 1951, the promise of full diplomatic relations has never been kept — and India does have full diplomatic relations with every Arab country. The Israeli vice consul in Bombay operates in virtual diplomatic isolation. Travel restrictions in effect since 1965 prevent the consular staff from leaving the Bombay area and no Israeli diplomat has been received by any government officials in New Delhi since that time. The report noted that India’s diplomatic opposition to Israel has exceeded in severity even such historic foes of Israel as Pakistan. In the United Nations, India’s record of voiting against Israel and in cosponsoring anti-Israel measures has matched those of some Arab nations.
The report said that Indian hostility to Israel predates the founding of both states some 40 years ago. The Indian National Congress adopted anti-Zionist positions prior to independence and this became Indian government policy when in 1947 New Delhi voted against the United Nations Palestine partition plan that led to Israel’s creation.