December 28, 2020 | Washington, DC: According to historic writings, the ancient ties between the peoples of the Kingdom of Israel and the Indian subcontinent date back some 3,000 years ago to the days of King Solomon. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., Jews fleeing Jerusalem and the Roman Empire found a safe haven on the Malabar Coast, India’s southwestern coast.
The Cochin Jews, the oldest group of Jewish descendants in India date back to the time of King Solomon as referenced in the book The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities by Orpa Slapak. The strong ties established between the Indians of Kerala and the Jewish community are found in historical records stating: “The Rajah of Cochin generously allotted land to the Jews in Cochin da Cima, or Upper Cochin, next to his own Dutch Palace and an adjacent conical-shaped Hindu temple (its form unique to Kerala) built to serve his royal family.” In 1568 the Paradesi Synagogue was constructed in the Mattancherry area of Kochi.
At the inaugural US-India Leaders Summit, held at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, in 2019, Mr. Joseph Brodecki brought to the forefront the shared values and enduring principles upheld by America, India and Israel. He also reminded the audience of the long established ties of the Jewish communities with ancient India, the Indian Jews returning to Israel, the immigration of Jews to the New World and the contributions made to America’s founding as affirmed by George Washington, America’s first president.
Joseph Brodecki, Principal in the Private Client Practice of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Inc., Washington, DC, shared about the recent strengthening of ties between India and Israel through investments, trade, technology, healthcare and security partnership augments economic growth and prosperity for all its citizen stakeholders.
Principled Leadership: America, India and Israel — A Partnership to Address BDS
On the vital fronts of addressing the resurgence of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and the dangerous Boycott, Divestment and Sanction scheme (BDS) targeting Israel and Jewish communities, engaged citizens of America, India and Israel can create and advance a strategic front to bolster greater support for Israel’s enterprises which provide jobs to Arab and Jews within the Jewish state.
Remembering the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks: Targeting Foreigners and the Nariman Chabad House — a Jewish Outreach Center
According to published news reports, the Mumbai attacks that began on November 26, 2008, were carried out by the Pakistani-based terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Ten terrorists connected to LeT and armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades targeted innocent civilians. The locations targeted included Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, Leopold Café, two hospitals, and a theatre. The terrorists then began taking hostages at the Jewish outreach Nariman House and the luxury hotels Oberoi Trident and Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.
The six occupants of the Chabad House including Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivka, who was six months pregnant, were killed. Their nanny Sandra Samuel rescued their two-year-old son Moshe.
The Mumbai death toll was at 174 people, including 26 foreign nationals and 20 security force personnel.
On this vital security front, America, India and Israel have a significant responsibility to address terrorism through greater cooperation and joint training exercises of local police and special forces.
India and Israel Ties
Israel, the Start-Up Nation Israel, known as the “start-up” nation, has significantly contributed to the world through its creativity and innovation in the healthcare and tech arena. According to Israel’s government, the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) is a endeavor between India and Israel to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects.”
Today, more than 100,000 Indian Jews contribute to Israel’s success while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), the healthcare and technology sectors.
Advancing a US-India Free Trade Agreement
The potential US-India trade agreement could further boost economic growth for both nations which value Israeli innovation. The International Leaders Summit (ILS) has called for the advancement of public policy ideas that fuel greater cooperation among the Americans, Indians and Israelis, create new jobs and boost economic growth. The ILS is also calling for a U.S.-India-Israel trilateral alliance which could lead to a new economic pact and security partnership. This could be a new platform that links the economic powerhouse America, the Middle East’s innovative Israel and Asia’s emerging economic giant into a unique economic and trading block.
“The optics and message are clear and it leverages America’s leadership to work out a trade deal with China,” International Leaders Summit co-founder Joel Anand Samy, who is organizing a U.S.-India Leaders Summit in Washington on Wednesday, told the Washington Examiner. “Importantly, if America and India can come to agreement with a combined consumer base of 1.6 billion people, then it sends a loud signal to businesses and markets that pursuing a level-playing field and calling for a fair trade deal is working.”
Since 2004, the International Leaders Summit’s leadership board members have advanced the importance of advancing a strategic 21st century partnership among the nations of the United States, India and Israel on the economic, healthcare, technology and security fronts. Each of these nations have adhered to the policy of “peace through strength” when facing existential threats.
It is time for principled leaders to join in advancing a strategic partnership comprised of America, India and Israel — nations that embrace the common law and enduring principles.
Further reading and viewing:
American David Coleman Headley was one of the leading planners of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people over three days at two five-star hotels, a train station and a small Jewish community center. Headley, the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, had been chosen for the mission because he looked like a non-Muslim Westerner. He used those looks — and his U.S. passport — to plan logistics for several of the places attacked in Mumbai.
The Jerusalem Leaders Summit public policy conference will return to Israel’s capital for the third time on Sunday, bringing together government, academia, business and policy leaders to advance solutions to 21st-century economic concerns, global threats and security challenges.