THE outcome of a vote on July 3rd at the United Nations Human Rights Council was never in doubt. In all, 41 nations voted for a report criticising Israel for its conduct in the Gaza conflict. Only America voted against it. The surprise, however, was that among the five nations abstaining was India. “For the first time in a major anti-Israel vote, India didn’t vote with the Arabs,” said one astonished Israeli diplomat.
UN voting patterns are not the most reliable gauge of geopolitics but India’s abstention is yet another small sign of Israel’s shifting relations with the rest of the world. After decades of focusing most of its diplomatic and trade efforts on Europe and America, Israel is pivoting to Asia. The shift is not entirely new, but previously low-profile diplomacy is now moving out of the shadows. It is being pulled by the rise of centre-right governments in India and Japan, the weakening clout of Arab oil-producing regimes and China’s spending spree on high-tech. It is also being pushed by a feeling in Israel that once-warm relations with traditional allies have cooled.
Read More: Netanyahu pivots to Asia | The Economist