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'A Superstar', 'Historic Visit': How Israel's Media Covered Narendra Modi's Visit To The Country

Only, praise, especially over Palestine.

05/07/2017 2:58 PM IST | Updated 05/07/2017 3:45 PM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed with much fanfare as he landed in Tel Aviv last evening, with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu welcoming him saying, "We have been waiting for you".

And like the media in India, in Israel too all eyes seem to be on the Indian prime minister who is on his second day of the tour today.

Most newspapers covered Modi's arrival and called the visit historic.

Here's what the newspapers looked like this morning in Israel.

1. The Jeruzalem Post

The front page of the newspaper had around four stories on Modi's arrival. "We admire your culture, we admire your history, your democracy, your commitment to progress. We view you as kindred spirits in our common quest to provide a better future for our peoples and for our world," the newspaper quoted Netanyahu as saying about Modi.

It also reported that Netanyahu would have his scheduled cleared for the next two days because of the visit. It quoted an official as saying, "Wouldn't you? What would you rather do, accompany Modi or have to deal with the Reform movement?"

In an editorial titled "Welcome, PM Modi" it almost praised Modi no visiting Palestine saying, "The political transformation that has taken place within India has also had an impact on its foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel. During Operation Protective Edge, India refrained from criticizing Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip. In July 2014, India abstained in the vote on the UN report condemning Israel for Operation Protective Edge. And Modi has not felt compelled during his present visit to stop in with the Palestinian Authority to make a show of India's evenhandedness on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We welcome Prime Minister Modi, join him in celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties and look forward to a new era of cooperation and innovation in the ties between our countries.

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2. Haaretz

Israel's longest running newspaper that is still in print covered Modi's visit extensively as well. It said that some Israeli businesses were losing out by not taking the 'passage to India'.

It heaped praises on Modi saying, "Modi himself is a superstar. Given the crisis shaking the world's democracies, he's probably the most powerful, popular democratic leader in the world right now. As governor of Gujarat (one of the 29 states comprising the Indian federation), he drove the fastest economic growth in India."

The newspaper also focused on the fact that Modi was giving Palestine a miss. However, it said that it may not mean anything for Israel in the future. "The big risk for Israel in the budding friendship is Indian democracy. Unlike China, where decisions are made by the leadership in Beijing, Indian politicians are answerable to voters and power shifts from one party to another. In the event of another bloody war with Hezbollah or Hamas, or Israeli arms sales to China, which India sees as a strategic rival, Modi could find Israel to be a problem. A government led by the rival Congress Party would in general be less friendly."

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3. The Times of Israel

This newspaper termed Modi's visit historic, saying "New Delhi explains this anomaly as part of a desire to "de-hyphenate" its relationships with Jerusalem and with Ramallah."

It also reported that Indian Jews in the country were also excited about the visit, it quoted a restaurant owner, Elazar Ashtivker, as saying, "There's not a single (Indian) household that's not talking about it. This is all people are talking about."

Another report quoted Modi as saying in an interview that Yoga may help solve some problems in the Middle East.

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4. Israel Hayom

The Israel Hayom carried a jointly written piece by the two prime ministers. Titled "Israel and India are walking hand in hand into the future", it talks about the collaborations between the two countries and reflects upon ties between the nations.

"This week's historic visit, as we celebrate 25 years of full diplomatic relations between India and Israel, reflects not just the close cooperation of our governments, but also the great sympathy and affinity between our peoples. We marvel at the changes we have witnessed over the last two and a half decades and are proud that India and Israel are genuine partners for development, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship," it said.

An opinion piece in the newspaper said that Modi's visit also indicated the rise in Israel's status as a global power.

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