India's Pro-Arab Policy: A Study In Continuity

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India's Pro-Arab Policy: A Study In Continuity

By Richard Edmund Ward
Praeger, 1992
172 pp. $39.95
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A straightforward account of why New Delhi has tended to support the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The reasons include early views of Israel as a colonial outpost, the fact of India's own large Muslim community, competition with Pakistan for Arab support in the United Nations on the Kashmir issue, and access to oil. This latter point about oil is the least credible. The author errs in claiming that Iran produces 23.3 million barrels of oil a day (an order of magnitude too large) and misses the point that a directed Arab embargo of oil shipments to India would simply force India to look elsewhere in the petroleum market for supplies. Perhaps the Indians really do believe that they must appease Arab oil producers or risk their supplies of oil, but if so, they are ignorant of how the oil market works. The other reasons for India's pro-Arab tilt are more compelling.