What Makes Netanyahu India’s Second-Favourite PM?

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What Makes Netanyahu India’s Second-Favourite PM?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

B

enjamin Netanyahu is in for quite a week. When an international superstar visits India, the excitement in the air is thicker than the Delhi smog. Each arrival follows a predictable arc – the airport touchdown, the “real India” photo-op, and the forced socialising with Bollywood celebrities. Through it all, social media goes wild with fans tweeting adoration for the visiting celebrity. So #ShalomNamaste BiBi, because to the patriotic Indian crowd, Netanyahu is a bigger deal than Coldplay and Justin Bieber combined.

What is it that makes Netanyahu India’s second-favourite Prime Minister? Perhaps it’s the number of hugs and hand-holding he indulges in with India’s most favourite PM. Netanyahu projects a similar strongman aura to Narendra Modi, which wins him brownie points from the Modi faithful. The way he uses both Israel’s and India’s common struggle against terrorism endears him to the crowds even further. It’s like becoming friends with someone after they give you a “same pinch” for getting the same dabba at school.

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