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'Indian values strongly influence Israel'

Indian philosophy and values have had a profound influence on Israelis, according to speakers at a panel discussion on India.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 11:18 IST

Indian philosophy and values have had a profound influence on Israelis, the manifestations of which are the recent political developments in the Jewish state, according to speakers at a panel discussion on India.

"The people choosing Kadima, disengagement from Gaza and ultimately the surprise emergence of the pensioners party can all be attributed to the Indian experience. People have adopted a more global perspective and are not just thinking about borders and controlling territories," Tsur Shefaz, a prolific writer and avid traveller said.

The discussion was held recently as part of a daylong programme 'Israelis and the Indian Experience,' which also included lectures and yoga workshops.

Shefaz said Indian philosophy and values have prompted Israelis "to think about taking care of themselves and their elderly".

The panel, which consisted of authors and journalists writing about travel experiences around the globe, said India was the "most welcoming country" in the world.

"India is a country that accepts everyone. The people embrace you with a warm smile and incomparable hospitality. It is the most welcoming place to be in", noted author and columnist for Yediot Ahronoth, Gabi Nitsan, said.

A third panellist, Erez Eshel, head of the youth leadership programme said India has a lot to teach and offer but people should be told to visit the country after acquiring a certain degree of "maturity".

"Most of them go unprepared and end up being with Israelis and look for Israeli surroundings even there," Eshel noted.

First Published: May 25, 2006 09:06 IST