Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday made an interesting comparison when he assailed what he described as the “moral bankruptcy” of Indian and Israeli political leadership. He conflated the two by accusing the incumbent parties of both countries of harbouring ambitions to illegally occupy land in the West Bank and Kashmir for votes.

How accurate is this conflation? Indeed both countries are due to have similarly timed elections. The elections for the Indian Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, will start from April 11th, and the Israeli elections for parliament were held yesterday.

Prime Minister Khan’s observation was not untrue. The similarities between the dynamics of the elections, and the popular leaders slated to win are striking. The current Prime Ministers of both countries, Narendra Modi, and Benjamin Netanyahu are both predicted to win their respective elections, yet their tactics to garner last-minute popularity has brought the whole world on edge. Modi’s war and fear-mongering during the Pulwama attack, which nearly led South Asia to a nuclear war, was apparent to the international sphere as an election stunt designed to stoke nationalist and ethnic hatred and win the votes of extremist factions within the country. Similarly, Netanyahu, in his long reign as Prime Minister, has made use of extremely right-wing and war-mongering tactics towards Palestinians and Arabs to ensure his stint as war-time premier remains. His latest trick, which has earned international condemnation, was to state that he would extend Israeli sovereignty, and not distinguish between isolated settlements and settlement blocs, which could possibly be a violation of international law.

Some leaders are not afraid to provoke global conflicts to achieve their own gains at the polls. Let us hope then the results of the elections put an end to the constant pushing of hatred, division and fear.