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What's in it for Israel?

Reader comment on item: One Cheer for Obama's Arab-Israeli Policy

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jun 14, 2016 at 07:55

Hi, Daniel

I see that the latest update on this posting is your own. My own opinion on these matters is this:

As a Bible believer, it would seem I ought to applaud Sisi's "overtures" to Israel, because this would be a step in fulfilling Isaiah 19. I haven't gone out to buy a bottle of champaigne yet, though; and if I did, it would be well aged before the Israelis, Saudis and Jordanians forged anything approaching "normal" relations.

Let's pull away from looking at Israel through the microscope for a minute, and consider what "normal" relations Israel already has with countries. Its main blocs of friends are:

1. The EU-EFTA-Canada-Korea-Pacific Alliance-Singapore-Hong Kong-Macau. These are countries with which Israel has relatively smooth relations, including visa-free travel and free trade agreements. This group includes Greece and Cyprus, which have close defense ties with Israel as well.

2. The US, Palau, Micronesia, occasionally some other islands and sometimes Canada: These are countries which usually stand with Israel in the United Nations. They also all have close military ties with the US, and to some extent with each other.

3. Most of MERCOSUR (Brazil-Argentina-Uruguay-Paraguay). These countries all have visa-free access, as well as a free trad agreement, with Israel and to one another.

4. Israel has also made approaches to Russia -- with which it enjoys mutual visa-free travel, along with Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries. Those countries also have strong economic and defense ties with one another. Israel and Russia plan joint military exercises with each other this year, and have cooperated with one another in Syria.

5. India. Israel has close military links with her, sharing advanced information and technology.

Israel also has ties of varying strength with countries like Azerbaijan and Kenya, which are closer than those with its "treaty partners", Egypt and Jordan; and of course, Saudi Arabia is still technically at war with Israel.

Countries like Turkey occasionally force a smile and try to make a deal with Israel; but I don't take these seriously.

When I see discussions on these matters, they are usually framed in a local or regional context, leaving out the rest of the world. When viewed in the global context, we don't see a willing Israel trying to work with an enemy that has supported a half dozen wars against the Jews. The Arabs have incredibly large prospects of prosperity, if they can bury the hatchet and stop fighting Israel for good; but there's not much in it for Israel: Their prize hen is elsewhere. The ones suffering the most, from hating the Jews, is the Arabs; but they don't seem to be sensible people to talk to -- much less, people one can trust.


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