Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

d122df0346f86f380ea3f11b_dr2563.jpg

Israel and NATO – Between Membership and Partnership

Israel's accession to NATO has frequently been proposed as a way to encourage it to make the necessary concessions for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement, and some Israeli leaders, like Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, believe that NATO accession would deter Iran. But, despite important steps toward closer cooperation, full Israeli membership can be ruled out for the foreseeable future.

MADRID – The idea of integrating Israel into NATO has frequently been advanced as bait to encourage the Jewish state to make the necessary concessions for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. And some Israeli leaders – Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, for example – are convinced that joining NATO would act as a vital deterrent against Iran.

But it is highly unlikely that Israel’s full integration into the Alliance is feasible from NATO’s standpoint. The Alliance would not be happy to apply Article 5 of the NATO charter, which would oblige its members to fight for Israel if it were attacked by any of its many potential enemies in an endemically dangerous region.

Nor is it clear that membership would be in the best interest of Israel, a country whose defense doctrine has been always based on self-reliance and freedom of maneuver in security matters. Israel’s unwritten alliance with the United States is a more convenient alternative.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/xWnBz1Z;
  1. bildt71_HOW HWEE YOUNGAFP via Getty Images_vonderleyenchinaarmy How Hwee Young/AFP via Getty Images

    Which Way for Europe on China?

    Carl Bildt

    Under its new leadership, the European Union has promised to step up its engagement on the world stage to ensure that it does not become a pawn in an escalating Sino-American great-power rivalry. To succeed, it will have to strike a careful balance between economic priorities and its own security.

    8
  2. wei22_FABRICE COFFRINIAFP via Getty Images_WTOredlight Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

    How to Revive the WTO

    Shang-Jin Wei & Xinding Yu

    The World Trade Organization’s appellate body is under threat not from China, but from the United States, which is blocking the appointment of new judges to the panel. Reviving the WTO will require changes to the organization's rules – but killing its dispute-settlement system is not the solution.

    1