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Israel: Global NATO's 29th Member

By       Message Rick Rozoff       (Page 7 of 11 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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NATO Deputy Secretary-General Claudio Bisogniero visited Israel in October for two days of meetings arranged by the Atlantic Forum of Israel. "Bisogniero and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are set to address the second annual NATO Israel Symposium at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on Monday night, to be followed the next day by a seminar on NATO's role in the Middle East," a follow up to the 2006 two-day affair also addressed by Livni and by Bisogniero's predecessor, Alessandro Minuto Rizzo. Bisogniero arrived only three weeks after taking up his post and his trip marked the first anniversary of Israel's Individual Cooperation Program with NATO.

The Atlantic Forum's Uzi Arad said of the event "There is an evolving process of Israel and NATO drawing together. NATO is constantly transforming itself. As it looks at its role outside of Europe and in the Middle East, it looks into the prospect of closer Israel-NATO relations." [43]

The most significant comment at the symposium came from a (once and future) Israeli head of state: "Addressing the Atlantic Forum's symposium in Hertzliyah...former prime minister Netanyahu urged NATO to accept Israel as a 'full partner' by the year 2010." [44]

The next month the chiefs of general staff of Israel and Egypt (which followed Israel in entering into an Individual Cooperation Program) participated in a meeting of all 26 of their counterparts from NATO member states. In fact, "Chiefs of Defence of more than 60 Countries together with NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Operations and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation attended, at various levels, the NATO Military Committee Meetings." [45]

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In December an Indian news source revealed more about NATO's increased cooperation with Israel within the context of building an Asia-Pacific and beyond that a Global NATO. "India will join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) countries, as well as Israel, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in the United States in June-July 2008 for the Red Flag wargames for the first time." [46]

Israeli warplanes also participated in the 2009 Red Flag exercises.

This came against the backdrop of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister), then past and future U.S. presidential candidates John Edwards and Rudolph Giuliani, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar and other major Western figures demanding full NATO membership for Israel.

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New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who wrote two articles as far back as 2001 urging NATO to take over the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, in 2003 advocated that not only Israel but Egypt and (post-invasion) Iraq be welcomed as NATO member states. Incidentally, Friedman's call for NATO to subjugate Palestine was echoed in differing degrees by James Jones when he was U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Security and by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft in 2008.

The Jerusalem Post wrote early in that year about Jones, previously supreme commander of NATO and now the Obama administration's National Security Adviser, that "The United States is reviewing the feasibility of deploying a NATO force in the West Bank as a way to ease IDF security concerns....The plan, which is being spearheaded by US Special Envoy to the region Gen. James Jones, is being floated among European countries, which could be asked to contribute troops to a West Bank multinational force. [47]

Another news source described the plan in franker terms: "James Jones, a former Marine Corps general and NATO military commander from 2003-2005, has been assigned the task of preparing a plan to take over the military
occupation of the Occupied Territories of Palestine on behalf of Israel's security interests.

"The plan for the West Bank will try to draw from the experience made by the deployment of the UNIFIL-forces, led by NATO-countries, but engaging
African and Asian troops as well in southern Lebanon." [48]

NATO plans reach far beyond contingencies for patrolling Israel's borders with Gaza and the West Bank and even occupying and subjugating Palestinian territories.

A former George H.W. Bush administration State Department official (in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs), Bennett Ramberg, wrote an article for a major U.S. newspaper almost two years ago bearing the title "An Israeli-NATO pact." It presented a scenario for military confrontation with Iran and overcoming Russian air defenses in that nation. The writer's suggestions included:

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"As NATO expanded its international reach beyond the European theater in recent years, Israels association has become a matter of discussion in Brussels....Israels integration into NATO, possibly with a separate American security guarantee, would provide Israel with the defense in depth it has yearned for....[S]hould the United States consent to provide F-22 stealth fighter-bombers, Israels capacity will increase. Equally impressive are the American-supplied bunker-buster bombs the aircraft may carry." [49]

In November of 2008 Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi attended a NATO meeting in Brussels in which he "set out the strategic threats to Israel and appeal[ed] for increased cooperation...."

Ashkenazi addressed the military chiefs of staff of all twenty six NATO states at the time and "presented the various threats to the State of Israel, the strategic challenges in the Middle East and the rise of global terrorism, as well as the need for increased cooperation between Israel and NATO members in order to confront the shared threats." [50]

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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at:

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