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Israel: Global NATO's 29th Member

By       Message Rick Rozoff       (Page 9 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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In March Livni returned the favor by flying to Brussels to meet with Scheffer.

The next month the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung office in Jerusalem released the results of a study it commissioned on Israeli attitudes towards NATO intervention in the Gaza Strip and full membership in the military bloc. Dr. Lars Hansel, the head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Israel, was quoted by the Jerusalem Post:

"[T]he German marines deployed on the Lebanese coast...are seen (by Israelis) as a welcome development. We are clearly sensing a shift in discourse in Israel about this." [58]

A poll conducted by an Israeli research group demonstrated how successful the efforts of Uzi Arad's Atlantic Forum and its allies have been.

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"[A] majority of respondents (54%) supported outright Israeli membership in NATO (33% did not). Support rose to 60% when only Jewish responses were counted. Almost two-thirds of Israeli Jews support sending NATO troops to the West Bank in a peacekeeping capacity....Israeli Jews supported the presence of NATO peacekeepers in Palestinian areas by 62 percent to 34%, the study found. But that support was not shared among Israeli Arabs, who opposed the idea by 44% to 24%." [59]

As an indication that words may soon be translated into action, Haaretz wrote last April that "The possibility of an Israeli attack against a nuclear Iran...will be a test of the willingness of NATO's member states to implement Article 5 of the treaty's convention...." [60]

An analysis published by China's Xinhua News Agency last July, "Israel pushes for major upgrade in relations with NATO," stated "Reports in the Israeli media this week suggest that Israel is looking forward to participation in several key exercises and operations with NATO and individual NATO members during the remainder of 2009.

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"However, this seems to be only part of plans for a much broader gradual
integration into NATO by Israel."

It added "Some reports suggest Israel's desire to cooperate with NATO and to up its operational exercises is Israel's further preparation for any attack on Iran." [61]

The same news agency also reported in July that "the IAF [Israeli Air Force] will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a
NATO-member state, which is yet to be identified," quoting "Israeli defense officials as saying that the overseas exercises would be used to drill long- range maneuvers." The source also mentioned that "In 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a suspected nuclear site inside Syria.

"Last summer, over 100 IAF jets flew over Greece in an exercise widely seen as a test-run for a potential air raid on Iran's nuclear facilities." [62]

Late last autumn as the U.S. and NATO prepared to increase troop strength in Afghanistan to over 150,000, the full reciprocity and the geographical range of Israeli-NATO military cooperation were revealed.

The Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, paid a two-day visit to Tel Aviv to meet with leaders of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and "to study the tactics and methods of the IDF" and "was studying the IDF in order to gain a better understanding of how to deal with the ongoing war in Afghanistan." [63]

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A senior Israeli defense official spoke of a meeting between the head of NATO's Military Committee and Israeli Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi: "The one thing on NATO's mind today is how to win in Afghanistan. [Di Paola] was very impressed by the IDF, which is a major source of information due to our operational experience."

Di Paola "noted that NATO and the IDF were facing similar threats - NATO in Afghanistan and Israel in its war against Hamas and Hizbullah." [64]

Israel has trained Czech helicopter crews in a desert base for deployment to Afghanistan and has supplied and offered its Heron drones to Canada, Germany and other NATO states for the war in that nation.

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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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