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Israel's Foreign Policy

By chichitobi May 04, 2013 1225 Words
Name: odenigbo chinenye Laura,
Programme: international relations,
Mat. No.: 10ah010630,
Course title: foreign policy analysis
Course code: irl 313
Assignment topic; Israel’s foreign policy analysis

Israel is a country in south-western Asia, formed in 1948 as a Jewish state in the historic region of Palestine, and located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is bounded on the north by Lebanon, on the northeast by Syria, on the east by Jordan, and on the southwest by Egypt. Its southernmost tip extends to the Gulf of Aqaba, an arm of the Red Sea. Israel’s isolated position as a Jewish state surrounded by Arab and predominantly Islamic countries has influenced nearly every aspect of its foreign relations, demography, and economic policy throughout its history. (Google earth) As popularly known Israel is a country on a hill surrounded by enemy Islamic countries therefore Israel’s foreign policy is going to be an interesting one to discuss in this term paper. In the course of this term paper I will be discussing Israel’s foreign policy with its neighbouring countries as well as foreign countries. Israel is known to have the strongest national security in the world because they know that they are surrounded by enemy countries and “if they dare sleep with both their eyes closed their enemies (especially Iran) will pounce on the tiniest opportunity and level Israel within the twinkle of an eye.” The foreign relation of Israel refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on May 11, 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries. Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively. The close friendship with the United States has been the genesis of Israeli foreign policy for decades, from the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. Iran was the second Muslim majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey. In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care. During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU, largely pro-Palestinian, would further isolate Israel in global affairs. In the beginning of a series of diplomatic gaps with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries. During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel's high-tech economy.

The first international organization which the Israeli government joined was the International Wheat Council, established as part of Point Four Program in May 11, 1949. The state of Israel is a member of the United Nations also Israel is a member of many agencies within the UN, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Israel also participates in other international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Also Israel is a member of Other notable organizations for example Israel is an active member of the Education For All movement, the European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES), the World Heritage Committee (WHC), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). Relations are carried out through the Israeli National Commission for UNESCO and many others to mention a few.

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Jewish state experienced diplomatic isolation and Arab League boycotts. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 156 out of the other 192 member states of the United Nations as well as with non-member (Vatican City) and the European Union. Some states recognize Israel as a state, but have no diplomatic relations. Others do not recognize Israel as a state. Several countries once had diplomatic relations with Israel, but have since broken or suspended them (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in Latin America; Mauritania in the Arab League; Chad, Guinea, Mali and Niger in non-Arab Africa; and Iran until the Islamic revolution). In addition, a number of countries (all members of the Arab League) that at one time had formal economic ties (primarily trade offices) with Israel that fell short of full diplomatic relations, have severed such ties (Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia). However Israel currently has no diplomatic relations with 36 UN member states, 19 of which are members of the 22 member Arab League and 11 of the remaining states are other Muslim majority countries. Some of these countries accept Israeli passports and acknowledge other indications of Israeli sovereignty. Israel has diplomatic relations with the following African countries; GHANA; Diplomatic relations with Ghana were established immediately following Ghanaian independence in 1957.Agreement on technical cooperation was concluded on May 25, 1962. On May 24, 1968, a trade agreement was concluded. A cultural cooperation agreement was concluded on March 1, 1973.Relations were broken at the initiative of the government of Ghana on October 28, 1973. Improvement in relations followed Israeli attempts to prevent Ghanaian support for the Palestinian Authority, which led to a state visit to Ghana by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avignor Liberman in September 2009. During that visit, a bilateral agreement for agricultural cooperation was signed.

KENYA; Diplomatic relations were established in December 1963. Israel has an embassy in Nairobi and Kenya has an embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2003, Kenya requested Israel's help in developing a national solar energy program. In 2006, Israel sent an 80-person search-and-rescue team to Kenya to save people trapped in rubble when a multi-storey building collapsed. Following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election Israel donated medicine to the MOI Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. NIGERIA; Israel and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1960. In 1973, Nigeria broke off contacts with Israel, but in May 1992, bilateral relations were restored. Since April 1993, Israel has maintained an embassy in Abuja, and Nigeria has maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv. Many Nigerians go on religious pilgrimage to Israel. SOUTH AFRICA; The Union of South Africa was one of only four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel. South Africa was one of the first states to recognize Israel; diplomatic relations between Israel and South Africa were established in 1948. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, Israel became a harsh critic of apartheid, leading to a break in its relations with Pretoria. After 1967, Israel and South Africa became strategic partners again, and this lasted until 1987 when Israel joined the West in opposing apartheid. Since the end of apartheid, South Africa's new government has been cold towards Israel and critical of Israel's policies towards Palestinians, but ignored calls from pro-Palestinian civil South African groups to sever relations between the two countries.

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