Israel a member of NATO – another trial balloon

Yaakov Katz and Tovah Lazaroff, JPOST

In an effort to establish more effective deterrence in the face of Iran’s race to obtain nuclear weapons, government ministries are, for the first time, working on drafting a position paper that will include guidelines and a strategy for turning Israel into a full-fledged member of NATO, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The paper is being drafted by an interministerial committee made up of representatives from the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry and headed by the National Security Council. The committee plans to complete the paper by the end of February and present it to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for approval.

Meanwhile Monday, in an exclusive interview, former Spanish prime minister Jos Mar a Aznar told the Post that “Israel needs to join NATO as soon as possible.”

According to Aznar, the Iranian threat serves as “an excellent occasion to enforce [Israeli] deterrence by making Israel a member of NATO.”

The former Spanish leader and current president of the FAES Spanish think tank said that if Israel became a member of NATO, “the perception in Iran would change, knowing that it’s not only Israel [they are dealing with], but all of NATO.”

Aznar said that NATO needed to change its focus to counter the growing threat of global terrorism.

“The threat today is terror and we need to restructure NATO to deal with this threat,” he said.

Aznar said he believed diplomatic efforts and sanctions – at the current level like those passed
last month – would not succeed in getting Iran to suspend its nuclear ambitions.

Later, speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Aznar said: “We must do everything we can to prevent a nuclear Iran, but we must also prepare to seek a possibility to make a nuclear Iran act appropriately.”

He hinted that he would understand if Israel decided to take unilateral military action to stop Iran, claiming that “Israel has what to be concerned about.”

Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina, who is running for president of the United States on the Democratic ticket, told conference members via satellite that one day Israel could be a member of NATO.

In the interim, he said, “We ought to find a way to upgrade Israel’s cooperation with NATO.” He added that the United States should lead the charge to strengthen that relationship.

General Lord Charles Guthrie of Craigiebank, former chief of the UK Defense Staff, said he favored Israel joining NATO even though he doubted that it could happen any time soon.

“Israel hasn’t been invited to join NATO, and realistically it is unlikely that she will be invited until the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is resolved. But it would be a huge advantage if Israel could join,” Guthrie said.

As a democratic country, Israel was a natural ally for NATO, with whom it shared many similar strategic concerns, he commented.

Israel would benefit diplomatically, strategically and technically by joining NATO, Guthrie said, adding that it was not true that NATO membership would militarily restrict Israel or prevent it from taking unilateral military action. The United Kingdom went to war in the Falklands even though it is a NATO member.

The problem lies more with the military contributions that Israel would have to make to NATO actions elsewhere in the world, such as in Afghanistan and Somalia. “Would Israel want to send troops to other countries and perhaps give up lives for those missions?” he asked.

But the editor and publisher of German weekly paper Die Zeit, Josef Joffe, said he believed joining NATO would restrict Israel militarily. He said that NATO would likely make such restrictions a requirement for membership.

With that in mind, why would Israel want to join NATO, he asked. From a technical perspective, “Israel would make a wonderful partner for NATO. It would beat anything the Europeans could field,” said Joffe.

He added that Israel had more tanks than Germany or France, but NATO was unlikely to admit Israel because it didn’t want to be bound in a strategic alliance with a country that had so many ongoing military conflicts.

“From a rational perspective, would NATO leaders want to fight Israel’s wars?” he asked. “What NATO country wants to put its soldiers in Israel?”

January 23, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. The NATO plan is to open the door for the EU fox to enter the Israeli chicken coop; such a breach in Israel’s defense, having let their guard down (though the leaders know better and are bought and paid for Quislings), will open the floodgates of “hell” that will brutally betray Jerusalem with occupation and permit “Roman” peacekeepers (German-Jesuit wolves in sheep’s clothing) to pollute the Holy Land.

    Woe to Ariel! (Jerusalem to suffer EU occupation)

  2. Aznar said that NATO needed to change its focus to counter the growing threat of global terrorism.

    “The threat today is terror and we need to restructure NATO to deal with this threat,” he said.

    That’s right Mr. Aznar. You really do need to “restructure NATO” as you said.You first need to stop supporting al Qaeda and their KLA operatives in the Balkans theater of Kosovo and Bosnia and Macedonia, otherwise the terrorist attacks of Madrid 03/11/04 and London 07/07/05 will be repeated.

    Maybe you should have told the JPost that KLA al Qaeda operatives working out of Bosnia and Kosovo supplied the explosives for the Madrid and London attacks and if it wasn’t for NATO’s protection of these Islamist terrorist bases right in the heart of Europe, the innocents in Madrid and London would not have been killed in the first place.
    Teshuvah is correct. NATO really is a Nazi AlQaeda Terrorist Organization

    Ignore at Peril: the Growing Cauldron of Kosovo and Bosnia
    Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy. Alexandria: Nov/Dec 2005.Vol.33, Iss. 11/12; pg. 7, 3 pgs

    New Evidence Highlights Albanian Link to Explosives Used in London, Madrid

    Deeply-placed sources within the Islamist community in Kosovo have identified the source and type of the explosives used in the jihadist terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005, and the Madrid commuter railway bombings of March 11, 2004.

    The man at the center of the provision of the explosives in both instances was an Albanian, operating mostly out of Kosovo (with links into Bosnia), who is a second-ranking leader in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA/UCK: Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosove), Niam Behzloulzi (phonetic spelling), also known as “Houlzi”. He carries ID under the name of Niam Behzloulzi.

    The principal explosive used in the London and Madrid bombs was CK123 plastic explosive which is similar to, but slightly more powerful than, Semtex.

    “Houlzi” provided the Madrid explosives in December 2003. It is known that the CK123 provided for the London attacks, and probably the Madrid attacks, was supplied in Kosovo and then carried to Western Sahara, before being routed to the target cities. The London explosives were routed via Madrid. Significantly, CK123 cannot be detected by most – perhaps all – airport explosives detection equipment operating at that time. It is not at this time known whether the Saharan link was via Algeria or Morocco, but both Moroccan and Algerian Islamists have been extremely active in Bosnia and Kosovo.

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