Israel Bolsters Global Ties, Counters Isolation Fears

Key takeaways:

– Despite concerns, Israel is strengthening international alliances, particularly in East Asia and Europe.
– Japan and South Korea have in recent years enhanced their relations with Israel, citing shared values and investments in technology.
– These partnerships foster exchanges of ideas and present a united front against authoritarian aggression.
– The idea of linking South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe via a railway and ports system is gaining traction.
– The planned India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) aims to enhance trade, generate jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Strengthening Global Alliances

In spite of widespread negative headlines concerning the Israel-Hamas war and accusations of antisemitism, Israel is far from isolated. In contrast, countries in East Asia and Europe are actively working to expand and deepen partnerships with this world leader in sectors such as agriculture, medicine, and high technology.

Deepening Relations with Japan and South Korea

Over the past ten years, both Japan and South Korea have significantly bolstered their relationships with Israel. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, Israel was the first to send medical aid. More recently, in the aftermath of the Noto earthquake, Israel again extended its support to Japan.

Relations with South Korea have similarly flourished. In 2021, the two countries signed a Free Trade Agreement and further strengthened ties with a cybersecurity accord in 2023.

Shared Democratic Values and Investments in Technology

A key factor behind these nations’ dynamics is shared democratic values and common interests in technology and human capital. This shared perspective extends to the support both Tokyo and Seoul issued in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack against Israel.

Japan and South Korea’s commitment to a U.S.-led, pro-democracy world order also finds a clear partner in Israel. Their trepidations regarding emerging alliances among China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea mirror Israel’s own anxieties.

**Emerging Relationships with Western Countries**

In addition to East Asia, Israel is also set on strengthening ties with Western countries. Top parliament officials from Lithuania, Canada, Czech Republic, and Spain have expressed their solidarity with Israel and stressed the need for closer cooperation against growing threats to global democracy.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)

A promising venture that indicates Israel’s improved global ties is the proposed IMEC. This ambitious project’s objective is to link India to Europe via a rail and ports system that runs through UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.

Signed in September, the Memorandum of Understanding for the IMEC anticipates it will generate jobs, increase trade access, and have significant environmental benefits. The route circumvents potential issues in the Bab el-Mandeb strait and strengthens Israel’s integration into the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Eurasia more broadly.

Undeterred by Challenges

Despite facing challenges such as the October 7th attack, Israel continues to align with the global community. The relationships it is developing in East Asia and across Europe ensure that it remains far from isolated during this critical period.

In conclusion, the growth of Israel’s international relations evidences its importance on the global stage. This ongoing engagement and cooperation promises to bring shared benefits to all parties involved, and presents a robust response to those who suggest Israel’s isolation.

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