Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world
Contemporary international relations are dynamic and reflect the deep processes taking place in the historical development of countries in different regions. “Big” and “small” players are looking for their “place under the sun”, seeking to take more advantageous positions in the emerging system of international relations.
A rather complicated situation develops in the Middle East. This is due to certain reasons related to historical, cultural, social and economic processes. Characteristic features of the political situation in the Middle East are instability, a multi-level nature and a high degree of unpredictability of events. Even in countries where the political situation is relatively stable, there are socio-economic and ethnic contradictions that lead to armed confrontation.
Israel developed a strategy called ‘Periphery Doctrine’
Modern Israel is quite a young state, which has devoted its entire history to the issues of foreign policy and security issues. Scientists from different countries carefully studied the whole complex of problems related to the place of Israel in the system of international relations.
According to the statistics, Israel is one of the dinamically strengthening countries in the world.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Israel expanded 0.70 percent in the second quarter of 2017, over the previous quarter.
The GDP Growth Rate in Israel averaged 0.95 percent from 1980 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 4.30 percent in the second quarter of 1984 and a record low of -1.10 percent in the first quarter of 1986.
According to some authors, the state’s foreign policy is oriented toward the West. Although, in reality, the political situation is a bit tough. Based on the location, Israel is trying to establish relations with neighboring countries, while applying non-standard approaches and principles for establishing links with them.
Today, the state of Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 160 countries of the world, and has about a hundred diplomatic missions in other countries.
Let us turn to the history of Israel and to the development of Israel’s foreign policy in the international arena.
In May 1948, a new independent state was proclaimed—a sovereign state of Israel. And the next day, Arab forces invaded its territory with one single goal—to destroy the young Jewish state that had been formed in the Middle East. But the Israeli state won this war, which was called the War of Independence.
With the help of the United Nations, the parties reached a truce. A year after the proclamation of its independence, Israel entered the United Nations.
After the War of Independence, the main important task in Israel’s foreign policy was the establishment of relations with other foreign states. But, there were certain difficulties—many Arab countries did not recognize the formation and existence of Israel. It should be added that some Arab countries do not recognize the Jewish state until now, although more than 60 years have passed since the proclamation of its independence.
Given the fact that the Arab countries were hostile to relations with Israel, Israel in turn developed a strategy called ‘Periphery Doctrine’.
And the point is that Israel’s policy was aimed at establishing good diplomatic relations, not completely with the whole state, but with a religious-ethnic minority in these states.
In December 1949, the first prime minister of the Israeli government, David Ben-Gurion, announced in the Israeli parliament that all government agencies of the state are being transferred to the capital—Jerusalem. Jerusalem was unofficially declared the capital of the state.
When the new Jewish state was proclaimed in 1948, immediately before there were three pressing problems: the problem of state borders, the problem of the return of refugees, and the problem of the main city, Jerusalem.
Ben Gurion said that none of these problems will be solved only by persuasion of the enemy. The solution to these problems will be helped only by the recognition that political changes in the Middle East are irreversible; in particular, this concerns the emergence of a new state—Israel.
Between 1948 and 1956, Israel’s foreign policy was aimed at preventing Germany from being admitted into the international community after the Second World War, and for Germany to pay huge compensations to Israel for the victims of fascism. In addition, Israel sent a note of protest to all the participant states—Great Britain, the USA, the USSR, France.
The USSR ignored the note of protest, but other states put forward a proposal that Israel and Germany should sit down at the negotiating table. The leadership of Germany agreed to pay a sum of $ 1 billion to Israel. This became Israel’s diplomatic victory in the international arena. At the same time, Israel claimed that the amount required was symbolic and minimal in comparison with the damage inflicted by Germany on the Jewish people. In September 1952, a formal agreement was signed between the two countries to pay the entire amount of reparations to Israel, for 12 years.
Facts about Israel
- Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship—and the highest rate among women and among people over 55—in the world.
- Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.
- With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
- Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the US, Russia and China), including an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16’s.
- 24% of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees—ranking third in the industrialized world.
Despite the fact that the relations between the USSR and Israel were at the brink, a little later, relations with the socialist bloc improved.
In 1955, diplomatic relations deteriorated between the Soviet Union and Israel, this time due to the fact that the Soviet Union was engaged in supplying weapons to Arab countries, in particular to Egypt.
Israel’s foreign policy from 1956 to 1967 is aimed at winning and strengthening its positions in the international political arena. During this period, the second war in the history of an independent young Jewish state began.
As a result of this war, relations between Israel and the USA sharply deteriorated. But later, the relationship was again established, as America began to supply weapons to Israel. During these years, Israel’s policy on the development of Israeli-French relations began very intensively. In 1957, Israel concluded a treaty with France, according to which the latest modern weapons were delivered to Israel: aircraft, missiles.
As for relations with the Arab countries, the policy of Israel in this respect remained rigid. In particular, the Arab countries posed, to the United Nations, the question of the fate of refugees. Israel replied that refugees must stay in the host countries, and there can be no question of the return of Arab refugees to the territory of Israel.
In the 1950’s in Europe, there were speeches of a sharp anti-Semitic orientation, to which Israel immediately voiced protest notes to the leaders of these countries. In response to the diplomatic statements of Israeli diplomats, the European leadership fully supported Israel, and expressed its readiness to take measures. In the international commission on human rights, at the same time, a number of documents and resolutions were adopted that condemn the actions of anti-Semites.
At various times, Israel’s foreign policy depended on the situation in the world, and on the leadership of the state. Today, Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 156 countries of the world.
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