Israel’s Expanding Relationship with Vietnam

In March, following a few years of improving ties, the Israeli president Reuven Rivlin made an official visit to Vietnam. Alvite Ningthoujam writes:

Israel’s Vietnam policy resembles the overtures it made during the 1950s and early 1960s toward the sub-Saharan countries, with which it shared technical expertise in agriculture and healthcare. . . . A similar [approach] is now being followed with Vietnam. Israeli-Vietnamese relations are expanding in the fields of agriculture, commerce, science, and technology, and—most importantly—in the defense sphere.

Israel and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in July 1993, and their economic relationship is relatively healthy. Bilateral trade volume touched $1.3 billion last year, and the countries aspire to take it to an annual $2 billion. . . . Israel and Vietnam are [also] engaged in joint ventures in the production of weapons systems suitable to the needs of the Vietnamese armed forces. Israel’s entry into this defense market is timely, as Hanoi is undergoing modernization programs for all three military services. . . . These steps have likely been taken by the Vietnamese government in response to the Chinese military build-up in the South China Sea. . . .

[During his visit], Rivlin pushed not only for the existing cooperation to continue but also for Vietnam’s political support, especially in multilateral forums like the UN. If good relations are to last, this element—in addition to economic and military cooperation—will be very necessary.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Reuven Rivlin, Vietnam

Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy