Israel Should Join a Strategic Alliance in the Mediterranean

March 27 2018

In recent years, the governments of Greece and Cyprus have not only grown closer with each other but have also jointly cultivated better relations with Israel, Italy, Egypt, and Jordan. Eran Lerman sees the potential for the formation of a six-way alliance among these countries, or at least several interlocking three-member alliances, based on strategic and economic cooperation, including the joint exploitation of national-gas reserves. He writes:

The circumstances under which this format of strategic cooperation is developing in the eastern Mediterranean are directly related to a combination of three factors that have re-shaped the regional balance of power. . . . Of critical importance was the rise to power in 2002 of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the gradual but significant changes that have occurred in Turkey’s [ideological] and strategic orientation. Although Turkey has always been perceived as an enemy in Athens and Nicosia, the threat is now being felt even more in view of the justified concern that Turkey is seeking regional hegemony under the banner of an ideology with a distinctly Islamist character. Erdogan’s policies . . . are turning out to be a major challenge to the stability of the regimes in Egypt and Jordan, as well as to the essential interests of Israel, whether these have to do with Gaza or with Jerusalem. He is also participating in the struggle for power in Syria. . . .

The upheaval being experienced in the Arab world . . . is also having an important and [durable] effect. . . . Added to this is the effect of the Iranian and Russian presence in Syria, along the shores of the Mediterranean, and of their ambitions for further consolidation there. All this is part of an evolving reality in which the U.S. is reducing its strategic presence in the region and in which China, Russia, and to no less an extent Iran are each seeking in their own way to benefit from the situation and to solidify their positions. Israel, for its own reasons, is expanding its diplomatic efforts at the highest levels. . . .

The goal [of the alliance] should not be defined in terms of “containment” (with respect to the regime in Ankara) but rather as the opening up of possibilities. Thus, Turkey would be invited to join, although it is reasonable to assume that it will choose to do so only after it has adopted a different political and ideological trajectory. . . .

Israel has a growing interest in stressing that it is part of the Mediterranean community, in nurturing the reciprocal relations among the [area’s other] nations, and in encouraging a joint Mediterranean identity as opposed to Arabism and radical Islam. The new structure can, to a certain extent, also assist in countering Russia’s growing influence. . . .

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies

More about: Egypt, Greece, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Jordan, Mediterranean Sea

 

Hamas’s Tactics of Attrition and Extortion Are Paying Off

Feb. 21 2020

In January, the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran after promising the Egyptian government that he would not. Cairo responded by cutting exports of cooking gas and tires to the Gaza Strip. Facing a possible domestic crisis, the terrorist group recently resumed sending balloon-borne explosives into Israel, and allowed other jihadists to fire rockets. The move succeeded, despite retaliatory strikes by the IDF, writes Elior Levy:

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Read more at Ynet

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Israeli Security