Israel, it is often said, risks becoming ever-more isolated due to the absence of a Palestinian state. Yet, as eager as many countries are to condemn the Jewish state or exclude it from international institutions, these same countries have frequently joined it in military exercises. For instance, notes Shoshana Bryen, Israel is one of over twenty countries currently participating in exercises in the Pacific Rim, alongside not only France and Germany but also such Muslim countries as Malaysia and Indonesia. Bryen writes:
Israel’s expansive sharing of water, solar, and agricultural technology is legendary, as is Israel’s emergency rapid-response team. But military cooperation underpins freedom of navigation in the air and on the seas—the source of international prosperity through trade—and secures people in their borders. Security makes everything else possible, and Israel is in the center of the universe of security cooperation.
Late last year, Israel hosted the largest aerial training exercise in its history—Blue Flag in the Negev desert. There were 70 aircraft from around the world, hundreds of pilots, and air-support team members. Participants included the United States, France, Italy, Greece, Poland, Germany, and India. It was the first time French, German, and Indian contingents trained in Israel. . . . In the 2016 Red Flag exercise in the United States, Israel’s partners were the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. . . .
In June, Israeli paratroopers took part in their first combined European ground exercise not held in Israel when they trained with Swift Response in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Thousands of soldiers from countries including Great Britain, the U.S., Spain, Italy, Poland, and Portugal participated in airborne exercises, personnel and equipment drops, air-assault operations, force buildups, and civilian-evacuation operations. . . .
Israel is an integral part of the world’s security system across the continents, from Europe to Asia to North America. In the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, it has partnered with countries alphabetized from Australia to Vietnam in exercises on land, at sea, and in the air. Not a single country pulled out of a single exercise because of the presence of the Israel Defense Forces.