A Quarter-Century of Good Relations between Vietnam and Israel Have Benefitted Both Countries

Aug. 15 2018

In 1993—with the cold war finally over—Jerusalem and Hanoi first established diplomatic relations. Alon Levkowitz takes stock of what the ensuing economic and security ties have wrought:

Vietnam is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organization of ten states and almost 650 million people . . . that has developed into an important economic player in Southeast Asia over the years. Diplomatic and economic relations with Vietnam allow Israel to improve trade not just with other ASEAN members with which it has diplomatic relations, but also with states with which it does not. Vietnam has become a channel through which Israel can trade with the Muslim world in the region without facing political and ideological barriers. Improving trade with Vietnam will also help Israel gain access to other states beyond Southeast Asia with which Hanoi has diplomatic relations. . . .

Current trade between Israel and Vietnam is around $1.1 billion, with the potential to reach $1.5 billion. Vietnamese officials estimate that in the coming years, trade between Israel and Vietnam could double to $3 billion. Trade between Israel and Vietnam is not limited to the civilian sector. The two states cooperate in the defense sector as well. The Israeli defense advantage offers valuable solutions to the security challenges Vietnam faces.

This is one of the reasons why Israel and Vietnam are negotiating a free-trade agreement. . . . Last year, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited Vietnam with a large delegation of Israeli businessmen, a strong indicator of the importance Israel places on relations with Vietnam. Hanoi recently sent a delegation to Israel to learn how Israel’s “start-up nation” ethos could be implemented back home. Israeli-Vietnamese relations have huge economic and diplomatic potential that should be exploited, including in the more complicated and delicate political-diplomatic arena.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israeli economy, Reuven Rivlin, Southeast Asia, 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