Israel’s Ambassador to Britain Talks about Judaism, Israeli Society, and Diplomacy

Aug. 30 2021

After the U.S., the Jewish state’s closest collaborator in matters of security and intelligence-sharing is the United Kingdom—which is also its third-largest trading partner. Thus the position of ambassador to the court of Saint James is an important one. It has since August of last year been held by Tzipi Hotovely, the child of immigrants from Soviet Georgia and a devout Jew, who previously served for eleven years as a Knesset member for the Likud party. In a wide-ranging conversation with Eli Spitzer, Hotovely discusses Anglo-Jewish relations, the future of the ḥaredi community in Israel, the British media, a virtual audience with Queen Elizabeth, and the ways Israeli politics really do end at the water’s edge. (Audio, 45 minutes.)

Read more at Eli Spitzer Podcast

More about: British Jewry, Haredim, Israel diplomacy, United Kingdom

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy