If Saudi Arabia Can Make Peace with Israel, Why Not Pakistan?

July 14 2022

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in May, the Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, met with a group of expatriate Pakistanis. After knowledge of the meeting became public, there was a storm of outrage in Pakistan, and a journalist was fired by the government-sponsored broadcasting company for visiting the Jewish state. There is little reason, however, that Islamabad and Jerusalem should not have diplomatic relations. Ameena Tanvir writes:

As countries in the Gulf have started normalizing their relationships with Israel, Pakistan has the chance to revisit its own policy. Recognition from countries like Bahrain, the UAE, and Morocco—and Saudi Arabia’s expansion of secretive talks with Israel—could provide more impetus for Islamabad to present its case of Israeli recognition to a skeptical domestic audience.

In the long-term, if Pakistan becomes more isolated in its position on Israel, [this isolation] could also alter its historically warm ties with Gulf states . . . like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. As important economic partners, and home for many in Pakistan’s diaspora and migrant-worker population, these countries have more leverage to push Pakistan towards recognition.

Through extending recognition, Pakistan can also benefit from Israel’s state-of-the-art military hardware, such as attack helicopters, which Pakistan needs for its counterterrorism operations in Baluchistan and its northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan. Because of the U.S.’s reluctance to sell military hardware to Pakistan and the inferior quality of Chinese defense equipment, Islamabad has been looking for new defense partners to maintain rough conventional parity with India. Israel, as a growing defense exporter, could fulfill some of Pakistan’s defense requirements.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at South Asian Voices

More about: Abraham Accords, Pakistan

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism