A New Alliance among Israel, India, the U.S., and the UAE Can Reshape Western Asia

Aug. 29 2022

During his visit to the Middle East last month, President Biden attended a summit of what has come to be known as the I2U2: a four-way forum involving Jerusalem, New Delhi, Washington, and Abu Dhabi. Dov Zakheim presents the historical background of the relations of each country with the others, and then looks to the future:

This new quad evokes parallels to the Indo-Pacific quad consisting of the U.S., India, Japan, and Australia. . . . In particular, like the Indo-Pacific quad, I2U2 is not a military alliance, nor does it explicitly target any particular country.

Indeed, the four partners of I2U2 do not have a common adversary. Whereas the U.S. and Israel see Iran as a major threat—an existential threat in Israel’s case—the UAE maintains trade and diplomatic ties with Iran while India is ambivalent about Iran.

India’s relationship with Iran is cordial but complicated. India stopped importing Iranian oil in 2019 due to America’s “maximal sanctions” on Tehran. Iran also resents India’s close ties with Israel, while India is uneasy about the implications of the recently finalized Iran-China strategic partnership, which has a significant military component. India also is concerned about Iranian support for the Houthis [in Yemen], given its close ties to both the Emirates and the Saudis, who have been the targets of Houthi missile attacks.

At the I2U2 summit, the four countries committed to new cooperation in high-tech, initially on clean energy and food security. At least for the foreseeable future, coordinated military partnership, as opposed to bilateral arrangements between any two of the four countries, is off the table. Nevertheless, . . . the new I2U2 quad may see a tighter military partnership with the passage of time—especially if, as many anticipate, Iran will develop a nuclear bomb that will most certainly destabilize the region.

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Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Abraham Accords, India, Israel diplomacy, Israel-India relations, U.S. Foreign policy, United Arab Emirates

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror