Israel’s Improving Ties with Japan

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit to Israel was about more than improving economic ties between the two countries. Omer Dostri explains:

Since Abe came to power, Japan has undergone a process of changing its foreign policy, especially regarding its relationship with Israel. . . . Japan is turning toward more assertive and active policies when it comes to foreign relations, and it is interested in taking on a central role in the local and global arenas. . . .

These changes were made as tensions with China grew in the background, especially with regard to the ongoing conflict over the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Added to that tension is the nuclear threat against Japan from North Korea. These threats draw Japan closer to Israel on a strategic level, because, like Japan, Israel is threatened by a country racing to achieve nuclear military capability and is challenged by predatory neighboring countries, even if they are not in the same geographic area.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: China, Iran, Israel and Asia, Israel diplomacy, Japan

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7