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Research Report

Israel Is Not Isolated

Efraim Inbar
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2013
Pages: 33
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep04734

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-4)
  2. (pp. 5-6)
  3. (pp. 7-8)

    The bad news is clear. Israel’s right to exist is questioned by many and its ancient and present capital, Jerusalem, is unrecognized by all but a few states. Israeli leaders are sometimes compared to leaders of Nazi Germany, and Israeli actions against the Palestinians described as Nazi-like policies. Moreover, Israel is accused of engaging in South African apartheid policies toward the Palestinians and its Arab minority. Opponents and critics portray the Jewish state as the world’s worst violator of human rights, UN resolutions, and international law.¹

    As a result of these global attitudes, many Israelis feel their country to be...

  4. (pp. 8-10)

    For decades the Arab world has refused to accept the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel and tried to eradicate it by use of force. Parallel attempts were made to deny legitimacy to Israel and isolate it in the international community.⁷ The isolation/de-legitimization component of the anti-Israel strategy has been adopted explicitly by the Arab states since the 1964 Arab Summit, which, as its leaders put it, “called for the regulation of relations vis-à-vis foreign countries in accordance with their position regarding the Palestine question and other Arab causes.”⁸ Israel was viewed as a Western-established bastion...

  5. (pp. 10-12)

    Since 1991, Israel’s international status has greatly improved as many states decided to upgrade or to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, partly due to the emergence of the US as a hegemonic global power. With Jerusalem’s foremost ally the winner of the Cold War, many states were eager to potentially profit from its good links with Washington. Beyond this, the USSR disappeared, as did the Soviet bloc, with its wide-ranging military, economic, and cultural support for the Arab states and the venomous anti-Semitism they both espoused.

    In addition, Israel’s diplomatic status benefitted from the disappearance of several inhibiting...

  6. (pp. 13-18)

    Israel has clearly benefited from the international systemic changes. Measuring the number of states that have diplomatic relations with Israel indicates an improvement in the country’s international status. For example, after the end of the Cold War all former states of the Soviet bloc and most Afro-Asian states have opted for diplomatic relations, and have maintained them ever since.

    Significantly, major international players such as Russia, India, and China, as well as pivotal regional states, such as Turkey and Nigeria, also capitalized on the changes in the oil market and the better Middle Eastern atmosphere to establish full diplomatic relations...

  7. (pp. 18-20)

    Most international forums remain rabidly anti-Israeli and Israel continues to be singled out as the culprit for a variety of “sins.” For example, among the resolutions adopted by UN General Assembly 67th session (2012) that criticize states, 21 focus on Israel, while only four resolutions issue criticism of other states.26 But since no real change has taken place in the anti-Israeli atmosphere in the past decades, it is difficult to conclude that the Jewish state’s position has worsened in such international organizations.

    Nevertheless, Israeli diplomats feel that the UN has become less hostile and is therefore an arena where Israel...

  8. (pp. 20-22)

    Nevertheless, the Palestinians and their political allies have been successful in maintaining a de-legitimization campaign against Israel, particularly since the UN-sponsored World Conference against Racism that took place in September 2001 in Durban South Africa. The Durban conference crystallized the “Red-Green” alliance between radical leftist and Islamist groups that share tremendous hostility toward Israel. This alliance is the spearhead of de-legitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation. This approach, dubbed the Durban strategy, made use of a myriad of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which generally use the rhetoric of human rights, humanitarian relief, and international law. The disproportionate emphasis...

  9. (pp. 22-24)

    Obviously Israel is not a normal country in terms of its international relations. Moreover, Jews are historically conditioned to sense isolation and de-legitimization: Already in the Bible, the prophet Bilam called the Jewish nation “a people that dwells alone.” The Jewish prism on international relations could amplify the sense of isolation, although Israelis seem to have developed certain immunity to UN hostility and negative media coverage.

    Although the Arab-Israeli conflict has gradually become less central to regional and global dynamics it still carries weight that interferes with Israel’s quest for equality and recognition in the world community. This generates a...

  10. (pp. 24-25)

    The Zionist revolution and the expectations of the emergence of a “New Jew” and a “normal” nation generated the belief that Jews could be treated like anybody else. Yet Israel, the Jewish state, is on many occasions still singled out for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with what the Jews are doing.

    However, the obsessive anti- Israel behavior of international organizations and opinion makers is not the only element in Israel’s interactions with the world. A closer look at Israel’s interaction with countries near and far, as well as with international institutions, belies the claim that...

  11. (pp. 26-30)
  12. (pp. 31-32)