Israel is not a member of NATO and does not have a formal defense treaty with the United States. But the United States has for decades classified Israel on the sanctions list A major non-NATO ally It signed multiple defense cooperation agreements with it, and provided it with advanced weapons and military aid worth billions of dollars.
As Ukraine awaits a firm timeline for NATO membership, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview over the weekend: He thought the United States would follow him The “Israeli model” with his country in the meantime.
What is the “Israeli model”?
Since the 1960s, one American president after another has described the US-Israel relationship in terms of strong support and deep cooperation, much like the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States. This led to close coordination between the US and Israeli spy agencies and helped Israel develop one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world.
Although U.S. military aid usually requires the purchase of American-made weapons, Israel was allowed to use some of that money to purchase Israeli-made weapons, which contributed to its defense industry growing into a powerhouse. (This special allowance is now being phased out.)
The United States has provided Israel with huge sums of money over the years. In 2016, for example, Congress passed a 10-year security assistance agreement pledging $38 billion through 2028. The Biden administration has sent more than $41 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the start of the war, far exceeding that amount.
How will it be applied to Ukraine?
Washington’s military aid to Ukraine has so far been allocated on an ad hoc basis. Under an Israeli-style arrangement, Congress could pass a long-term military aid agreement that would help the Ukrainians build up their military over a period of years.
It could also boost the growth of Ukraine’s defense industry by allowing arms purchases from Ukrainian manufacturers, said Grant Rumley, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a research group.
He added that such a relationship would send a strong message to Russia without involving the United States in a formal treaty. It is crucial that this provision avoids a provision such as Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which states that an attack against one member state is an attack against all of them.
Will it act as a deterrent to Russia?
Some critics argue that this will not happen, and that the only effective deterrent is Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
“If the transatlantic community hands over Kiev to the Israeli model, Ukraine will be left indefinitely in the gray area of insecurity that has repeatedly catalysed Putin’s violent hegemonic ambitions,” wrote Ian Brzezinski, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, in an article. “. article newly.
Western leaders, including President Biden, in an effort to avoid an all-out conflict with Russia, have said that Kiev’s membership in NATO should wait until the end of the fighting.
How do US relations differ with Israel and Ukraine?
Although the US relationship with Israel benefits in part from decades of strong bipartisan support in Congress, it is unclear how long US lawmakers will approve funding for the war effort in Ukraine.
Although Democrats are largely united behind continued military aid to Ukraine, the Republican presidential candidates were divided on the issue in last week’s debate. In Congress, some Republicans have expressed anger over the funds for Ukraine, and it is unclear how the spotlight on an election year, coupled with a conflict that shows few signs of ending soon, can change expectations of continued support.
Israel and Ukraine also face very different threats with very different militaries.
Israel has a strong army, advanced weapons and a nuclear arsenal. Ukraine, which gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s, rebuilt its army from Soviet stockpiles as it fought an invasion.
Israel’s enemies – who range from militant Palestinians to a more sophisticated Iran – do not include a nuclear-armed global superpower.
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