Sukkot is a time of the Jewish year that particularly highlights the importance of community. At such a time, reading or hearing media reports alleging Israel’s increasing isolation in the international community can be particularly disheartening. But recent comments by Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, might mitigate the gloom.
In a Washington Post op-ed published on the first day of Sukkot, Oren argues that pundits are greatly overstating the degree and subsequent implications of Israel’s supposedly lonely position in the global game. He writes:
Israel, in fact, is significantly less isolated than at many times in its history. Before the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel faced a belligerent Egypt and Jordan and a hostile Soviet bloc, Greece, India and China — all without strategic ties with the United States. Today, Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan; excellent relations with the nations of Eastern Europe as well as Greece, India and China; and an unbreakable alliance with America. Many democracies, including Canada, Italy and the Czech Republic, stand staunchly with us. Israel has more legations abroad than ever before and recently joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which comprises the most globally integrated countries. Indeed, Egypt and Germany mediated the upcoming release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for five years.
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