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Israel Looks Beyond the Region For Strategic Partners

Confronted by a gloomy strategic environment, Israel has found new foreign policy partners in Azerbaijan, Greece and India.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras shake hands during a Government-To-Government (G2G) meeting in Jerusalem October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX143OX

In August 2012, The Jerusalem Post announced the rebirth of Israel’s so-called periphery doctrine as a result of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s presumed achievements in the diplomatic arena. This concept of the “periphery” had been expounded by David Ben-Gurion in the 1950s and posited that due to the hostility of its Arab neighbors, Israel needed to form strategic alliances with the non-Arab states in the region. As a consequence, Israel built ties with Ethiopia, Iran and Turkey.

The periphery doctrine prevailed until the 1979 Iranian Revolution and then disappeared from Israel’s strategic lexicon. Its recent resurrection is driven by the rise of a new set of foreign policy partners, in particular, Azerbaijan, Greece and India. In these three cases, bilateral relations have improved not only in the economic realm, but also on the strategic and military levels.

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