Israel and NATO
Colonel (ret.) Uri Naaman, former Coordinator to NATO, Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Colonel Ronnie Westerman, United Kingdom Military Attaché to Israel.
Colonel (ret.) Hani Caspi, former IDF Military Attache to NATO.
The relationship between Israel and NATO began during the Cold War, as both NATO countries and Israel were facing the threat of Soviet armed and Soviet-backed armies across their borders. After the end of the Cold War, NATO its relations with countries of the Mediterranean and reached out to create Mediterranean Dialogue, which included Israel and many Arab countries. NATO armies and the Israeli Defence Force share many commonalities, not least of which are many similar weapon systems, logistics and technologies. Cooperation between Israel and NATO developed incrementally, since it was often dependent on the progress of NATO´s Mediterranean Dialogue, which which includes countries that either resisted the participation of Israel in joint activities, or their military forces did not have similar requirements for cooperation with NATO as the Israeli army did.
Over the past decade, NATO´s cooperation with Israel incrementally moved away from the multinational model to the inclusion of Israel in a number of bilateral forms of cooperation as well. In the future, closer cooperation between NATO and Israel substantial benefits for both sides.