Israel is not a NATO member and has no formal defense treaty with the United States. But the US has recruited Israel for decades “Major Non-NATO Ally” It signed several defense cooperation agreements with it, and provided sophisticated weapons and billions of dollars in military aid.
Ukraine is awaiting a firm timetable for NATO membership, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview over the weekend. He hoped America would follow suit Meanwhile with his country “Israel Model”.
What is the ‘Israel Model’?
Since the 1960s, one US president after another has described US-Israel relations in terms of ironclad support and deep cooperation, similar to the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States. This led to close coordination between American and Israeli intelligence agencies and helped Israel build one of the most technologically advanced armies in the world.
Although U.S. military aid normally requires the purchase of U.S.-made weapons, Israel is allowed to use a portion of that money to purchase Israeli-made weapons. (That special allowance is being phased out.)
Over the years, the US has given Israel huge sums of money. For example, in 2016, Congress passed a 10-year defense assistance agreement that committed $38 billion through 2028. The Biden administration has sent more than $41 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the war began.
How does this apply to Ukraine?
So far, Washington’s military aid to Ukraine has been allocated on an ad hoc basis. Under the Israel-style arrangement, Congress could pass a long-term military assistance deal that would help the Ukrainians build up their military over a few years.
Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said it would encourage the development of Ukraine’s defense sector by allowing it to buy weapons from Ukrainian manufacturers.
Such a relationship, he said, would send a strong message to Russia that the U.S. should not be locked into a formal agreement. Critically, this would avoid a provision such as NATO’s Article 5, which declares that an attack against one member state is an attack against them all.
Will it be a deterrent for Russia?
Some critics argue that it cannot, and that NATO membership is the only effective deterrent for Ukraine.
“If the previous Atlantic community surrenders to the Israeli model, Ukraine will be left indefinitely in the gray zone of insecurity that has repeatedly encouraged Putin’s hegemonic ambitions to violent action,” wrote Ian Brzezinski, a senior member of the Atlantic Council. An article Recently.
Western leaders, including President Biden, have said that in an effort to avoid an all-out confrontation with Russia, Kyiv should wait until NATO membership is over.
How do US relations with Israel and Ukraine differ?
While the U.S. relationship with Israel benefits in part from decades of strong bipartisan support in Congress, it’s unclear how long U.S. lawmakers will cooperate with Ukraine’s war effort.
While Democrats are largely united behind continued military aid to Ukraine, Republican presidential candidates were split on the question in last week’s debate. In Congress, some Republicans have grumbled about the money earmarked for Ukraine — and it’s unclear how the focus of an election year, coupled with a conflict that has shown few signs of ending soon, will change the outlook for continued support.
Israel and Ukraine face very different threats with very different militaries.
Israel has a powerful military, advanced weapons and nuclear weapons; Ukraine, which gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s, rebuilt its military from Soviet stockpiles while fighting the invasion.
Israel’s enemies — from Palestinian militants to a sophisticated Iran — lack a nuclear-armed global superpower.