NATO and Israel: a look at the approach of NATO towards the developments in Gaza

Just ten days before the Al-Aqsa storm operation Robert Bauer the head of NATOs military committee made a two-day trip to Israel on September ۲۷ ۲۰۲۳. During this trip while meeting with the Chief of General Staff of the Zionist regimes armed forces he visited the borders of Gaza and the occupied territories.
26 November 2023
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Reza Haghigi

 Just ten days before the Al-Aqsa storm operation, Robert Bauer, the head of NATO's military committee, made a two-day trip to Israel on September 27, 2023. During this trip, while meeting with the Chief of General Staff of the Zionist regime's armed forces, he visited the borders of Gaza and the occupied territories. Learning about Israel's military capabilities in the field of artificial intelligence and robotic equipment to control borders and monitor border crossings was part of the goals of his field visit. The website of NATO mentioned in the news related to the coverage of this trip: The military sector of the Gaza border (in Israel) has a unique expertise in fighting underground terrorism. Admiral Bauer's talks with the Israeli military authorities were about military innovations and new security challenges, and he said about his trip to the occupied territories: The ability to deal with today's wars and prepare for future wars and NATO's defense position are very important; our cooperation with our military partner Israel to deal security challenges and seek innovative military capabilities will help both of us maintain our military superiority against our adversaries. In a visit to Israel's National Security College, he also said: The NATO alliance shares many of Israel's concerns. We are witnessing that autocratic regimes in Europe and the Middle East are facing challenges (What he meant by the European area was Russia's performance in Ukraine). As NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said during his visit to Israel a few weeks ago, we are starting new cooperation and will deal with common threats and security challenges. It should be noted that the Deputy Secretary General of NATO had a two-day trip to Israel in early September. During this trip, he met with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Zionist regime and discussed the cooperation of the parties in the fields of new technologies, innovation, and environment.

NATO's official positions regarding Israel's unique expertise in underground war and its claims of capabilities in robotic border control and the use of artificial intelligence show not only the Zionist regime but also its Western allies to what extent the October 7 operation by Hamas in Israel is surprising. The false self-confidence and pride that the Zionists had for benefiting from new technologies, drones and fences equipped with sensors, etc., along with the misleading information that Hamas gave to the groups that it knew the Israeli Intelligence Organization was monitoring, and other effective components caused Israel to experience an unprecedented intelligence failure.

After the Al-Aqsa storm operation and Israel's attack on Gaza, NATO has repeatedly expressed its clear support for Israel's actions and has been silent on the heinous killing of women and children and the clear violation of human and civilian rights by the Zionists and ignored this great tragedy.

During the NATO Defense Ministers' meeting in Brussels (October 11-12), Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant updated his Western counterparts on the latest developments of the war through video conference, after which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated: NATO condemns with the strongest possible language the attack of Hamas against citizens and people with nationalities of NATO member countries and declares that Israel is not alone.

In this meeting, the NATO defense ministers recognized Israel's so-called right to defend itself and asked Hamas to release the hostages. At the same time, without naming any specific country, they declared that no country or organization should seek to abuse this situation or escalate it. Probably, with the presence of countries such as Turkey as a member of NATO in the ministerial meeting, there have been considerations about naming a specific country or organization in the published report of the meeting. What's more, later, in bilateral meetings and speeches, the NATO Secretary General clearly mentioned Iran and Hezbollah of Lebanon.

Before the mentioned meeting, Mircea Geoana, the Romanian Deputy Secretary General of NATO, at the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO in Copenhagen, declared Hamas's attack against Israel unjustifiable and condemned it. With the clarification of the catastrophic dimensions of the Zionist regime's attacks on Gaza and the widespread killing of civilians, defenseless women, and children, the Secretary General of NATO, on various occasions and in his meetings, only emphasized the necessity of protecting citizens and civilians and reaching humanitarian aid to Gaza. At the same time, he emphasized Israel's right to defend itself within the framework of international law. Stoltenberg's positions in October during his trip to Stockholm and meeting with Sweden's Prime Minister Kristersson (October 24), meeting with King Abdullah, King of Jordan in Brussels (November 6), the trip to Stockholm and the meeting with Mrs. Katalin Nowak, the President of Hungary in Brussels (November 8) and during the trip to Oslo and participating in the Nordic Council session (October 31), were almost the same, and in all of them, he explicitly emphasized the right to defend Israel. Mentioning Iran in the meetings above is also important. Stoltenberg stated in all three of the mentioned meetings that Iran and Hezbollah of Lebanon should not abuse these conditions, and tensions should not increase in this regard. At the Oslo meeting, while pointing out the necessity of reaching a political solution and lasting peace, he added: the war in Gaza should not weaken our will to support Ukraine. Also, during his trip to Berlin (November 9, 2023), the NATO Secretary General met with German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz to participate in the first annual NATO cyber defense conference. In the joint press conference, Stoltenberg emphasized four principles: achieving a political solution for peace, stopping the war so that humanitarian aid can reach Gaza, protecting civilian lives, and respecting international law. While the number of casualties of Israel's cowardly attacks on Gaza exceeded ten thousand people, and more than four thousand of the victims were children, the NATO official refused to even mention this issue. He also stated clearly the war in Gaza should not become a regional conflict, and Iran and Hezbollah should stay away from this war.

Organizational cooperation between NATO and the Zionist regime was formed in the framework of the Mediterranean dialogue in 1994. The forum, which includes seven countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Israel, was established with the aim of participating in regional security and stability, better mutual understanding, and removing misconceptions between the countries of this region and NATO, and in addition to collective and multilateral meetings, bilateral talks between countries and NATO (Nato+1) are also on the agenda. Each of the member countries of the Mediterranean Dialogue agrees every two years on a bilateral cooperation document entitled Individual Partnership Cooperation Program (IPCP), which provides a clear framework for bilateral cooperation. At the NATO summit in Brussels in June 2021, the strengthening of cooperation between NATO and the members of the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum was approved in the form of two pillars: Political Dialogue and Practical Cooperation.

NATO had the attack on Libya in 2011 and the war in the Balkans in the 90s under the title of protecting civilians and defending humanitarian rights in its history of actions. In explaining its actions, NATO emphasizes ensuring stable peace based on the common values of the member states, including individual freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and it believes that these are the common values that created this coalition. NATO officials also insist on human rights and compliance with international law on various occasions. Still, in practice and what is clearly seen during the Gaza war, it is actually systematic support for the clear violation of basic human rights on the part of this organization. The biased approach to Palestinian developments in the literature of NATO officials indicates the absolute dependence of this organization on the policies of its largest member and leader and main financier, the United States, as well as the policy of the Zionist lobby. The organizational cooperation of this organization with Israel is meaningful in this framework.

Reza Haghigi, an expert of the IPIS

(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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