by Omer Dostri
We repeatedly hear threats about Israel's "diplomatic isolation," but time and time again these threats are utterly contradicted by reality.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's participation in the global climate conference in Paris earlier this week proved once again the strength of Israel's international standing. For years we have been hearing threats of Israel's "diplomatic isolation," according to which Israel is increasingly becoming an international pariah due to the rule of the Right. But time and time again, these threats have been contradicted by reality.
In Paris this week, Netanyahu met with numerous international figures, including some of the leaders of the most powerful nations in the world. These encounters were more than just cursory handshakes. Netanyahu held substantive discussions with many world leaders about future cooperation.
It is certainly understandable why cooperation with Israel is desirable. The world has much to learn from Israel in many realms, including high-tech, agriculture, science and border protection.
Israel's growing international presence has been manifested by its entry into new markets. These include developing economic powers such as China, India and Japan. Around 40% of the world's population can be found in China and India alone. This is an unfathomable statistic. In recent years, Israel has significantly bolstered its cooperation with these two countries.
Above all else, many countries want to benefit from Israel's experience in the field of security. Recent terrorist attacks around the world have made security a top priority on the global agenda. For decades, Israel has found itself on the front line in the battle against radical Islam, which seeks to drown the world in rivers of blood.
Given the current international reality, Netanyahu's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was more important than his hallway encounter with U.S. President Barack Obama. During the meeting, Putin went out of his way to praise the security coordination between Russia and Israel.
Netanyahu's meeting with Putin in Paris this week (as well as their September meeting in Moscow and a subsequent telephone conversation) was an indicator of strategic cooperation between Russia and Israel. As Russia is a global power, cooperation with it is important. The cooperation represents a dramatic change from Russia's past hostile attitude toward Israel, and it is also useful for Israel given Russia's dominant role in what is taking place in Syria.
The warm welcome Netanyahu received in Paris came on the heels of the announcement that Israel will open a diplomatic-level office at the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi. The opening of this office is a manifestation of the largely behind-the-scenes cooperation that exists between Israel and moderate Arab states, particularly in the Gulf region.
All of this shows that Israel's continued presence in Judea and Samaria does not negatively affect its foreign relations. The world is seeking closer ties with Israel due to its human capital, its economic and military strength and its determined fight against terrorism. Common interests are bringing the nations of the world, including some Arab ones, to us.
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