BY YAAKOV LAPPIN AND JACKSON RICHMAN, JNS—
Although proposals for a U.S.-Israel mutual defense pact are not new, the concept has recently gained momentum and attracted growing media attention in Israel.
On Sept. 14, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu by phone to “discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and Israel that would further anchor the tremendous alliance.”
Netanyahu, for his part, told Israeli media that he is looking forward to speaking with Trump at the U.N. General Assembly meeting, “when we will promote the historical defense pact between the United States and Israel.”
Yet Netanyahu’s political opponents have criticized the idea, with senior Blue and White Party member and former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon telling Army Radio last week that “if such a pact had existed in the past, the reactor in Syria would not have been bombed.” Ya’alon was referring to the 2007 Israeli Air Force strike on the Bashar Assad regime’s secret, undeclared plutonium reactor.
Former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi, also of Blue and White, said, “We always insisted that the fate and security of the State of Israel remain in its hands. Do we want to see the Golani Brigade fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan? That is the significance of the treaty.”
Yet those who have been involved in exploring and promoting the idea say they envision a significantly narrower pact. Continue Reading….