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Foreign relations of Israel

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Title: Foreign relations of Israel  
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Subject: Politics of Israel, International recognition of Israel, Foreign relations of Israel, Israel–Papua New Guinea relations, Israel–Thailand relations
Collection: Foreign Relations of Israel
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Foreign relations of Israel

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The term "foreign relations of Israel" refers to diplomatic, commercial and cultural ties between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on 11 May 1949. Israel maintains diplomatic ties with 157 countries.[1] Israel maintains full diplomatic relations and open borders with two of its Arab neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, after signing peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

The close friendship with the United States has been the linchpin of Israeli foreign policy for decades. From the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 until the Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation after Turkey.[2][3] In the mid-20th century, Israel ran extensive foreign aid and educational programs in Africa, sending experts in agriculture, water management and health care.[4]

During the 2000s, the foreign ministry warned that the increasing influence of the EU would further isolate Israel in global affairs.[5][6] In the wake of a series of diplomatic rifts with Turkey and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2011, Israel has had less than friendly relations with those countries.[7] During roughly the same period, Israeli relations with many countries in Europe including Greece and Cyprus in the context of the Energy Triangle and in Asia, including China and India, were enhanced, largely on account of the growth of Israel's high-tech economy.[8] Israeli ties with Egypt have improved since the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from power there, while ties to Turkey remain minimal.


  • Membership in international organizations 1
  • Diplomatic relations 2
    • No recognition or diplomatic relations 2.1
      • Member states of the UN 2.1.1
      • Non-members of the UN 2.1.2
    • Partial recognition 2.2
  • North Africa and Middle East 3
    • Algeria 3.1
    • Bahrain 3.2
    • Egypt 3.3
    • Iran 3.4
    • Iraq 3.5
      • Kurds 3.5.1
    • Jordan 3.6
    • Kuwait 3.7
    • Lebanon 3.8
    • Morocco 3.9
    • Qatar 3.10
    • Saudi Arabia 3.11
    • Syria 3.12
    • Tunisia 3.13
    • Turkey 3.14
    • United Arab Emirates 3.15
    • Yemen 3.16
  • Africa 4
    • Angola 4.1
    • Botswana 4.2
    • Cameroon 4.3
    • Djibouti 4.4
    • Eritrea 4.5
    • Ethiopia 4.6
    • Ghana 4.7
    • Kenya 4.8
    • Lesotho 4.9
    • Liberia 4.10
    • Malawi 4.11
    • Mauritania 4.12
    • Namibia 4.13
    • Niger 4.14
    • Nigeria 4.15
    • Rwanda 4.16
    • Senegal 4.17
    • South Africa 4.18
    • South Sudan 4.19
    • Swaziland 4.20
    • Togo 4.21
    • Uganda 4.22
    • Zimbabwe 4.23
  • Asia 5
    • Afghanistan 5.1
    • Bangladesh 5.2
    • Burma 5.3
    • China 5.4
    • India 5.5
    • Indonesia 5.6
    • Japan 5.7
    • Kazakhstan 5.8
    • Malaysia 5.9
    • Maldives 5.10
    • Mongolia 5.11
    • Nepal 5.12
    • North Korea 5.13
    • Pakistan 5.14
    • Philippines 5.15
    • Singapore 5.16
    • South Korea 5.17
    • Sri Lanka 5.18
    • Thailand 5.19
    • Turkmenistan 5.20
    • Vietnam 5.21
  • Europe 6
    • Albania 6.1
    • Armenia 6.2
    • Austria 6.3
    • Azerbaijan 6.4
    • Belarus 6.5
    • Belgium 6.6
    • Bulgaria 6.7
    • Croatia 6.8
    • Cyprus 6.9
    • Czech Republic 6.10
    • Denmark 6.11
    • Estonia 6.12
    • Finland 6.13
    • France 6.14
    • Georgia 6.15
    • Germany 6.16
    • Greece 6.17
    • Holy See 6.18
    • Hungary 6.19
    • Ireland 6.20
    • Italy 6.21
    • Latvia 6.22
    • Lithuania 6.23
    • Luxembourg 6.24
    • Macedonia 6.25
    • Moldova 6.26
    • Netherlands 6.27
    • Norway 6.28
    • Poland 6.29
    • Portugal 6.30
    • Romania 6.31
    • Russia and the Soviet Union 6.32
    • Serbia 6.33
      • Kosovo 6.33.1
    • Slovakia 6.34
    • Slovenia 6.35
    • Spain 6.36
    • Sweden 6.37
    • Switzerland 6.38
    • Ukraine 6.39
    • United Kingdom 6.40
  • North America 7
    • Canada 7.1
    • Costa Rica 7.2
    • Cuba 7.3
    • Haiti 7.4
    • Mexico 7.5
    • Nicaragua 7.6
    • Panama 7.7
    • United States 7.8
  • Oceania 8
    • Australia 8.1
    • Marshall Islands 8.2
    • Micronesia 8.3
    • Nauru 8.4
    • New Zealand 8.5
    • Palau 8.6
    • Papua New Guinea 8.7
    • Tuvalu 8.8
  • South America 9
    • Argentina 9.1
    • Bolivia 9.2
    • Brazil 9.3
    • Chile 9.4
    • Colombia 9.5
    • Peru 9.6
    • Uruguay 9.7
    • Venezuela 9.8
  • Israeli foreign aid 10
  • See also 11
  • External links 12
  • References 13

Membership in international organizations

Israeli flag at the United Nations building in New York

The first International Wheat Council, established as part of Point Four Program in early 1949. Since 11 May 1949, the State of Israel has been a member of the United Nations.

Israel is a member of many agencies within the UN, including the

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  80. ^ Erdogan Clashes With Peres, Storms Out of Davos Panel (Update1) Bloomberg
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  82. ^ Turkey downgrades ties with Israel, Al Jazeera, 2 September 2011
  83. ^ Israel, North Korea Present Credentials iBotswana
  84. ^ Yad Vashem Symposium announcement: 70 Years Since the Wannsee Conference: the Organization of the Mass Murder of the Jews and Its Significance; Jerusalem, 23 January 2012
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  97. ^ a b c War and its Legacy Amos Oz interview with Phillip Adams, 10 September 1991, re-broadcast on ABC Radio National 23 December 2011
  98. ^ The encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli conflict: a political, social, and military history, Volume 1 A-H, Spencer Tucker, ABC-CLIO Inc, 2008, p127. Retrieved 25 December 2011
  99. ^ a b Historical dictionary of Mauritania, Anthony G. Pazzanita, Scarecrow Press Inc, Lanham, Maryland USA, 2008, p216. Retrieved 25 December 2011
  100. ^ A political chronology of Africa, David Lea, Annamarie Rowe, Europa Publications Ltd, London, 2001, ISBN o-203-40309-6, p289. Retrieved 25 December 2011
  101. ^ " Israel closes Mauritania embassy", BBC News, 6 March 2009
  102. ^ "Mauritania expelled the Israeli embassy personnel", Haaretz, 6 March 2006, in Hebrew
  103. ^
  104. ^
  105. ^ Israel recognizes South Sudan, offers economic aid Reuters, 10 July 2011
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  115. ^ File:UNu-Dayan.jpg
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  120. ^ India and Israel: Dawn of a New Era Archived 21 August at WebCite
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  132. ^ Visit to Israel of Honorable Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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  145. ^ RoK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 4 May 2010
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  147. ^ Israeli agriculture minister visits Sri Lanka Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
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  153. ^ Vietnamese embassy to open in Israel for the first time" – Israeli Foreign Ministry
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  156. ^ Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Eurasia: Armenia and Jews Archived 24 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
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  161. ^ Belarusian embassy in Israel
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  180. ^ CIA: Special Assessments on the Middle East Situation, Page 1, 29 June 1967 CIA FOIA Document Page Viewer
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  182. ^ Around 2,000 French Jews to move to Israel this year AFP
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  191. ^ Israel welcomes new Germany to a celebration of its 60th birthday Archived 21 August at WebCite
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  193. ^ Israel woos Greece after rift with Turkey BBC, 16 October 2010
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  230. ^ Israel slams Russia for arming Syria. 2 March 2007
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  232. ^ Press conference with FM Liberman in Belgrade, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009-09-16
  233. ^ Sources: Israel won't recognize Kosovo, for now, The Jerusalem Post, 2008-02-19
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  243. ^ Ahlmark 1997, p. 196
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  255. ^ Robert Cullen. U.S. won't attempt to prevent Israeli arms sales to Somoza // "Miami Herald", 18 November 1978
  256. ^ Nicaragua: Israel helps out // "Newsweek", 20 November 1978
  257. ^ "Coren, Ora and Feldman, Nadan 'U.S. aid to Israel totals $233.7b over six decades' (Mar 20, 2013) Haaretz"
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  264. ^ Pacific nations, Israel expand ties (20 January 2010) in Israel 21c Innovation News Service. Retrieved 2010–01–20
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  268. ^ Bolivia cuts Israel ties over Gaza 14 January 2009
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  270. ^ Member Nations. Israel Allies Fondation. Retrieved 2013-12-01 .
  271. ^ Briefing: Brazil’s economic and military relationship with Israel
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  273. ^ Brazil-Israel. Brazilian Embassy in Tel Aviv. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  274. ^ 2010 Brazilian census Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. Retrieved on 2013-11-13
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  286. ^ Berrios, Jerry. S. Fla. Venezuelans: Chavez incites anti-Semitism. The Miami Herald (10 August 2006). Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
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  291. ^ see Dayan Yoni, Le Mashav – Centre de Coopération International Israélien, 118 p., 2006, available in Irice center for international studies in Paris 1 University and soon in Internet
  292. ^ Israeli Humanitarian Relief Operations – Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archived 17 January at WebCite


  • Israel's relations with the Third World and Africa, reports by Tel Aviv University and The Africa Institute American Jewish Committee
  • EU Neighbourhood Info Centre: Country profile of Israel

The Government Discusses Israel's Peace Plan, 18–19 June 1967:

  • Official website of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Recognize Israel, Initiative for international diplomatic relations with Israel
  • Deciding the Fate of the Territories Occupied During the Six Day War: An Ongoing Debate

External links

See also

In the 1970s, Israel broadened its aid agenda by granting safe haven to refugees and foreign nationals in distress from around the world. Since the 1980s, Israel has also provided humanitarian aid to places affected by natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In 1995, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Israel Defense Forces established a permanent humanitarian and emergency aid unit, which has carried out humanitarian operations worldwide.[292] As well as providing humanitarian supplies, Israel has also sent rescue teams and medical personnel and set up mobile field hospitals in disaster-stricken areas worldwide.

Israel has provided humanitarian assistance to developing countries in Asia, Africa, South America, Oceania, and Central Europe through the activities of Mashav,[290] the Israeli Center for International Cooperation, created in 1958, with the goal to give developing countries the knowledge, tools, and expertise that Israel gained in its own development, and its ability to "make the desert flourish". This center trains course participants from approximately 140 countries on healthcare, as well as emergency and disaster medicine, and has participated in dozens of projects worldwide in fields economic fields such as agriculture, education, development, employment, and healthcare, as well as humanitarian fields such as disaster relief, reconstruction, and refugee absorption.[291]

Israeli foreign aid ranks very low among OECD nations, spending less than 0.1% of its GNI on foreign aid. Individual international charitable donations are also very low, with only 0.1% of charitable donations being sent to foreign causes.[289]

Israeli foreign aid

be tried for war crimes. Ehud Olmert Following the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, Venezuela cut its diplomatic ties with Israel. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez called the attack "genocidal", and urged that Israeli Prime Minister [288], Venezuela withdrew its ambassador to Israel. The embassy itself remains open and operationalGaza Strip in the June/July 2006 battles As a result of the [287][286] Relations were once strong, but the bilateral ties have soured under the


Israel has an embassy in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 2 honorary consulates in Ashdod and Haifa. Uruguay was one of the first nations to recognise Israel as independent.


Israel and Peru established diplomatic relations in 1957. In 1998 the two countries began talks on a free-trade agreement.[279] Israel sent rescue teams and medical aid to Peru after earthquakes in 1970, 2005 and 2007.[280][281] In 2001, Eliane Karp, a former Israeli, became the First Lady of Peru.[282]


Colombia and Israel established formal relations in the mid-1950s. In recent years, Colombia has purchased planes, drones, weapons and intelligence systems from Israel. An Israeli company, Global CST won a $10 million contract in Colombia.[278]


Chile recognized Israel's independence in February 1949. Israel sent its first ambassador to Chile in May 1950, and Chile sent its first ambassador Israel in June 1952. Prime Minister Golda Meir visited Chile during her term in office. In March 2005, the Chilean minister of foreign affairs Ignacio Walker made an official visit to Israel. Chile is home to the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East, approximately 500,000.[276][277]


Brazil has the 9th largest Jewish community in the world, about 107,329 by 2010, according to the IBGE census.[274] The Jewish Confederation of Brazil (CONIB) estimates to more than 120,000.[275]

[273].Haifa and an honorary consulate in Tel Aviv and Brazil has an embassy in Sao Paulo and a consulate-general in Brasília Israel has an embassy in [272] Also, Brazil is Israel's largest trading partner in Latin America.[271] Nowadays, Brazil and Israel maintain close political, economic and military ties. Brazil is a full member state of

Brazil played a large role in the establishment of the State of Israel. Brazil held the Presidency office of the UN General Assembly in 1947, which proclaimed the Partition Plan for Palestine. The Brazilian delegation to the U.N., supported and heavily lobbied for the partition of Palestine toward the creation of the State of Israel. Brazil was also one of the first countries to recognize the State of Israel, on 7 February 1949, less than one year after Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister of Brazil, Celso Amorim


In January 2009, Bolivia limited its foreign relationship with Israel in the wake of strikes in Gaza by Israel. Bolivian President Evo Morales has reportedly promised to take Israel to an international court for alleged war crimes committed in Gaza.[268] Bolivia originally granted visa free access to Israeli citizens. However, as a result of Israel's 2014 military operation in Gaza, which it opposed, President Evo Morales declared Israel a "terrorist state" and his government will now require Israeli citizens to obtain a visa to visit Bolivia.[269]


In 1992, three Israeli diplomats were killed in the bombing of the Israeli Embassy which left 29 people dead and 240 wounded. Two years later, another bombing took place at the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding 300. The investigation was never completed.[267] Néstor Kirchner called this a national disgrace, and reopened the files.


South America

Israel maintains a non-resident embassy to Tuvalu in Jerusalem and Tuvalu has voted together with Israel against UN resolutions furthering Palestinian sovereignty on occasion. [265] [266]


Papua New Guinea

Palau is one of the most consistent supporters of Israel in the United Nations and other international affairs along with the United States, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. In 2006, Palau had the highest voting coincidence with Israel in the United Nations.


In mid-2004, two suspected Mossad agents were jailed for three months and paid a $35,000 fine for trying on false grounds to obtain a New Zealand passport. High-level visits between the two countries were cancelled, visa restrictions imposed for Israeli officials, and an expected visit to New Zealand by Israeli president Moshe Katsav was cancelled. More than a year later, Israel apologized and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced that it was time to resume friendly diplomatic relations with Israel.

New Zealand was one of the four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution. Since then, most New Zealand governments have been supportive of Israel. After 53 years of full diplomatic relations, the Israeli Embassy in Wellington closed in 2004 due to $5.4 million in cost-cuts by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. It was speculated that trade with Arab countries were a major factor. In June 2004, the New Zealand Government criticized Israel's policy of bulldozing Palestinian homes and donated $534,000 to aid homeless Palestinians. At one time there were four missions in the South Pacific area in Canberra, Sydney, Wellington and Suva in Fiji. Following the closure, only Canberra remained open, which was responsible for New Zealand-Israeli Relations. In 2009, the Israel Foreign Ministry announced the reopening of the embassy in Wellington.[150]

New Zealand

Israel and the Republic of Nauru established official diplomatic relations in 2013, with collaboration on various subjects. Israel represents the non-resident ambassador to Nauru, Nauru whereas Israel represents a consul general and the Israeli media, David Ben-Bassat. Nauru, similar to other Pacific islands such as the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau, is a consistent supporter of Israel in international bodies, including the United Nations.


In January 2010, the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Emanuel Mori, and the President of the Republic of Nauru, Marcus Stephen, with their foreign ministers, visited Israel to expand ties on issues such as healthcare, solar energy, water conservation, clean technologies and other areas in which Israel can provide expertise. They met with Israeli leaders including the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman.[264]

The foreign policy goals of the Micronesia are primarily linked to achieving economic development and protecting their vast marine environment. Israel was one of the first to welcome Micronesia into the family of nations, even before it became a member of the UN. According to Micronesia's U.N. deputy ambassador, the country has since sought close bilateral relations with Israel in areas such as agriculture, technical training and health care training. Israel assisted Micronesia in its early development. As one Micronesian diplomat said, "We need Israeli expertise, so I don't see a change in our policy anytime soon."[263]

The Federated States of Micronesia is one of the most consistent supporters of Israel. Throughout the history of the United Nations General Assembly, there has always been an "automatic majority" against Israel. The United States has often voted in favour of Israel and in recent years,[261][262] one other nation has joined Israel's defense – Micronesia.


The Marshall Islands is one of the most consistent supporters of Israel international affairs, along with the United States, Micronesia and Palau. The Marshall Islands is a country in free association with the United States, and thus consistently vote in favor of the United States.

Marshall Islands

Australia was one of the four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution. Australia and Israel established full diplomatic relations in January 1949.[259] Australia has an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel likewise in Canberra. In May 2010, the Australian government expelled an Israeli diplomat over the misuse of Australian passports in the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, which Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said was "not the act of a friend."[260]



The United States is Israel's largest trading partner, accounting for 22.4 percent of Israel's $43.19 billion in imports, and 42.1 percent of Israel's $40.14 billion in exports annually (2005).[258] The U.S. also provides Israel with $2.4 billion in military assistance annually, which is equivalent to 24.5 percent of Israel's military expenditures. (2005).[258]

The relations between Israel and the United States have evolved from an initial United States policy of sympathy and support for the creation of a Jewish state in 1948 (It was the first country to recognize the establishment of the State) to an unusual partnership that links Israel with the United States trying to balance competing interests in the Middle East region. The United States has been considered Israel's most powerful and supportive ally and hosts the annual Salute to Israel Parade in New York City. From 1948 to 2012, the United States has provided Israel with $233.7 billion in aid (after adjusting for inflation). In addition, the US has provided Israel with $19 billion in loan guarantees.[257]

Yitzhak Shamir with U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, 1982

United States

Panama formally recognized the State of Israel on 18 June 1948. The two countries first exchanged in 1960.


On 1 June 2010 Nicaragua suspended diplomatic ties with Israel in response to the Gaza flotilla raid.[30]

1974 - 1978 - Israel sold arms to Somoza regime.[255][256]


Mexico and Israel have had diplomatic relations since January 1950. Throughout the years, they have maintained close relations with each other. In 2000, a free trade agreement was signed between the two nations. Mexico has also purchased weapons from Israel and is one of Israel's closest allies in the Americas.[254]


Haiti and Israel maintain full diplomatic relations. In 1947, Haiti voted for the UN Partition Plan and the creation of the State of Israel.[252] Israel was among the first to send both personnel and aid to Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010.[253]

Israeli crews rescue Haitian earthquake victim


In late 2010, Fidel Castro, who no longer holds office in Cuba's government, stated that he believes Israel has a 'right to exist', which is a shift from his regime's earlier policy.[251]

Being Cuba's enemy and a very close United States ally, Israel is the only country in the world that consistently sides with the United States blockade against Cuba.

Cuba sent troops to fight against Israel during the War of Attrition. Cuba also joined the expeditionary forces during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and broke diplomatic relations with Israel the same year.

Cuban ambassador to Israel with Golda Meir, 1960


Costa Rica was one of the first countries to vote in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel. It maintained its embassy in Jerusalem until August 2006, when it finally relocated to Tel Aviv in order to bolster its ties with the Arab world.[249] In December 2011, Rodrigo Carreras became the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel for the second time, after his posting there in the 1980s. Carreras' father, Benjamin Nunez, also served as the Costa Rican ambassador to Israel.[250]

Costa Rica

Canada's relationship with Israel began in 1947, when Canada was represented on the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). Canada was one of the 33 countries (including only four Commonwealth members) that voted in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution that lead to the creation of the State of Israel, thus beginning a longstanding relationship with the Jewish state based on a shared commitment to democratic values, understanding, and mutual respect.


North America

Since its recognized independence in 1948, the United Kingdom and Israel have shared cordial and strongly strategic relations; the two nations share interests in the fields of political cooperation, immigration (seeing as many British Jews migrate to Israel) and economic trade. However, relations between the two countries began as hostile. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Britain detained 8,000 Jewish men of military age attempting to make aliyah to Israel in Cyprus, so they could not participate in the fighting. Britain supplied weapons to the Arab states, and almost went to war with Israel. When Israel captured the Negev, the British Ministry of Defence began to draw up plans for a possible invasion of Israel. British planes spied on Israeli positions, and war between the two countries became even more possible when four British planes were shot down by Israel. However, the two countries began to soften later on, and trade began. In 1956 Israel invaded Sinai Peninsula in agreement with France and the UK that invaded Suez. Nevertheless, Anglo-Israeli relations became turbulent in the summer of 2006 when Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with many other European leaders criticized IDF airstrikes against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, which had high civilian casualties. During the current Cameron premiership, relations between the two countries continue to remain close.

United Kingdom

Both countries established diplomatic relation on December 26, 1991. Israel has an embassy in Kiev. Ukraine has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate-general in Haifa. In July 2010 the foreign ministers of two countries sign an agreement of non visa traffic between Israel and Ukraine. This came into effect on February 9, 2011 and since then Ukrainians and Israelis may enter territory, travel through it or stay on Ukraine/Israel without having to obtain visas for 90 days within a period of 180 days.


On 21 April 2009, Israel recalled its ambassador for consultations due to events that occurred at the UN anti-racism conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Israeli officials, angered by a meeting between Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz and the Iranian president, recalled its ambassador to Switzerland, Ilan Elgar "for consultations" amid ongoing controversy over an anti-racism conference being held in Geneva.[247][248]

Switzerland has represented Israel's interests in numerous countries (Hungary (1967–1989), Guinea (1967–1973), Ceylon/Sri Lanka (1970–1976), Madagascar (1973–1994), Liberia (1973–1983) and Ghana (1973–2002)). Conversely, it has represented the interests of Iran (1958–1987) and Côte d'Ivoire (1973–1986) in Israel. It also lobbied successfully for inclusion of Magen David Adom in the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.[246]

After escalation of the Middle East conflict, Switzerland halted arms sales and military cooperation with Israel from 2002 to 2005. Since 2004, there has been regular political dialogue between Switzerland and Israel.[246]

The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel in 1897, and 15 out of a total of 22 congresses were held in Switzerland. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Switzerland maintained a consulate in Jerusalem and a consular agency in Tel Aviv. It recognized the new state in 1949 and opened a consulate in Tel Aviv, which was upgraded to an embassy in 1958. The Swiss community in Israel is the largest in the Asian region, totalling around 12,000 persons.[246]

The Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, André Blattmann, visiting Israel as a guest of IDF Chief of General Staff, Benny Gantz, 27 November 2011.


Sweden voted in favor of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947. Relations between Sweden and Israel were good during the 1950s and 1960s, and Sweden expressed strong support for Israel during the Six-Day War.[242] However, from 1969, Sweden became more critical of Israel.[243][244] In October 2014 Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine as the first European Union and Western country.[245]


Israel and Spain have maintained diplomatic ties since 1986. Nevertheless, Israeli exports to Spain are on the rise, totalling $870 million in 2006, and Israeli firms doing business with Spain include the Dead Sea Works, Haifa Chemicals, Amdocs, Comverse and Teva Pharmaceuticals.[240] The Spanish foreign minister visited Israel for an official visit in May 2008.[241]


Israel and Slovenia established full diplomatic relations when Israel officially recognized Slovenia on 16 April 1992 and on 28 April of 1992 when the countries signed the Protocol establishing diplomatic relations between each other. The Slovenian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce was established in 2010 signifying a strengthening of ties and both countries have discussed bilateral cooperation in business, tourism, science and technology, and agriculture.[238][239]


Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1993. Israel has an embassy in Bratislava.[234] Slovakia has an embassy in Tel Aviv.[235] In May 2008, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico called Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres for the strengthening of diplomatic relations between Israel and Slovakia. An Israel - Slovakia Chamber of Commerce and Industry also exists to facilitate further economic and business cooperation between the two countries.[236][237]


On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, a move Serbia rejects. Kosovo has been recognized by a substantial number of UN members, including the United States and most members of the European Union, but not by Israel.[232] At the time of the declaration, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official stated: "We haven't decided when we're going to decide, and instead will monitor events and consider the issue". Israel is reluctant to recognize Kosovo's independence, in part because of the possibility of Palestinians using recognition of Kosovo to justify their own unilateral declaration of independence.[233]


Diplomatic relations between Israel and Serbia's predecessor state, Yugoslavia, were severed for 25 years, from 1967 until 1991, when they were officially renewed, by which time Yugoslavia was in the process of disintegration. Diplomatic relations continued when, in April 1992, the two remaining Yugoslav republics, Serbia and Montenegro, formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (renamed to Serbia and Montenegro in February 2003). On 3 June 2006, Montenegro and Serbia dissolved the union.


In September 2010, Israel and Russia signed a comprehensive military agreement that will "increase cooperation on combating terrorism" and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and signed the agreement during a ceremony in Moscow. The Russian military plans on purchasing additional Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles. Russia previously bought 12 drones from the Israel Aerospace Industries following the war in South Ossetia.[231]

The Soviet Union and the other communist states of Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania) cut diplomatic ties with Israel during the Six-Day War. Relations were restored in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, despite the fact that hostile Arab countries such as Syria also maintain close ties with Russia. Russia is known to supply Syria with weapons.[230]

The Soviet Union voted in favor of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947, which paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel. On 17 May 1948, on the third day of Israel's independence, the Soviet Union granted de jure recognition to the State of Israel, becoming only the second country to recognise Israel (preceded only by the United States' de facto recognition) and the first country to grant Israel de jure recognition.[229]

Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2000.

Russia and the Soviet Union

Romania and Israel established full diplomatic relations on June 11, 1948. Israel has an embassy in Bucharest.[227] Romania has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 3 honorary consulates (in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv).[228] The two countries have signed many bilateral treaties and agreements and both of them are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean and many other international organizations.


Since 1959 Israel and Portugal were represented by Consulates General only. Full diplomatic relations with the Portuguese government were established on May 12, 1977, following the Portuguese revolution of 1974.[226]


Following the severing of relations after the Six-Day War, Poland was the first Eastern bloc country to again recognize Israel in 1986. Full diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1990, after the communist People's Republic of Poland became modern, democratic Poland.


Norway was one of the first countries to recognize Israel on 4 February 1949. Both countries established diplomatic relations later that year. Israel has an embassy which serves Norway and Iceland in Oslo. Norway has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 2 honorary consulates (in Eilat and Haifa). Israels Venner på Stortinget (Friends of Israel in the Parliament of Norway) is a pro-Israel caucus group consisting of members of the Parliament of Norway (Stortinget).


In 1947, the Netherlands voted in favor of the establishing Israel and established diplomatic relation in 1949. Israel has an embassy in The Hague and The Netherlands has an embassy in Tel Aviv.


Relations between Moldova and Israel were established on June 6, 1992. Israel recognized Moldova on December 25, 1991. Israel is represented in Moldova through its embassy in Kiev and Moldova has an embassy in Tel Aviv and an honorary consulate in Haifa. Relations between the two countries are friendly and a warm one based on mutual support. A myriad of efforts are primarily focused on the realization of achieved accords on cooperation in the fields of economy, medicine, industry, agriculture, social and cultural issues. Though the volume of trade between Israel and Moldova is low, Larisa Miculet, the Ambassador of Moldova to Israel has stated that there numerous untapped potential of increasing bilateral trade. For Israeli entrepreneurs and investors, Moldova is geopolitically convenient because of its location in the center of Europe, it's high transparency between public authorities and foreign investors and due to its having eliminated most of the bureaucratic barriers that hinder business activities. Various business sectors of cooperation between Israel and Moldova range from pharmaceuticals, energy, information technology and software, electronics and electronic equipment, power engineering, metal and plastics processing and construction materials but Moldova has stressed foreign Israeli investments in all segments of the Moldovan economy.[223][224][225]



In November 1947, Luxembourg voted in favor of the partition plan to create a Jewish state. Israel and Luxembourg established full diplomatic relations in 1949. Due to Luxembourg's small size, the Israeli embassy is located in Brussels and Luxembourg is represented politically by the Dutch embassy and economically by the Belgian embassy.[222]


Israeli companies have taken a very active interest in possibilities for carrying out clinical research in Lithuania; many of them are already in cooperation with Lithuanian medical institutions and have invested in Lithuania's burgeoning life sciences sector. In 2013, Lithuanian biotechnology company ProBioSanus signed a representation agreement with Bharat Israel where ProBioSanus’ natural, probiotic-based cleaning and personal care products will be available for sale in Israel for the first time. The company already opened stores in Lithuania and Scandinavia. Mr Andrejauskas, head of ProBioSanus spoke of this agreement saying that "We have a strong scientific base and intellectual potential In Lithuania, so we are allocating particular attention to the creation of new formulas and products."[221] Besides Israeli investments in the Lithuanian life science's sector, Lithuanian presence in Israel in the food industry remains strong as Israeli supermarkets sell Lithuanian cheese, curd desserts, Vilnius mayonnaise, Žemaitijos Pienas butter, Panevėžys ice cream, Švyturys-Utenos Alus beers and various styles of Lithuanian liquors. According to Vadimas Ivanovas, a business and financial analyst at Enterprise Lithuania, says that Israeli retail chains are very interested in Lithuanian sweets, pastries, canned vegetables, various sauces, alcoholic beverages, mineral water. “Veal is particularly popular.”[215]

In 2011 alone, Israeli tourism to Lithuania grew by 62 percent, and Lithuanian exports to Israel increased by 54 percent. Israel’s leading pharmaceutical company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, has a manufacturing plant in Lithuania and TEVA recently invested in “Sicor Biotech”, a Lithuanian biotechnological pharmaceutical company, further signifying economic cooperation and encourages the development of such sciences as biotechnology and genetic engineering in Lithuanian universities.[220]

Bilateral meetings between both nations reached unexpected highs between 2009 - 2011 and cooperations between the two nations remain excellent with several forms of cooperation that include science, economics, education, and culture as emphasized by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has stated Israel as model of innovation in which is one of the reasons that Lithuania is interested in enhancing its bilateral relations.[216][217][218][219]

Lithuanian achievements, particularly Lithuania's achievements in biochemistry and the biosciences have attracted Israeli entrepreneurs and investors to invest in Lithuania's science and technology sector and Lithuania is enthusiastic in combining Israel's knack for unlocked untapped entrepreneurial and intellectual potential combined with Lithuania's strong science and technology research base and talented workforce. Both nations have concluded an agreement on cooperation in industrial research and experimental development as further cooperation within venture capital to fund joint research projects remains underway.[214][215]

Israel recognized Lithuania’s independence in 1991. Both countries established diplomatic relation in 1992. Israel has an embassy in Vilnius. Lithuania has an embassy in Tel Aviv and two honorary consulates (in Herzliya and Ramat Gan). Relations are warm and friendly between the two nations and both bi-national trade and tourism has doubled, and two new regularly scheduled flights have just been set between the two countries since 2010.[213]


Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also corroborated claims that Israel is interested in forging closer relations with Latvia as Rinkevics emphasized the 20th anniversary of relations between Latvia and Israel in 2012 and both foreign ministers expressed their commitment to strengthening economic and trade cooperation, including contacts between Latvian and Israeli entrepreneurs and a more cooperative operation in the fields of education, culture and science.[212]

[212] Latvia and Israel established diplomatic relations January 6, 1992. In October 2012, Foreign Minister


Relations between Italy and Israel remain strong, with frequent diplomatic exchanges and a large volume of trade. The Israeli Government has followed with great attention the fight against international terrorism pursued by the Italian Government.

The Israeli and Italian Air Forces conclude an extensive, two-week joint exercise in Sardinia, 17 November 2010.


In 2010, the Israel Defense Forces forcibly boarded an Irish aid ship destined for the Gaza Strip which resulted in worsened relations, Israel's Mossad was also involved in the counterfeiting of Irish passports, 2 members of the Israeli ambassador's security staff in Dublin were subsequently deported. In 2010, there were numerous protests at the Israeli embassy in Ireland over the treatment of Palestinians.

The Irish government followed a similar line to other EU governments during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, with the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, condemning the actions of Israel as "reckless and disproportionate" and calling for an immediate ceasefire on both sides, while also condemning the actions of Hezbollah.[210] During the conflict, a shipment of bombs that attempted to land in Ireland from USA to Tel Aviv was denied use of Irish airspace and airfields by the Irish Government. The weapons were part of a series of agreed arms shipments between the United States Government and Israel. The shipments were diverted via Scotland, where they also caused controversy.[211]

Full diplomatic relations between Ireland and Israel were established in 1975.[207] In 2006, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland was Zion Evrony,[208] and the Irish ambassador to Israel was Michael Forbes.[209]


Hungary and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1948 and severed during the Six Day War in 1967. Relations were restored in 1989 with improved relations as well as the opening of embassies and consulates with Hungary having an embassy in Tel Aviv and 4 honorary consulates (in Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv)[202] and Israel has an embassy in Budapest and an honorary consulate in Szeged.[203] Both countries have stressed the increasing of trade and tourism between one another and an estimated 30,000 Hungarian Jews emigrated to Israel in 1948.[204][205][206] Both nations are also members of the Union for the Mediterranean.


The bilateral commission convened on 30 April 2009 and 10 December 2009.[201]

In March 2000, Pope John Paul II visited Israel. In May 2009, Pope Benedict XVI held an official visit to Israel.

Diplomatic relations between the Israeli government and the Vatican were established in 1994, following the conclusion of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel, signed on 30 December 1993. The Holy See (the Vatican), which has UN observer status, is the only non-UN member state with which Israel has diplomatic relations and the only non-UN member state recognised by Israel. An important organ in these relations is the Israel-Vatican Bilateral Commission, established under article 10 of the Agreement to resolve economic issues between the parties.

Following the Six Day War, the Vatican modified its position on the holy places. In an address to the College of Cardinals in December 1967, Pope Paul VI called for a "special statute, internationally guaranteed" for Jerusalem and the Holy Places, thus changing the previous demand for the internationalization of Jerusalem.

In January 1964, Pope Paul VI visited Israel, the first such Papal visit.

Before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Vatican opposed Zionist policies and objectives in Palestine. In 1947, during discussions at the United Nations about the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, the Vatican supported the internationalization of Jerusalem, in order to keep the holy places away from either Israeli or Arab sovereignty. In October 1948, as the 1948 Arab–Israeli War was in progress, Pope Pius XII, deeply disturbed by that violent conflict, issued the encyclical In multiplicibus curis, in which he called on the peace-makers to give Jerusalem and its outskirts "an international character" and to assure – "with international guarantees" – freedom of access and worship at the holy places scattered throughout Palestine. In April 1949, he issued the encyclical Redemptoris nostri cruciatus, in which he appealed for justice for the Palestinian refugees and repeated his call for an "international status" as the best form of protection for the holy places.

Holy See

A new joint action committee for the Greek-Israeli alliance has been created in the U.S. Congress in early 2013. The creation and goals of the Greek-Israeli Caucus under the name Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance were announced at a special event held in the Congress.[197] It is co-chaired by Congress members Gus Bilirakis the Republican representative from Florida and Ted Deutch the Democrat from Florida, and the Greek-Israeli Caucus consists of powerful members of both Republican and Democratic party. It is estimated that it may become the most important pressure group in Congress by 2014.[198][199][200]

The joint Cyprus-Israel oil and gas explorations are also an important factor for Greece, given its strong links with Cyprus.[195] Additionally Greek and Israeli state controlled energy companies are planning to lay the world's longest subsea power cable, linking Israel, Cyprus and Greece by 2015. The link, called the EuroAsia Interconnector project, would be the longest in the world.[196]

Greece-Israel relations improved as Turkish-Israel relations worsened in the aftermath of the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid. In October 2010, the Israeli and Greek air-forces trained jointly in Greece. According to the BBC, this signified a boost in ties that was due in large part to Israel's rift with Turkey.[193] In November 2011, the Israeli Air Force hosted Greece's Hellenic Air Force in a joint exercise at the Uvda base.[194]

A Greek-Israeli cooperation agreement on military affairs was concluded as early as December 1994 (predating the Turkish-Israeli agreement of February 1996); however, both sides refrained from activating the agreement. Greece was apparently concerned about alienating the Arab world while Israel did not wish to upset the Turks. Greece and Israel agreed to hold joint naval maneuvers at the end of the summer 1997, but they were indefinitely postponed by the Greeks. The reason given for the postponement was that the Greek navy was busy preventing infiltrations from Albania, and it could not spare a frigate for the exercises.[192]

Meeting of President of Israel Shimon Peres and Prime Minister of Greece Antonis Samaras in August 2012 in Athens
The Israeli and Greek Navies joined forces in 2012 near Piraeus

Both Greece and Turkey recognized the State of Israel in the late 1940s, but were diplomatically represented in Tel Aviv on lower-than-embassy levels. Greek-Israeli relations improved in 1995. Trade doubled between 1989 and 1995. That year Israel exported $200 million worth of chemicals and oil products to Greece and imported $150 million worth of cement, food, and building materials. Israel is the second largest importer of Greek products in the Middle East.


Germany is a prime supplier of arms to Israel, including Dolphin submarines. The military co-operation has been discreet but mutually profitable: Israeli intelligence, for example, sent captured Warsaw Pact armor to West Germany to be analyzed. The results aided the German development of an anti-tank system.[191]

Due to its role in the Holocaust, Israel was at first extremely hostile towards Germany and initially refused to establish relations with them. However, relations gradually thawed as Germany offered to pay reparations in 1952, and diplomatic relations were officially established in 1965. Israel and Germany now maintain a "special relationship" based on shared beliefs, Western values and a combination of historical perspectives.[189] Among the most important factors in their relations is Nazi Germany's role in the genocide of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.[190]


Georgia has its Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the State of Israel has its Embassy in Tbilisi. In June 2013, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili praised the Jewish people and Israel and has sought to increase relations between Israel and Georgia elucidating his special relationship between him, Georgia and the Jewish people. Ivanishvili also wanted to extend strategic partnerships and as well as furthering economic cooperation by making it easier for Israeli entrepreneurs and investors to not just do business in Israel, but also facilitate the right paths to do business for the Georgians. The Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business was established in 1996 in order to facilitate business transactions between the two friendly countries and acting as a guide for Israeli businesses through the Georgian economy. Major sectors include insurance, real estate and construction, medical and dental solutions, industrial and utility projects, and energy.[186][187][188]

[185][184] Georgia's former defense minister from 2006 to 2008, [183] Relations between Israel and Georgia remain excellent.


In the early 1950s, France and Israel maintained close political and military ties as common enemies of Pan-Arab nationalism. France was Israel's main weapons supplier until its withdrawal from Algeria in 1962 removed most common interest from the relationship, and France became increasingly critical of Israel.[179] This new reality became clear when, in the crisis leading up to the Six-Day War in June 1967, Charles de Gaulle's government imposed an arms embargo on the region, mostly affecting Israel, which had relied on France for weapons over the previous decade.[180] Under François Mitterrand in the early 1980s, French-Israeli relations improved greatly. Mitterrand was the first French president to visit Israel while in office.[181] In 1967, after the Six Day War, 5,300 French Jews immigrated to Israel.[182]

Tzipi Livni and French foreign minister Douste-Blazy


In 2004, a joint Finland-Israel Technology (FIT) cooperation program was created for research and development projects in the field of ICT. The Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Research and Innovation, allocated five million euros each for the funding of projects.[178] In 2005, Finnish exports to Israel totaled 155,24 million euros and imports from Israel to Finland totaled 95,96 million euros. Finland's leading exports to Israel are telecommunications equipment and machinery, and Israeli fruits and vegetables.[178]


Estonia and Israel maintain excellent relations. Israel officially recognized the Republic of Estonia on 4 September 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on 9 January 1992. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet opened the Estonian Embassy in Tel Aviv in November 2009. As of 2012, bilateral trade with Israel was 19.9 million euros.[177]


The political lives of the two states have been somewhat intertwined: The former Israeli minister of social and diaspora affairs Michael Melchior was born in Denmark and is the son of former chief rabbi in Copenhagen, Bent Melchior, the nephew of former Danish minister of traffic and minister of tourism and communication Arne Melchior, and the grandson of the acting rabbi for the Jewish refugees from Denmark in Sweden 1943-45, Marcus Melchior; the executive director of the Peres Center for Peace 2001-2011, Ron Pundak who played an important role in starting the Oslo peace process and was part of the core group behind the Geneva Initiative, is the son of the influential Danish journalist Herbert Pundik; and the prominent Israeli politician Yohanan Plesner, former chairman of the Plesner Committee, is the son of Danish architect Ulrik Plesner.

The relations between Denmark and Israel have been friendly and warm. Denmark voted for the partition of Palestine in 1947 and supports Israel in the United Nations. Denmark was one of few countries in Europe to save most of its Jewish population during the WWII. In Jerusalem, there is a monument to the rescue of Danish Jews, a school is named in Denmark's honor, and the King Christian X hospital in Eitanim is named after Denmark's king during World War II. Denmark has an embassy in Israel, and Israel has an embassy in Copenhagen.


In December 2008, the Czech Air Force wanted to train in desert conditions for the upcoming mission in Afghanistan. No country agreed to help, except Israel. Israel saw it as an opportunity to thank the Czechs for training Israeli pilots when the country was first established.[176]

Israel and the Czech Republic share a special relationship. Czechoslovakia was the only country to send aid to Israel in its early years e.g. arms shipments from Czechoslovakia to Israel 1947–1949.

Czech Republic

Relations between Israel and Cyprus are based on mutual respect for Western values, the support for free-market economy and the establishment of democracies in the Middle East that would co-exist peacefully.[175]

Cyprus serves an important role as the place where most Israeli couples obtain civil marriages, because Cyprus is the closest country on good diplomatic terms with Israel that issues civil marriages. Israel does not issue civil marriages, only religious ones, with religious restrictions on the eligibility of marriage, and a recent law allows civil marriages in Israel under one condition: both individuals are non-Jewish residents of the state. Israel does however recognize civil marriages issued abroad, with Cyprus being the largest source of easy civil marriage licenses.

However, the discovery of natural gas in the Leviathan gas field led to a thawing of relations between the two governments. The two countries demarcated their Exclusive Economic Zones in 2010. Israel's rising antagonism with Turkey further increased the level of cooperation between the two countries, as Israel compensated by improving its relations elsewhere. In February 2012, Netanyahu visited Cyprus, the first visit of an Israeli Prime Minister in history.[174] The collaboration between Cyprus,Israel and Greece on natural gas extraction has been characterised by the media as the Energy Triangle.

Israel has had diplomatic relations with Cyprus since Israel's independence in 1948, when Cyprus was a British protectorate. Israel and Cyprus' associations have continued to expand since 1960, the year of Cyprus' independence. The neighboring countries trade regularly and there are high flows of tourism between them. However, Cypriot politicians have frequently spoken out against Israeli military raids in the Palestinian territories as well as the 2006 Lebanon War, during which Cyprus was forced to manage a heavy flow of refugees and aid out of and into Lebanon.[173]

Chief Rabbi of Cyprus, Arie Zeev Raskin meets the Cypriot President, Demetris Christofias.


While Croatia was part of the Yugoslavia Federation (1943-1991) it established diplomatic relations with Israel in year 1948 through the Federation, but after Israel attacked Yugoslavia's Non-Aligned Movement ally Egypt in the Six-Day War in 1967, Yugoslavia severed all diplomatic relations with Israel. After the breakup of Yugoslavia occurred as a result of a series of political upheavals and conflicts Croatia declared independence on October 8, 1991 and officially renewed its bilateral relations with Israel which recognized Croatia as an independent state on April 16, 1992, but due to some disagreements with the Croatian President Tuđman full diplomatic relations were established 5 years later, on September 4, 1997. Since then relations between Croatia and Israel have been excellent. Croatia has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 4 honorary consulates (in Ashdod, Caesarea, Jerusalem and Kfar Shmaryahu). Israel has an embassy in Zagreb. In addition, Croatia does not recognize the State of Palestine.


The governments of both counties also intend to cooperate in the high-tech sector, the communications sector, health care and agriculture and to continue the positive development of tourism between the two countries and energy resource divestment. Israel also intends to join with Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Romania to launch a regional group for crisis response which will boost the partnership between these countries in cases of common security challenges as result of a March 2014 meeting between Lieberman and Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev.[172]

In January 2012, Israel and Bulgaria signed two additional memorandum of understanding, which the purpose where one was for joint military training exercises and one for cooperation in the defence sector. The two agreements were signed by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov. Minister Angelov said the two agreements, in addition to their economic and defense benefits, also "bring a political message – Bulgaria and Israel are a step closer towards stronger cooperation and a strategic dialogue." After the 2012 Burga bus bombing, Bulgaria and Israel pledged to increase security relatons between the two countries discussing various aspects of bilateral cooperation at a meeting at the Ministry of Interior between Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Tsvetlin Iochev and Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Avigdor Leiberman in November 2013. An international investigation led by Bulgaria has established was the work of people linked with the bombing to the military wing of Hezbollah where five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian citizen died.[170][171]

The cooperation has been consolidated by unexpected actions of goodwill from both nations. In the summer 2010 Bulgaria dispatched 90 firefighters to Israel to join the efforts to put out a massive wild-fire that raged outside of Haifa. In the summer of 2012, Israel sent two 'Air Tractor' planes to Bulgaria to help that nation fight a wild-fire in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia further signifying notions of repayment and as well as the strengthening of relations between the two countries. On July 7, 2011, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a declaration pledging closer cooperation between the two countries and the governments between the two countries would result in a wide range of areas that include foreign affairs, national security and emergency preparedness, tourism, energy, and agriculture. Israel also took note of Bulgaria's prompt on international cooperation between the two countries to preserve memory, learning, and research on the Holocaust, combating xenophobia and antisemitism.[169]

Israel and Bulgaria share a special relationship. Bulgaria was one of the rare countries in Europe which saved its 48,000 Jews during the WWII.[167] Israel and Bulgaria established diplomatic relations in 1948. After the Six-Day War Bulgaria cut diplomatic ties with Israel. In 1990 diplomatic relations were renewed. Bulgaria has an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel has an embassy in Sofia and honorary consul in Varna.[168]



Israel established relations with Belarus in 1992 and continue to maintain friendly relations. In April 2000, Belarus and Israel signed an agreement on trade, science, culture, and education. The two countries also formed a joint committee to improve relations between the two nations. Belarus has an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel has an embassy in Minsk.[161][162] The two countries have also discussed implementing a visa-free regime between the two countries. Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei continues to satisfied with the relations between the two countries and also expressed hope for new opportunities to facilitate further all-round cooperation with Israel in conjunction with fostering progressive development with the Jewish state. Both nations celebrated its 20th anniversary in December 2012. Bilateral cooperation has since then encapsulated tourism, culture, trade, economy, science, education and other fields.[163] In 2013, Belorussian Vice Premier Mikhail Rusyi met top Israeli officials from the Belorussian Agriculture and Food Ministry, the State Committee for Science and Technology, Belarusbank and the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee to further facilitate economic cooperation as well as development of innovative technologies into the Belorussian agricultural sector.[164][165][166]


For many years, Azerbaijan has maintained high rates of immigration to Israel due to the economic and political situation in the country. In 2002, 475 Jews made aliyah and 111 immigrated to the United States. The Azeri government gets regular updates from Israel regarding Azeri Jews in Israel, who are plagued by unemployment, crime, and other social issues as new immigrants in Israel.[160]

Many Azerbaijanis express the hope that friendship with Israel may help to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and expedite Azerbaijan's integration with the West. The Azerbaijan-Israel Friendship Society facilitates and promotes bilateral diplomatic and business links. In October 2001, President Aliyev pledged to open an embassy in Israel and send his Foreign Minister to visit the country. Although neither has occurred, Azerbaijani-Israeli strategic cooperation continues to grow.

Azerbaijani-Israeli relations are good, and Israel has an embassy in Baku. In May 1999, the U.S.-Azerbaijan Council sponsored a seminar to discuss relations among Azeris, Jews, and Israel. In April 2000, an Israeli trade delegation visited Baku to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral economic relations.


Austria recognized Israel on 5 March 1949. Austria has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 3 honorary consulates (in Eilat, Haifa and Jerusalem).[157] Israel has an embassy in Vienna.[158] Both countries are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean. The Austrian Foreign Ministry lists the bilateral treaties with Israel (in German only).[159]


Since independence, Armenia has received support from Israel and today remains one of its major trade partners. While both countries have diplomatic relations, neither maintains an embassy in the other country. Instead, Ehud Moshe Eytam, the Israeli ambassador to Armenia is based in Yerevan twice a month. Israel has recognized 10 Armenians as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.[156]


Israel and Albania established diplomatic relations on 20 August 1991. Albania had previously recognized Israel as a state since 1949.[155] Albania has an embassy in Tel-Aviv and Israel also has an embassy in Tirana.



Vietnam and Israel established diplomatic relations on 12 July 1993. Israel opened its resident Embassy in Hanoi in December 1993.[152] The first Vietnamese ambassador to Israel presented his credentials on 8 July 2009.[153] Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have frequently conducted reciprocal visits at various levels, and have strengthened ties in such fields as business, education, culture, technological cooperation and agriculture. The visits arranged by the Israeli government included those of delegations comprising entrepreneurs and businessmen, academic groups, journalists, artists and musicians, legal workers, and so on.[154]


In 2013, the Israel Foreign Ministry opened a new embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.[150][151]


There is also a Thai-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Thai-Israel Friendship Foundation as well as a small community of Israelis living in Thailand.[149]

Thailand and Israel have had full diplomatic relations since 23 June 1954. The Israeli embassy was opened in 1958 although the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv only opened in 1996. Since the beginning, both countries have enjoyed strong ties and beneficial bilateral cooperation in many fields, most notably in agriculture and education. Thousands of Thai academics have been sent to train in Israel while many Thai schools have been modeled after Israel's experience and know-how with aid from Mashav. State visits by Thai royalty to Israel have been reciprocated by Israel's public figures. 100,000 Israeli tourists visit Thailand annually.[148] Thousands of skilled and unskilled Thai workers are employed in Israel and many Thai students study in Israel.


In May 2011, the Israeli Minister of Agriculture visited Sri Lanka with an agro-business delegation to promote cooperation between the two countries.[147]

Sri Lanka

On 23 August 2010 Korea Venture Investment Corp. (KVIC), a state-backed fund management company, signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel's Vertex Venture Capital (VVC) to raise a US$150 million fund, which will be used to finance joint ventures or the merger and acquisition of small and mid-size venture firms in the two countries.[146]

The Republic of Korea and the State of Israel established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1962.[144][145] Israel opened its embassy in Seoul in April 1968, which was closed by the Israeli government in February 1972. The embassy was reopened in January 1992, with Korea opening its resident embassy in Tel Aviv in December 1993.[144]

South Korea

Today both countries have extensive economic ties and engage in a high volume of trade, with an emphasis on technology and research and development in the spheres of bio-technology and defense. Israel's national airline El Al does not fly to Singapore as Singapore is located in the region of Indonesia and Malaysia both of which do not recognise Israel as a state which makes attaining flight rights impossible. Israel has had diplomatic representation in Singapore since its earliest days, with representation formalised in 1968. Singapore is a regional hub for Israeli businesses, while a growing number of members of both business communities seek opportunities for joint ventures in biotechnology, IT and the software industries. Several bilateral agreements provide a solid framework for cooperation in areas such as healthcare, defence, and technological research & development. Most recently, in 1997, a bi-national fund for financing new technological products was set up, an indicator of deepening bilateral relations between both states. Cultural exchanges have been accentuated by encouraging the participation of Israeli artists in international events in Singapore, cultivating a broad interest in Israeli performing arts. The yearly Film Festival has grown to become a cornerstone in the structured framework of activities.[143]

Singapore and Israel have strong bilateral ties and have enjoyed close relations from the outset. This is in part due to both countries' perceptions of themselves as regional economic powerhouses surrounded by much larger Islamic countries with which they have an uneasy relationship. Following Singapore's sudden and unexpected independence after being unilaterally ejected from Malaysia, Singapore appealed to the international community for technical assistance and military aid. Israel sent over a mission to jumpstart Singapore's economy and create, from scratch, Singapore's armed forces and its Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the former modeled after the IDF in both doctrine and order of battle.


On 29 November 1947, the Philippines (a U.S. territory until 1946) was the only Asian nation to support the partition resolution at the United Nations General Assembly recommending a Jewish State in Palestine.[140] Israel and the Philippines established full diplomatic relationships in 1957. Embassies were opened in Tel-Aviv and Manila in 1962. The two countries have enjoyed warm relations in all spheres. In 1997, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) institutionalizing the bilateral political dialogue between the respective foreign ministries. The political dialog is accompanied by cooperation in trade and economy, culture, technical assistance, science, academic exchanges, tourism etc. There are between 37,155–50,000 Filipino workers in Israel as of 2004.[141][142]


In the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks in India, there was an attack on the Nariman House Jewish community centre. Six people (among them four Israeli citizens), including a Jewish rabbi and his pregnant wife, were killed (some of them were also tortured before being killed). The Islamic terrorists had illegally come from Pakistan, reportedly on the instructions of Pakistan Army's Inter Services Intelligence.[139]

Israel and Pakistan do not have diplomatic relations with each other, and Pakistan forbids its citizens from going to Israel by putting the legend 'This passport is valid for all countries of the World except Israel' on Pakistani passports.[134][135][136] Some Israeli leaders have expressed the belief that should diplomatic relations with Pakistan be established, then Pakistan could serve as a bridge between Israel and the Muslim world.[137] In 2008, the Israeli Foreign minister stated that "Israel considers Pakistan as its biggest strategic threat" in light of concern over the increasing Taliban threat in Pakistan.[138]

A Pakistani passport with a message that forbids holders from traveling to Israel.


North Korea does not recognise the state of Israel, denouncing it as an "imperialist satellite".[33] Since 1988 it recognises the sovereignty of the State of Palestine over the territory held by Israel.

North Korea

After the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Israel was one of the first to send aid to Nepal. Israel sent a delegation of 264 people for Search & Rescue missions, and over 95 tons of equipment, including a field hospital. It is estimated that about 12,000 Nepalese foreign workers are residing in Israel, most of whom are women working as caregivers.

Nepal is one of the few Asian countries to have consistently supported Israel at international forums and at the UN. Nepal has maintained diplomatic relations and continues to support the right of Israel to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. Nepal voted in favour of Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which upheld the right of all the states in the region to live in peace. Nepal has also welcomed every initiative from whatever quarter that seeks to resolve the Middle East problems like the Camp David Accord signed between Egypt and Israel in 1978 and the renewed peace process sponsored time to time by countries like the USA.

Israel-Nepal relations, first established in 1960, are based on mutual security concerns.[132] Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister of Nepal from 1959 to 1960, had a strongly pro-Israel foreign policy. King Mahendra visited Israel in 1963 and maintained Koirala's special relationship. Until the 1990s Nepal was the only South Asian country to have diplomatic ties with Israel.[133]

Abba Eban and the King of Nepal at Weizmann Institute, 1958


Visited Mongolia in August 2010, formally of the National University of Mongolia, academic delegation from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During the visit, an agreement was signed for cooperation between universities. In 2012, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon visited and signed an agreement with the Mongolian Minister of Education which included collaboration between universities and institutions of higher education, which will study in Mongolia about Israel and the Holocaust and Israel will learn about the heritage and History of Mongolia. It was also agreed on expanding ties between the two countries and embassies.

In October 1991 the official relationship of Mongolia and Israel. Ariel Sharon visited in Mongolia on 2001, when he was minister in the Likud government. Israelis wishing to enter Mongolia are exempt from arming a visa in advance. The Mongolian immigration authorities tend to provide visitors to the country a 30 days visa on their arrival. You can extend the visa fee and the extension is at the discretion of the authorities.


On 21 July 2014, Maldives announced plans to ban the import of goods made in Israel and dissolved three agreements between the two countries, as Israel underwent a military operation in Gaza. A large Palestinian death toll led Maldives Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon to announce that the Maldives would join other Arab nations in co-sponsoring a resolution at a special session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for the protection of an independent Palestinian state and the extension of humanitarian aid.[130] Foreign minister Dunya Maumoon then said that the three agreements made between the Maldives and Israel by former President Mohamed Nasheed's government have been abolished.,[131] indicating “I do not think Maldivians want any help from Israel or want to keep up relations with Israel. So from now on, the agreements have been annulled”.[130]

Relations between Israel and Maldives were not very strong until the new government of the Maldives came into power in 2008. From 1978 to 2008 there were no official relations between Israel and the Maldives. The president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed announced that he would like to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. In September 2009, Maldives restored diplomatic relations with Israel, 15 years after suspending them.[129]


Israel and Malaysia do not maintain diplomatic relations.


Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1992. The embassy of Israel in Kazakhstan opened in August 1992. The embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel opened in May 1996. Israel has an embassy in Astana and Kazakhstan maintains an embassy in Tel Aviv.


On 15 May 1952, diplomatic relations were established with Japan at a Legation level. However, the Japanese government refrained from appointing a Minister Plenipotentiary to Israel until 1955. Relations between the two states were distant at first, but after 1958, no break occurred, despite the Arab oil embargo on several countries, including Japan.


In 2012, Indonesia agreed to informally upgrade its relations with Israel and to open a consulate in Ramallah, headed by a diplomat with the rank of ambassador, who will also unofficially serve as his country's ambassador for contacts with Israel. The move, which was agreed upon after five years of sensitive deliberations, represents a de facto upgrading of relations between Israel and the world's most populous Muslim country. Indonesia has formally presented the move to open a West Bank consulate as a demonstration of its support for Palestinian independence. In fact, while the ambassador-ranked diplomat will be accredited to the Palestinian Authority/PLO, a significant portion of his work will be in dealings with Israel, and the office will fulfill substantial diplomatic duties as well as consular responsibilities. Israel and Indonesia quietly maintain trade, security and other relations. Israelis can get visas for Bali in Singapore, while many Indonesians come to Israel as pilgrims. [128]

Indonesia purchased over 30 Douglas A-4 Skyhawks from Israel in the early 1980s, despite no recognition or diplomatic relations.[127]


Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defense and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1991. In 2009, Israel overtook Russia as India's biggest arms supplier; the U.S. even gave Israel approval to sell the Phalcon to India after earlier forcing Jerusalem to cancel a similar deal with China. India has bought more than $5 billion worth of Israeli equipment since 2002. In addition, Israel is training Indian military units and discussing an arrangement to give Indian commandos instruction in counter-terrorist tactics and urban warfare.[124] In December 2008, Israel and India signed a memorandum to set up an Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium to facilitate discussions and exchange programs between judges and jurists of the two countries. According to an international opinion survey conducted in 2009 on behalf of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, India is the most pro-Israel country in the world.[125][126] While two sizable minorities in Indian life—the Indian Muslim population and the Socialist/Communist political groups—disdain New Delhi's ties to Israel, they have repeatedly failed to change them.

India established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in 1992 and has since become Israel's strongest ally in Asia.[120][121] The two countries cooperate in anti-terrorist activities in the Middle East and Southern Asia. Israel is India's largest arms provider and India is Israel's principal arms market, and the trade volume between the two countries has increased significantly in the past few years.[122] Co-operation has taken place in the space sector as well with India launching Israeli satellites. India became the top source market for Israel from Asia in 2010 with 41,000 tourist arrivals in that year.[123]

Indian and Israeli flags in New Delhi during Ariel Sharon's visit, September 2003.


Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, cultural exchange has been a major component of the bilateral relations, as both sides recognise the importance of creating a strong foundation based on their ancient and rich histories.[118] In 2007, China launched a countrywide Festival of Culture in Israel to mark 15 years of relations.[119]

Israel has also provided China with military assistance, expertise and technology. According to a report from the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Israel ranks second only to Russia as a weapons system provider to China and as a conduit for sophisticated military technology, followed by France and Germany." Israel was ready to sell China the Phalcon, an Israeli airborne early-warning radar system (AWACS), until the United States forced it to cancel the deal.[116][117]

Israel has provided China with technological assistance in the areas of advanced agriculture and irrigation. Bilateral R&D projects, supported by the China-Israel Agricultural Research Fund, are focused on the development of new varieties of fruit and vegetables, agricultural biotechnology and applying modern technologies for processing fresh produce. Israel has built three major demonstration farms in China and several training centers which are supported by both Chinese and Israeli ministries of agriculture.

On 9 January 1950, the Israeli government extended recognition to the People's Republic of China, but diplomatic relations were not established until January 1992.


Burma (otherwise known as Myanmar) was one of the first countries to recognize Israel and establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Burma has also become one of Israel's strongest allies in the region, in terms of both technical assistance and also the much debated and rumored military links. Premiers from both sides such as U Nu and David Ben-Gurion made state visits to each other's countries in the 1950s.[114][115] Burma sends agriculture researchers to Israel for training. This was further cemented in Israel's aid assistance during the Cyclone Nargis disaster of May 2008.

U Nu and Moshe Dayan in 1955.


Bangladesh does not recognize Israel as legitimate and officially forbids its citizens to travel to Israel by putting "Valid for travel to all countries except Israel" on Bangladeshi passports. Bangladesh supports a sovereign Palestinian state and an end to Israel's "illegal occupation of Palestine".[113]

Both the Israeli government and general public supported the Bangladesh Liberation War. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 the new born country was recognised by Israel in as early as 1972 before any Arab country although Bangladesh "categorically rejected" the recognition.[112]


Despite being a close ally of India, Afghanistan has no relations with Israel and has condemned its existence several times. Along with neighboring ally Iran, Afghanistan considers Israel an enemy state. In the wake of the 2008–2009 Gaza conflict, 50,000 Afghans signed up in Kabul as a symbolic gesture to fight the Israelis.[111] Chants of "death to Israel" rang through the streets of the Afghan capital Kabul for a week.[111] Many Afghans lined up to donate blood to Palestinians.[111] In January 2009, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel's invasion of Gaza a massacre "barbaric and inhumane and widely helped by the Americans".[111]


In addition to Turkey, Israel has diplomatic relations with 6 non-Arab Muslim states in Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).


Abel Muzorewa, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, visited Israel on 21 October 1983. He urged Robert Mugabe to establish diplomatic relations, saying his political policies hurt Zimbabwe's agriculture and technology industries. In March 2002 an Israeli company sold riot control vehicles to the Mugabe government, shortly before the nation's 2002 elections.[110]


In a joint Israeli-Ugandan project, a professor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agriculture conducted a survey of Lake Victoria with a Ugandan colleague from Makerere University. They found that Nile perch, introduced by the British sixty years ago, have decimated native fish populations, leading to malnutrition in the lakeside communities.[109] She helped to set up artificial fish ponds to raise carp, which had disappeared from the local diet. The United States Agency for International Development sponsored the digging of the ponds and sent villagers to Kibbutz HaMa'apil in Emek Hefer to learn spawning techniques. Graduates of the training program established carp farms.[109]


In May 2009, Israel and Togo signed a "pact for cooperation in the economic, agricultural and educational fields" with each other.[108]


Israel established diplomatic relations with Swaziland in September 1968,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Swaziland was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Malawi) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[96]


Israel recognized the Republic of South Sudan on 10 July 2011, and offered the new state economic help, following its declaration of independence the previous day from the mainly Arab Muslim north Sudan.[105] On 15 July 2011, South Sudan declared its intention to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel[106] and, on 28 July 2011, it was announced that full diplomatic ties had been established between the two countries.[107] On 28 July 2011, Israel and South Sudan announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations.[107]

South Sudan

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa's new government has been cold toward Israel and critical of Israel's policies towards Palestinians but has nevertheless ignored calls from pro-Palestinian South African groups to sever relations between the two countries.

The Union of South Africa was one of only four Commonwealth nations to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition resolution, which led to the establishment of the State of Israel. South Africa was one of the first states to recognize Israel; diplomatic relations between Israel and South Africa were established in 1948. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, Israel became a harsh critic of apartheid, leading to a break in its relations with Pretoria. After 1967, Israel and South Africa became strategic partners again, and this lasted until 1987 when Israel joined the West in forcefully opposing apartheid.

Danny Ayalon with South African Foreign Affairs DG Matjila

South Africa

Relations with Senegal were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Senegal on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[89] In a trilateral partnership between Israel, Italy and Senegal, Israeli drip irrigation systems are being installed to help farmers in 12 districts of rural Senegal.[104]


Relations with Rwanda were established soon following independence of the African state. They were broken by the government of Rwanda on 8 October 1973, during the Yom Kippur war.[103]


Israel and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1960 . In 1973, Nigeria broke off contacts with Israel, but in May 1992, bilateral relations were restored.[1] Since April 1993, Israel has maintained an embassy in Abuja, and Nigeria has maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv.[1] Many Nigerians go on religious pilgrimage to Israel.




On 6 March 2009, the Israeli diplomatic delegation to Mauritania left after nine years of diplomatic ties, following a demand from the Mauritanian authorities to close the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott within 48 hours.[101] The Mauritanian delegation to Israel left earlier without sending official notice to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[102]

Little public information exists, and it must be inferred from behind the scenes meetings between Mauritania and Israel in 1995 and 1996 said to be at the instigation of Mauritania's President Ould Taya;[99] the establishment of unofficial "interest sections" in the respective Spanish embassies in 1996 in the two capital cities,[99] leading to; the exchange of diplomatic representatives in each other's countries from 27 October 1999;[100] that Mauritania had reversed its declaration by then.

Mauritania did not abide by moves to recognise Israel's right to exist in the same way as most other Arab countries, after the earlier 1967 Khartoum Resolution.

Mauritania declared war on Israel as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War,[97] following the Arab League's collective decision (Mauritania was not admitted to the League until November 1973[98]), and did not reverse that declaration until at least 1991[97] and, for some 32 years in about early-mid-1999. Israelis were seemingly oblivious to the ongoing state of war.[97]


Israel established diplomatic relations with Malawi in July 1964,[1] immediately following that country achieving independence from the United Kingdom. Malawi was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Lesotho and Swaziland) that continued to maintain full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and has never severed such ties.[96]


Liberia was one of the African nations to vote 'yes' to Israel becoming an independent and sovereign nation and Jewish state.


Lesotho was one of only three Sub-Saharan black African states (the others being Malawi and Swaziland) that maintained full diplomatic relations with Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.[96]


Diplomatic relations were established in December 1963. Israel has an embassy in Nairobi and Kenya has an embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2003, Kenya requested Israel's help in developing a national solar energy program.[93] In 2006, Israel sent an 80-person search-and-rescue team to Kenya to save people trapped in rubble when a multistory building collapsed.[94] Following the 2007 Kenyan presidential election Israel donated medicine to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.[95]


Relations were broken at the initiative of the government of Ghana on 28 October 1973, following the Yom Kippur war.[89] Improvement in relations followed Israeli attempts to prevent Ghanaian support for the Palestinian Authority, which led to a state visit to Ghana by Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman in September 2009. During that visit, a bilateral agreement for agricultural cooperation was signed.[90][91] Diplomatic relations were restored in September 2011.[92]

Diplomatic relations with Ghana were established immediately following Ghanaian independence in 1957. Agreement on technical cooperation was concluded on 25 May 1962. On 24 May 1968, a trade agreement was concluded. A cultural cooperation agreement was concluded on 1 March 1973.


In Africa, Ethiopia is Israel's main and closest ally in the continent, due to common political, religious and security interests.[88] However, relations were severed between the years 1973 and 1989. Many towns in Ethiopia are named after biblical Israel settlements, including Ethiopia's third largest city of Nazret (Adama). Israel also provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) live in Israel.


Eritrea developed relations with Israel shortly after gaining its independence in 1993, despite protests among Arab countries. Israeli-Eritrean relations are close. The president of Eritrea has visited Israel for medical treatment.[86] However, Eritrea condemned Israeli military action during the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict.[87] Israeli-Eritrean ties are complicated by Israel's close ties to Ethiopia.


Although Israel does not have diplomatic or official trade relations with Djibouti (a member of the Arab League), following a meeting between officials of both countries in September 1995, plans were then announced to open liaison offices in the respective countries' capitals, prior to the possible establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states.[85] However, such relations did not materialize.


H.E. Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of Cameroon to Israel in 2012, serves as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel[84]


The two countries established relations in 1993. Neither has a formal consulate or embassy in the other country, but the two governments have cooperated on several development initiatives. Six Israeli-centered diamond companies have operations in Botswana.[83]


Relations between Israel and Angola are based on trade and foreign policy. In 2005, President José Eduardo dos Santos visited Israel. In March 2006, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $400 million. The Israeli ambassador to Angola is Avraham Benjamin.


Israel has diplomatic relations with 40 of the 44 Sub-Saharan African states that are not members of the Arab League, including a number of Muslim majority states.


They do not have diplomatic relations and relations between the two countries are very tense. People with an Israeli passport or any passport with an Israeli stamp cannot enter Yemen, and Yemen is defined as an "enemy state" by Israeli law.


Relations are tense. No Israeli citizens allowed entry following the assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh even if entering using a foreign passport. United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state, and the two countries do not have diplomatic and economic relations.

United Arab Emirates

The Leviathan gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean is a further source of friction. Israel is planning its exploitation in partnership with Cyprus, a state that Turkey does not recognize because of the Cyprus dispute. However, in 2015, Turkey and Israel began to work on diplomatic relations by holding a secret meeting.

Relations between the two countries were further strained after the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid.[81] On 2 September 2011, Turkey downgraded ties with Israel to second secretary level and suspended military co-operation between the countries.[82] Turkey has demanded an apology from Israel over the flotilla incident, which Israel has shown interest in providing, but Turkey has also demanded Israel end its blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which Israel has stated is a non-possibility. The chances of any improvement in relations is unlikely in the near future as it appears the political leadership in both countries, and their mutual dislike, will remain in place for a while.

In January 2009, the Turkish government's condemnation of the 2008–09 Gaza War severely strained relations between the two countries. Erdoğan harshly criticized Israel's conduct in Gaza at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland in early 2009[79][80]

In February 2006, relations between Turkey and Israel suffered when Turkey hosted a delegation from the Palestinian group Hamas, although on a formal visit to Turkey in 2006, the Israeli then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated that "Bilateral relations [between Turkey and Israel] are excellent. Not only on a leader-to-leader level but also on a people-to-people level".

Relations have been strained since the turn of the 20th to 21st century as a result of the political decline in Turkey of forces based on the secular Kemalist ideology and the corresponding rise of the Justice and Development Party (AK party) of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey was the first Muslim-majority nation to formally recognize the State of Israel,[50] only one year after the Declaration of the Jewish State (28 March 1949). Israel was a major supplier of arms to Turkey. Military, strategic, and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel were given high priority by the governments of both countries, which shared concerns with respect to regional instabilities in the Middle East.

Turkish firefighting plane sent to aid Israel, 2010


Tunisia participated in the Yom Kippur War, sending 1,000-2,000 troops to fight alongside a coalition of Arab countries against Israel.[76] The relations worsened further in the early 2000s when the Second Intifada began, and on 22 Oct 2000, the state radio of Tunisia declared that President Ben Ali had decided to break all diplomatic ties with Israel following the "violence in the Palestinian-controlled territories".[77] On 21 Oct, Ben Ali had issued a strong condemnation of "the violation of the holy shrine of Al Quds Al Sharif, the repeated Israeli provocations, the use of weapons against innocent children and defenseless people, and the racist persecution of Arab Palestinian citizens", which "constitute flagrant violations of sanctities and human rights, and a blatant aggression against all human values and practices". On 22 Oct itself Israel expressed its disappointment at the Tunisian decision to sever relations and to close the Tunisian Interest Office in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Interest Office in Tunis. Expressing "surprise", the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: "It appears that Tunisia has elected to renounce its potential role as a bridge for dialogue between Israel and its neighbours, thereby harming the critical effort to promote regional peace".[78]


Since 2004, Syria has accepted the import of apples from farmers in the Golan Heights, territory that it claims, through the Quneitra crossing. This was a result of the ongoing Israeli refusal to accept apples from Golan farmers (reportedly due to over-supply), which led to a plea by the farmers to the Syrian government to accept their produce before it became spoiled in order to prevent economic collapse. In 2010, some 10,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers in the Golan Heights were sent to Syria.[75]


In recent years, Saudi Arabia has changed its viewpoint concerning the validity of negotiating with Israel. It calls for Israel's withdrawal from territory occupied in June 1967 in order for peace with the Arab states; then-Crown Prince Abdullah extended a multilateral peace proposal based on withdrawal in 2002. At that time, Israel did not respond to the offer. In 2007 Saudi Arabia again officially supported a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict which supported a full right of Palestinian refugees to move to Israel, which generated more official negative reactions from Israeli authorities.

[74][73][72] In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the

Saudi Arabia

Qatar and Israel do not currently have diplomatic relations.


There is a Postage stamp with picture of a King of Morocco in collection of State of Israel.

Moroccan expeditionary forces fought alongside a coalition of Arab countries in the Yom Kippur War against Israel.[70] In 1986, King Hassan II invited then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres for talks, becoming the second Arab leader to host an Israeli leader. Following the September 1993 signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, Morocco accelerated its economic ties and political contacts with Israel. In September 1994, Morocco and Israel announced the opening of bilateral liaison offices. When the king died in 1999, then-prime minister Ehud Barak and the Moroccan-born foreign minister David Levy flew to Rabat for his funeral.[71] The foreign offices were closed in 2000 following sustained Israeli-Palestinian violence.


Being a country with different social groups, where non-Muslims make up almost half of the population, some consider Lebanon to be "the least anti-Israel Arab country in the world", in spite of Hizbullah and its pressures on Lebanese political scene.[69]

After year 2000, and due to many wars with Hizbullah, Israeli law enforcement treats Lebanon as an "enemy state," [68] although Israel is considering the possibility of a non-aggression pact with Lebanon.

In August 2006, after the clash between Hizbullah and Israel, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that Lebanon would be the "last Arab country to make peace with Israel" because of the large number of civilians that were killed in the 2006 Lebanon War.[67] Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, the Iranian proxy in Lebanon, proclaims "Death to Israel" and promises the "liberation" of Jerusalem, while many Lebanese social fractions and political parties in Lebanon do neither agree with his vision nor with the strategy and practices of his armed party.

During the 90's, the success of the First Persian Gulf War created new opportunities for Middle East peacemaking. However, Lebanon was under the Syrian Occupation, which took over the treaties and negotiations.

During the Syrian Occupation of Lebanon (1976-2005), it was highly unlikely that Lebanon would sign a peace treaty with Israel before Syria, as Syria's influence on Lebanese politics was strong; however, the Syrian Occupation withdrew from Lebanon, yet the Iran-Syria-Hizbulla axis remained through the heavy arms presence.

However, and during the war of 1975-1990, some right-wing militias were Israel's allies. And after the assassination of President Bachir Gemayel, Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement on May 17, 1983 which was a peace treaty in all but name. The Lebanese legislature ratified the treaty by a margin of 80 votes, but in a very weak and unstable domestic position president Amine Gemayel abrogated the peace treaty on March 5, 1984 under unrelenting Syrian pressure, after the U.S. Marines withdrew and after Israel had begun withdrawing from Lebanon.

According to Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, the author of "My Enemy's Enemy", the pre-state Zionist attention to Lebanon consisted primarily of repeated attempts to establish a political alliance between the Jewish community in Palestine and the Maronite Catholic Community in Lebanon. Largely neglected by traditional scholarship on the Arab-Israeli condition, the Zionist-Lebanese relationship from 1900 to 1948 was surprisingly active and amicable. Zionist curiosity was naturally piqued by Lebanon, an Arab country with a sizable non-Muslim population enjoying political predominance.


Relations between Israel and Kuwait are generally hostile, mainly as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Israel has full diplomatic relations in peace with Jordan since the signing of the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace in 1994.

King Hussein, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Yitzhak Rabin, Israel-Jordan peace treaty


In 2006, the president of KRG Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani said: “It is not a crime to have relations with Israel. If Baghdad established diplomatic relations with Israel, we could open a consulate in Hewlêr (Kurdistan).” Israeli television broadcast photographs from the 1960s showing Mustafa Barzani embracing then Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan. In 2004, Israeli officials met with Kurdish political leaders. In 2006 the BBC reported that Israel was training Kurdish militias in Iraqi Kurdistan.[65] In April 2012, it was alleged that high-ranking Kurdish officials had collected the revenues of Iraqi oil that had been smuggled to Israel via the Kurdistan Region.[66]


Following the American-British led invasion of Iraq in 2003, diplomats had been discussing the possibility of improved relations between Israel and Iraq. However, then-Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi said in 2004 that Iraq would not establish ties with Israel.[64]


A large population of Iranian Jews reside in Israel, among them former President of Israel Moshe Katsav, former Chief of Staff / Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and former Chief of staff Dan Halutz.

Due to recent rhetoric between Iran and Israel, development of nuclear technology, and funding of the groups Hamas and Hezbollah, tensions have risen dramatically between the State of Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran,[52] especially after the election of the hardline Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. Comments made by Ahmadinejad[53][54][55][56][57][58][59] were perceived by Israel as threat of destruction.[60][61][62][63]

Relations between Israel and Iran have alternated from close political alliances between the two states during the era of the Pahlavi dynasty to hostility following the rise to power of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. While Iran was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel,[50] the two states do not currently have diplomatic relations with each other, due to Iran's withdrawal of its recognition of Israel. The post-1979 Iranian authorities avoid referring to Israel by its name, and instead use the terms "the Zionist regime" or "occupied Palestine". Iranian passports bear an inscription that says, "The bearer of this passport is forbidden from traveling to occupied Palestine."[51]

Iranian minister Reza Saffinia visiting the home of Israeli president Chaim Weizmann, 1950.


Egypt has mediated several unofficial ceasefire understandings between Israel and Palestinians.

According to an Egyptian Government 2006 poll of 1000 Egyptians (taken at the time of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict), 92% of Egyptians view Israel as an enemy nation.[47][48] In Israel, the 1978 Camp David Accords were supported by 85% of Israelis, according to a 2001 poll taken by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, based in Israel.[49]

Israel has had full diplomatic relations with Egypt since the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in 1979. Following the end of the regime of Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood announced that the peace treaty with Israel may be put to a referendum.[46]


In 2011, amid Arab spring uprising, Wikileaks cables published on Haaretz revealed some of the hidden relations between Bahraini and Israeli officials. In a meeting with the U.S. ambassador on February 2005, Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had bragged about having contact with Israel's national intelligence agency, Mossad. He indicated that Bahrain is ready to develop relations in other fields as well. The king reportedly gave orders that official statements don't use phrases such as "enemy" and "Zionist entity" when referring to Israel anymore. However, he refused the idea of having trade relations, saying it was "too early" and would be postponed until the establishment of an independent Palestine state.[45]

Relations are generally tense and the two states do not have diplomatic relations. Like other Arab states, Bahrain does not recognize Israel. A brief period of warming in relations occurred in the mid-1990s.


Algeria and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

In the mid-1990s, while Israel and North African states slowly started diplomatic relations, Algeria remained one of the last countries to consider such a move. It was only when Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the funeral of the Moroccan King Hasan II on 25 July 1999 that comments about rapprochement were made.


On 1 October 1994, the Persian Gulf states announced their support for a review of the Arab boycott, abolishing the secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel.

North Africa and Middle East

Israeli citizens are admitted into North Korea with Israeli passports, but like other foreign visitors they are asked to deposit their passport with the local authorities and use specially issued local documents for tourists.[44]

Although the Israeli diplomatic missions in Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman were closed in 2000, trade and economic ties continue. Israeli tourism to Morocco is encouraged by the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, a non-governmental private Jewish organization.[43]

Comoros has no official diplomatic ties with Israel but the countries engage in mutual trade.[42]

Partial recognition

Abkhazia; Kosovo; Nagorno-Karabakh; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; State of Palestine; Sahrawi Republic (which does not recognise Israel as a state); Somaliland; South Ossetia; and Transnistria. (Israel has not recognised the independence of any of these entities.)

Israel has no diplomatic relations with the following states or entities:

Tzipi Livni shaking hands with Salam Fayyad, 2008

Non-members of the UN

Brunei; Malaysia;[26] and Indonesia,[26][40][41]
(None of these countries recognise Israel.)
  • Southeast Asia:
Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Bhutan (which has diplomatic relations with only 53 countries[38]); and Pakistan.
(Afghanistan,[39] Bangladesh,[40] and Pakistan[26] do not recognise Israel as a state.)
  • South and Central Asia:
Bahrain (1996–2000); Iran (1948–1951, 1953–1979); Iraq; Kuwait; Lebanon; Oman (1996–2000); Qatar[20] (1996–2009); Saudi Arabia; Syria; United Arab Emirates; and Yemen.
(Iran,[34] Iraq,[35] Kuwait,[26] Lebanon,[26] Saudi Arabia,[26] Syria,[26][36] United Arab Emirates,[37] and Yemen[26] do not recognise Israel.)
  • Middle East:
North Korea.[32] (Does not recognise Israel as a state.)[33]
  • East Asia:
Bolivia[27] (1950–2009); Cuba,[26][28] (1950–1973); Nicaragua[29] (1948–1982, 1992–2010) (relations currently suspended, not severed[30]); and Venezuela[31] (1950–2009).
  • Americas:
Algeria; Chad (1960–1972); Comoros; Djibouti; Guinea (1959–1967); Libya; Mali (1960–1973); Morocco (1994–2000); Mauritania[20] (2000–2009); Niger (1960–1973, 1996–2002); Somalia; Sudan; and Tunisia[1] (1996–2000), all of which have a Muslim majority.
(Algeria,[21] Libya,[22] Somalia[23][24][25] and Sudan[26] do not recognise Israel.)
  • Africa:

At present, a total of 32 United Nations member states don't recognize or generally / partially don't maintain diplomatic relations with the State of Israel: 18 of the 22 members of the Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chad, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Niger, and Pakistan; and Bhutan, Cuba, and North Korea.[19] Some of these countries accept Israeli passports and acknowledge other indications of Israeli sovereignty. The following are the UN member states with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations (period of former relations marked in parenthesis):

Member states of the UN

Countries that do not recognize the state of Israel.

No recognition or diplomatic relations

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israel was subjected to Arab League boycotts and attempts to diplomatically isolate the state. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 157 out of the other 192 member states of the United Nations as well as with non-member Holy See (Vatican City) and the European Union.[1] Some states recognize Israel as a state, but have no diplomatic relations. Several countries once had diplomatic relations with Israel, but have since broken or suspended them (Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in Latin America; Mauritania in the Arab League; Chad, Guinea, Mali and Niger in non-Arab Africa; and Iran until the Islamic revolution). Some of these countries have since resumed relations. In addition, a number of countries (all members of the Arab League) that at one time had formal economic ties (primarily trade offices) with Israel that fell short of full diplomatic relations, have severed such ties (Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia).

World map showing status of Israel's diplomatic relations.

Diplomatic relations

[18].Paris Club In 2014 Israel joined the [17] forum.Mediterranean Dialogue's NATO Israel is a member of [16] On 10 May 2010, Israel was invited to join the

Israel has joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).[14] It is also a member of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) since 2003.[15]

Within the UNESCO, Israel is a member in many international programmes and organizations. In the area of science Israel is an active member of the Education For All movement, the European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES), the World Heritage Committee (WHC), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).[10] Relations are carried out through the Israeli National Commission for UNESCO.[11]


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