Active Endeavor With Or Without Israeli Participation?

Operation Active Endeavor (OAE) is one of the NATO’s oldest still running operations. It started as support to the United States immediately after 9/11. The aim is to demonstrate NATO’s solidarity and resolve in the fight against terrorism and to help detect and deter terrorist activity in the Mediterranean.

OAE started as a NATO members only operation but since 2004 non-NATO countries are welcomed to join. In the part years Russia, Ukraine, Morocco and Israel have made contributions to OAE in various forms.

According to a Jerusalem Post report Turkey prevented an Israeli plan to contribute an Israel Navy missile ship to a NATO’s OAE, in what would have been the first time Israel actively participated in one of the Western military alliance’s operations.

Diplomatic and defense officials told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that Turkey had decided to prevent Israeli participation in the Active Endeavor – following the Israel Navy raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 in which nine Turkish nationals were killed.Diplomatic officials said that ever since its success, Turkey had been seeking to scuttle greater Israeli participation in the alliance.

In 2008, Israel sent a navy officer to sit at the operation’s headquarters in Naples and in late 2009, Defense Minister Ehud Barak submitted an official request to NATO to contribute a missile ship to the mission. In 2010, Israel and NATO signed an agreement that was supposed to pave the way for the ship’s participation.

“Israel’s navy anyhow patrols the Mediterranean and since we were interested in upgrading our ties with NATO, it made sense to offer to actively participate in the operation,” a senior government official said. “The Turks, though, torpedoed the move and refused to allow one of our ships to join.”

The it would be surprising if Turkey would not be objecting to Israels contribution given the current level of the relation between the two countries. But I personally do not think that Turkey can insist on its veto if other nations really want Israel in OAE. Turkey was not able to hinder the return of Greece and France to the alliance so this blocking of Israeli contribution may be symbolic.

Turkish newspaper Zaman reported that NATO considering an Israeli contribution to the alliance’s naval patrol in the Mediterranean, despite Turkey’s opposition.

NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said the offer is being evaluated “according to NATO procedures and operation requirements.”

In the past, Israeli warships and air force jets have joined in some NATO exercises, but Israel’s participation in the naval operation would the first time its armed forces have taken part in one of the alliance’s military operations.

Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations bordering on that waterway. Romero said the alliance is prepared to enhance practical cooperation with all partner nations in the region, including Israel.

In Ankara, a Turkish foreign ministry official on Friday confirmed an Israeli news report that his nation, a key NATO ally and its only Muslim-majority member, has rejected Israel’s plan to contribute a navy frigate to the operation, which is aimed at curbing terrorism in the Mediterranean Sea. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with government rules.

2 Responses to Active Endeavor With Or Without Israeli Participation?

  1. pong says:

    NATO has been dead for a while.It’s time to pull the rfeergor munitions stocks back to the US, yank our troops out, and just put a stake in NATO and SHAPE and call them dead.France and Spain made the US send cargo planes around the south end of Gibraltar, and Turkey flat refused permission to cross with trucks to Iraq.Turkey is on the verge of becoming an Islamist state, now that those morons in Europe made the military renounce its old modernization role of preventing theocrats from grabbing power.These folks don’t want to be our allies unless they need muscle to remove some offensive wog in their interests zone.

  2. Hasan says:

    Oh, I don’t think it’s going to haeppn. The Turks have already canceled a couple of other contracts for Israeli purchases…I doubt they expect to be able to buy arms from Israel now!

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