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NATO Says They Have No Obligation To Defend Israel if War Breaks Out

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has no obligations to save Israel if a war between the Jewish state and Iran occurs, as NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Der Spiegel last Saturday.

Israel is not a NATO member, but instead a partner. Therefore, NATO’s security guarantee does not apply to Israel, added Stoltenberg. NATO’s treaty says that the alliance must defend its member nations, but there is no requirement to defend partner nations even though they contribute to NATO’s military operations in places like Somalia and Afghanistan. Israel has been a NATO partner since 1994.

The Brussels-based organization now has 28 official members.

Stoltenberg also said NATO is not involved in the Middle East, but NATO joined the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

Would the U.S. defend Israel?

Washington and Tel Aviv have no official joint defense agreement, but there was a significant step forward in the U.S-Israel relationship when the U.S recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved its embassy to the holy city.

Iran is facing mounting pressure from the U.S. and Israel over an alleged nuclear program, though the IAEA said such a program doesn’t exist. The U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 during the Obama administration. Israel supports Washington’s withdrawal and is trying its best to block Iran from establishing a military base in Syria.

Is an Israel-Iran war possible?

Mainstream media outlets have been busy reporting the possible war between Iran and Israel. Former Israeli spy agency (Mossad) head, Tamir Pardo, recently revealed that in 2011 the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered the military to be prepared to attack Iran within 15 days of being so commanded. The order was never issued.

“If someone does that then it has two [possible] purposes: One purpose is that he really means [to attack] and the other option is that he is sending a signal, that someone out there should know.,” Pardo described in an interview on Thursday.

Other reports suggest a war is unlikely. An article from David P.Goldman in Asiatimes said that the Iran-Israel war will not happen anytime soon and that any possible Israeli war, although remote, would be with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iran’s ally. Casualties of such a war risk a huge level of devastation given the numbers of missiles Hezbollah has.

“Harder to calculate is Iran’s capacity to hit Israel. Hezbollah has perhaps 120,000 missiles in Lebanon, more than enough to swamp Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ and other defenses. They are embedded in approximately 200 Shi’ite villages in Lebanon’s south. That makes it difficult for the Israeli Army to attack missile launchers without killing a large number of Shi’ite civilians who provide an enormous human shield,” Goldman wrote.

Even, Israeli intelligence admitted that Hezbollah has lots of missiles and can cause disastrous damage to Israel’s cities, as echoed by noted intellectual Noam Chomsky.

“According to Israeli intelligence, Hezbollah has lots of missiles based in many parts of Lebanon that are capable of serious damage to Israeli cities, and to take them all out would require quick virtual destruction of Lebanon, it seems.” Chomsky further elaborated in his email to the Anti Media.


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Yasmeen Rasidi

Yasmeen is a writer and political science graduate of the National University, Jakarta. She covers a variety of topics for Citizen Truth including the Asia and Pacific region, international conflicts and press freedom issues. Yasmeen had worked for Xinhua Indonesia and GeoStrategist previously. She writes from Jakarta, Indonesia.

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