Israel's prospects for creating its own version of NATO in the Middle East
Admittedly, Israeli diplomacy has achieved remarkable success over the past ten years. At least, Tel Aviv managed to end the official war in which the country was legally involved in the 1960s with almost all its neighbours in the Middle East.
On September 15th, 2020, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain signed a peace agreement and even agreed to officially exchange embassies, open their airspace to civil aviation, and begin exchanging tourists. To imagine such a thing until recently was unthinkable.
However, Israel did not stop there. According to the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS, Tel Aviv has started negotiations with the Gulf monarchies (not only with the Emirates and Bahrain, but also with Saudi Arabia) on the creation of a regional military-political alliance by analogy with the North Atlantic Alliance.
Curiously, the idea of a Middle East NATO was first expressed by Trump in 2017 and then was amicably ridiculed by the Democrats and the expert community. They say that the narrow-minded usurper proposed to form a "consolidated choir of predators and herbivores". But now it is becoming clear that the roots of the idea stretch to Israel, and it is not so improbable.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the balance of power in the Middle East has changed dramatically. Iran has moved away from western influence and learned to survive under sanctions. Turkey also began to gravitate towards the independent restoration of imperial greatness. And most importantly, the Sunni monarchies have significantly lost their regional influence.
Further attempts to demonstrate obstinacy begin to lead to unexpected and unpleasant consequences. Riyadh is losing the war in Yemen and is somehow no longer perceived by its neighbours as the undisputed leader of the Islamic Middle East. Quietly, but stubbornly and inexorably, Egypt rises, drawing closer to Russia.
In general, there is clearly a growing need to form an alliance with someone close to your interests. And the only such option, no matter how paradoxical it may sound, is Israel. And the basis of "who to be friends with" is Iran.
Of course, it is not necessary to talk about the real combat capability of such a military alliance yet. In Yemen, it became clear how the monarchies want to fight. With their only aircraft and, in the worst case, tanks. In an effort to throw into battle some foreign line infantry, hired for money in African countries.
And Israel, for the confrontation with Iran, needs to be strengthened precisely in the infantry. But even geopolitically, the unification of two of the three existing centres of regional power against Tehran poses a significant threat to it.
However, in a certain sense, this is even good, since it encourages the Iranians to accelerate the entry into the Russia-Iran-China triple alliance.