Top Israeli strategic analyst Dr Eran Lerman visits Australia

August 18, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
Read on for article

Far from being isolated on the world stage, Israel has enjoyed an unprecedented string of major diplomatic successes  in 2017, according to top Israeli strategic analyst Dr Eran Lerman.

Eran Lerman talks at Sydney’s Central Synagogue

A former IDF intelligence officer who spent six years working as deputy national security adviser in the Prime Minister’s office, Col (Ret.) Lerman is currently in Australia as a guest of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).

His busy schedule has seen him meet with journalists, politicians, analysts and other opinion makers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth, in addition to appearing in the national media.

He cited an impressive list of Israeli diplomatic achievements when addressing the Sydney Jewish community at Central Synagogue on Monday 7 August, beginning with the successful visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Australia in February this year.

These included Netanyahu being the only non-African invited to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in Liberia, his attendance at the third tripartite summit in 18 months with the leaders of Greece and Cyprus, and then Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s watershed visit to Israel.

“The relationship with India has become deep, important and all-encompassing. It is now roaring forward on all fronts and the sky’s the limit,” Lerman said.

The next diplomatic milestone, Lerman said, was Netanyahu’s visit to France to meet with new President Emmanuel Macron, during which the latter denounced anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism. “That’s an amazingly clear unambiguous statement from a man who represents the future, not the past,” he said, adding that following this visit Netanyahu attended the annual summit of the Central European Visegrad Group.

This is in addition to Israel having “a good relationship with practically every ASEAN country except one, Malaysia, and a covert relationship with Indonesia”, he said.

Lerman outlined four elements underpinning these successes – factors that he spoke of during some of his other appearances, including at the Sydney Institute on Monday 14 August.

The first of these, after the spate of terror attacks in Europe and elsewhere in the last few years, is the emergence of a common enemy – the radical Islamism being promoted by Islamic State, the Iranian regime and its proxies, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Secondly, to deal with this threat, Lerman said other nations were increasingly turning to Israel’s intelligence and defence capabilities, especially rocket defence and cyber security.

Thirdly, he said countries no longer have to choose between aligning with Israel or its Arab neighbours. “Once upon a time the working assumption was that if you befriend Israel, you lose the Arabs,” he said. “This is no longer relevant – Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are today completely on the same side … in the same war against the Islamist dangers.”

“Israel is part of a new combination of forces,” he explained, with this “camp of stability” also including Egypt, Jordan and “even the security guys on the Palestinian side”.

Lastly, “and this is a bit controversial”, Lerman said, Israel is managing its conflict with the Palestinians, citing Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s recent praise of Israel’s “measured response” to the wave of violence, including stabbings and car-rammings, that began in October 2015.

As for the prospects of a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lerman told 2GB’s Alan Jones on Wednesday 16 August: “This can only happen at the negotiating table … people in Australia who think that there’s an alternative to a negotiated outcome, that can be imposed from outside, are doing the Palestinians themselves a terrible disservice.”

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

    Rules on posting comments