The foreign relations of Israel refers to diplomatic relations and international agreements between the State of Israel and other countries around the world. Israel joined the United Nations on May 11, 1949. Today, Israel has diplomatic ties with 162 foreign countries. Since 1967, diplomatic relations have been established with several Arab and Muslim countries.
No recognition or diplomatic relationsEdit
Israel has no diplomatic relations with 36 countries, 20 of them members of the 22-member Arab League. Some of the countries, with which Israel has no diplomatic relations, accept Israeli passports and acknowledge other Israeli marks of sovereignty; however, most of these countries do not recognize Israel as a State;
- Africa: Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia.
- Americas: Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela
- East Asia: (Republic of China) North Korea
- Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, United Arab Emirates.
- South, Central Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan.
- Southeast Asia: Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia
On January 14, 2009, Bolivia and Venezuela suspended diplomatic ties with Israel and on January 16, 2009, Qatar and Mauritania suspended ties with Israel, both political and economic. The move came after Bashar al-Assad and Khaled Meshaal called on all Arab states to break ties with the Jewish state, in protest against Israel's offensive in Gaza, in Doha, Qatar. On March 6, 2009, the Israeli diplomatic delegation to Mauritania left the country ending more than 9 years of diplomatic ties, following a demand from the Mauritanian authorities to close the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott within 48 hours. The Mauritanian delegation to Israel left earlier without sending official notice to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The UN members that do not recognize Israel as a state are:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chad, Cuba, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Partial recognition and/or trade agreementsEdit
In October 2000, Israeli diplomatic missions in Bahrain, Morocco and Oman were closed as these countries suspended relations with Israel, although trade and economic ties continue. Morocco and Tunisia usually allow Israeli citizens to enter their territories with Israeli passports as tourists. Israel's warm relations with Morocco's King Hassan II are worthy of note. Despite the lack of full diplomatic relations, Hassan worked behind the scenes to promote Israel-Arab peace from the 1970s onward. When he died in 1999, then-prime minister Ehud Barak and the Moroccan-born foreign minister, David Levy, flew to Rabat for his funeral.
- Main article: Angola-Israel relations
Relations between Israel and Angola are primarily based on trade and pro-United States foreign policies, and are excellent. In March 2006, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $400 million. The Israeli ambassador to Angola is Avraham Benjamin. In 2005, President José Eduardo dos Santos visited Israel.
Eritrea developed relations with Israel shortly after gaining its independence in 1993, despite protests among Arab countries. Israeli-Eritrean relations are close, and Israeli officers possibly helped lead Eritrean troops in the Hanish Islands during the Hanish Islands conflict with Yemen. The president of Eritrea has visited Israel for medical treatment. However, Eritrea condemned Israeli military action during the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict.
- Main article: Israel-South Africa relations
Relations between Israel and the Union of South Africa were established as early as 1948, the Nationalist Prime Minister Daniel François Malan paying a visit to Israel and "forgetting" about the clearly antisemitic profile his own party earned during the 1930s and by its opposition to joining in the Anti-Hitlerite coalition in World War II. After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, Israel became one of the loudest critics of South African apartheid regime, which, along with Israel's intensive cooperation with the newly independent Sub-Saharan states, brought about a break in relations with Pretoria. After 1967, and particularly in the 1970s, Israel became Pretoria's strategic partner. Israel joined the West in the late 1980s in boycotting South Africa before the collapse of apartheid. Relations between modern-day Israel and South Africa are increasingly warm, although South Africa has been an outspoken critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.
In May 2009, Israel and Togo signed a "pact for cooperation in the economic, agricultural and educational fields" with each other.
- Main article: Israel-Zimbabwe relations
Israel-Zimbabwe relations are extraordinarily poor with the state-run publication, The Herald, questioning the legitimacy of Israel's existence. The Zimbabwean government recognizes an independent Palestinian state and advocates a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Mugabe government strongly supported the PLO under Yasser Arafat in the 1980s. Zimbabwe formally established relations with the PLO in March 1983. Ali Halimeh served as the PLO's ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1983 to the 1990s. Israeli relations with apartheid-era South Africa, built up in the 1970s by South Africa Prime Minister B.J. Vorster, fueled Zimbabwe's verbal support for the PLO and comparisons of Zionism to apartheid.
- Main article: Arab–Israeli conflict
Israel has full diplomatic relations with Egypt (the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty was signed in 1979) and Jordan (the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994). If a passport shows any evidence of travel to Israel, barring a diplomatic passport, the holder is forbidden entry to some Arab and Muslim states.
On October 1, 1994, the Persian Gulf states publicly announced their support for a review of the Arab boycott, in effect abolishing the secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel. Israel has diplomatic relations with 9 non-Arab Muslim states and with 39 of the 43 Sub-Saharan African states that are not members of the Arab League.
Following the US 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.
In 2005, Saudi Arabia announced the end of its ban on Israeli goods and services, mostly due to its application to the World Trade Organization, where one member country cannot have a total ban on another. However, as of August 2006[update] Saudi boycott was not cancelled.
Despite being a close ally of the United States, Afghanistan has no relations with Israel and has criticized its existence several times. Along with neighboring ally Iran, Afghans consider 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. Chants of "death to Israel" rang through the streets of the Afghan capital Kabul for a week. Many Afghans lined up to donate blood to Palestinians, even though their own country is very poor as well. In January 2009, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Iranian ally Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel's invasion of Gaza a massacre "barbaric like the Communist invasion (of 1979)."
- Main article: Armenian-Israeli relations
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. Some anti-Jewish sentiments are still present in Armenia. In 2002, a book entitled National System (written by Romen Yepiskoposyan in Armenian and Russian) was printed and presented at the Union of Writers of Armenia denies Holocaust, In that book, Jews (along with Turks) are identified as number-one enemies of Armenians..Furthermore in 2008 Armenia's foreign minister stated Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and stresseed that the country has a right to benefit form the energy. Instead, Ehud Moshe Eytam, the Israeli ambassador to Armenia is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and visits the capital Yerevan twice a month. Israel has recognized 10 Armenians as Righteous Among the Nations for risking their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, but does not recognize the Armenian Genocide , which is one of the few countries in the Middle East that recognizes Israel's right to exist.
- Main article: Israel-Azerbaijan relations
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.
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.
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.
Although Israel was one of the first countries that recognized Bangladesh (4 February,1972) upon her independence; 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". Bangladesh follows the same policy as other Muslim states supporting an independent Palestinian state and an end to the occupation. Because there is an absence of ties, there is no economic relations between the two states and Bangladesh is the only Muslim country to have a complete ban on Israel, ranging from travel, trade (direct and indirect) and other sectors of bilateral relations.
- Main article: People's Republic of China–Israel relations
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.
Israel has also provided China with military assistance, expertise and technology. According to a report from the US-China 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.
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. In 2007, China launched a countrywide "Festival of Culture" in Israel to mark 15 years of relations.
Relations between Israel and Georgia are currently relatively close. Georgia's former defense minister from 2006 to 2008, Davit Kezerashvili, had previously lived in Israel. Israel has been selling weapons to Georgia for seven years financed by grants from the USA Included in these weapons are Israeli-built spy drones provided through the former mayor of Tel Aviv, Roni Milo. Israeli advisors, estimated to number between 100 - 1,000, have trained the Georgian military for some time.
- Main article: Indo-Israeli relations
India established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel in 1992 and has since become Israel's strongest ally in Asia. 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. Co-operation has taken place in the space sector as well with India launching Israeli satellites.
Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defense and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1991. Israel is India's biggest arms supplier, overtaking Russia in 2009. 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. 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.
- Main article: Iran-Israel relations
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. Currently, the countries do not have diplomatic relations with each other, due to Iran's withdrawal of its recognition of Israel.
- Main article: Maldives-Israel relations
Relations between Israel and Maldives was not very strong until the new government of the Maldives came into power in 2008. From 1978 to 2008 there was no official relation between Israel and the Maldives. The current Maldivian government despite with lot of public criticism has decided to initiate the relation between both the countries. Maldives is a small country and is needy for money in this hard economic time and it hopes to get a hand from Israel to recover. Maldivies has accused its previous allies like Iraq and Libya, saying that for their own agenda, they have mislead Maldives. Being one of the few, 100% Muslim countries in the world, Maldives is criticising former Arab allies like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt and cementing the relationship between Israel.
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) was one of the first countries to recognize Israel (first in Southeast Asia) and establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Myanmar has also become one of Israel's strongest allies in the region, in terms of both technical assistance and also the much debated and rumoured military links. Premiers from both sides such as U Nu and David Ben-Gurion made state visits to each others' countries in the 1950s.  Myanmar sends agriculture researchers to Israel for training. This was further cemented in Israel's aid assistance during the Cyclone Nargis disaster of May 2008.
- Main article: Israel-Pakistan relations
Pakistan has stated it will not recognize the State of Israel until a Palestinian nation-state is created. In 2003, President Pervez Musharraf raised the issue of possible diplomatic relations with Israel, and in 2005 the foreign ministers of the two countries held talks for the first time. However, following the meeting Musharraf said Pakistan will not recognise the state of Israel until an independent Palestinian state is established, - although, according to Musharraf, Pakistan will eventually recognise Israel.
- Main article: Israel-Japan relations
On May 15, 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.
On November 29, 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. 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.
- Main article: Israel-Nepal relations
Israel-Nepal relations, first established in 1960, are based on mutual security concerns. 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.
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</tr> </table>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. During Singapore's sudden independence (as a consequence of being expelled from Malaysia), Singapore appealed to the international community for technical assistance and military aid. Israel send 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.
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 are hostile to Israel and do not allow overflight rights for Israeli aircraft.
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.
Thailand and Israel have had full diplomatic relations since 23 June 1954. The Israeli embassy was opened in 1958 while 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 as well as over 100,000 Israeli tourists visiting Thailand in 2003. Thousands of skilled and unskilled Thai workers are also employed in Israel and many Thai students study in Israel.
There is also a Thai-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Thai-Israel Friendship Foundation as well as a small community of Israelis living in Thailand. 
Vietnam and Israel established diplomatic relations on July 12, 1993. Israel opened its resident Embassy in Hanoi in December 1993. The first Vietnamese ambassador to Israel presented his credentials on July 8, 2009. Since the establishment of diolomatic 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.
Canada's relationship with Israel began in 1947, when Canada was represented on the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). Canada and 32 other countries voted in favor of a Jewish state, thus beginning a longstanding relationship with Israel based on a shared commitment to democratic values, understanding, and mutual respect.
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 for almost 40 years and hosts the annual Salute to Israel Parade in New York City.
The United States is Israel's largest trading partner, accounting for 22.4% of Israel's $43.19 billion in imports, and 42.1% of Israel's $40.14 billion in exports annually (2005). The U.S. also provides Israel with $2.4 billion in military assistance annually, which is equivalent to 24.5% of Israel's military expenditures. (2005).
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 arms from Israel and it's one of Israel's closest allies in North America.
Australia and Israel have full diplomatic relations that were established in 1948. Australia has an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel likewise in Canberra. There are 104,000 Jews living in Australia.
The Federated States of Micronesia is one of the most consistent supporters of Israel (along with the United States) in international affairs. 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[when?], one other nation has joined Israel's defense — Micronesia.
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 has 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."
New Zealand has a long history of support for Israel beginning with the Partition Plan in 1947. Since then, most New Zealand governments have been supportive of Israel. The diplomatic relationship has deteriorated in recent years. After 53 years of full diplomatic relations, the Israeli Embassy in Wellington closed in 2002. At one time there were four missions in the South Pacific area in Canberra, Sydney, Wellington and Suva in Fiji. Presently, only Canberra remains open, which is now responsible for New Zealand-Israeli Relations.
The closure in 2004 of the Embassy in Wellington is due to $5.4 million in cost-cuts by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. It is speculated that trade with Arab countries were a major factor in this change of attitude. In June 2004, the New Zealand Government openly criticized Israel's policy of bulldozing Palestinian homes and donated $534,000 to aid homeless Palestinians.
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 subsequently 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.
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 in to Lebanon.
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.
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.
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 1966 removed most common interest from the relationship, and France became increasingly critical of Israel. 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. Under François Mitterrand in the early 1980s, French-Israeli relations improved greatly. Mitterrand was the first French president to visit Israel while in office.
The high point of French Jewish emigration to Israel came in 1967 when the Six Day War inspired 5,300 to make the journey.
Israel and Germany maintain a "special relationship" based on shared beliefs, Western values and a combination of historical perspectives. Among the most important factors in their relations is Nazi Germany's role in the genocide of European Jews during the Holocaust.
Germany has become 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 armour to West Germany to be analysed. The results aided the German development of an anti-tank system.
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. Still, largely for strategic reasons, Israel and Turkey maintained fairly close relations while only interaction between Israel and Greece was minimal. Over the years, Greek relations with Israel have been complicated by the rivalry between Greece and Turkey.
In September 1998, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai denied that Turkey's visiting Prime Minister was seeking Israeli support should fighting break out with Greece over Cyprus."Turkish-Israeli cooperation is not against any other country," Mesut Yilmaz said during a welcoming ceremony with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Greek-Israeli relations were stagnant for almost 45 years. Changes began to occur in 1995 due to several factors. One was Greece's desire to increase its deterrent power vis-a-vis Turkey. Another element was the death of the pro-PLO Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou in June 1996. The improvement in U.S.-Greece relations also encouraged a shift toward Israel, as did the progress in the Middle East Peace negotiations.
The improvement in relations was reflected in the increase in trade, which 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, in fact, the Middle East's second largest importer for Greek products.
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.
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.
Following the Six Day War of 1967, with Israel in firm control of the whole of the West Bank, including the Christian holy places, the Vatican modified its position on the holy places, and 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.
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. 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.
The bilateral commission last convened on 30 April 2009, and is scheduled to convene again on 10 December 2009.
Full diplomatic relations between Ireland and Israel were established in 1975. As of 2006[update], the Israeli ambassador to Ireland was Zion Evrony, and the Irish ambassador to Israel was Michael Forbes.
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. During the conflict, a shipment of bombs that attempted to land in the Republic of 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.
Relations between Italy and Israel, traditionally intense, remain strong to this day. There are frequent visits to both countries by respective diplomats, whilst trade is significant. The Israeli Government has followed with great attention the fight against international terrorism pursued by the Italian Government (also in the European arena: the decision of Riva del Garda to insert Hamas in the European list of organizations considered as terrorist). It has also been appreciated what the Italian Presidency has done in the framework of the United Nations on the Middle Eastern issues. Israel also welcomed the coherent and firm line of conduct, in contrasting the emergence of anti-Semitism in every possible form taken by the Italian government.
Italian Culture enjoys a very high standing in Israel with Israelis frequently visiting Italy for education, work, tourism, and scientific and artistic exchanges. In the last ten years 105 books of Italian authors were translated from Italian to Hebrew. A strong community of Italian Jews who have immigrated to Israel have strengthened cultural ties and promoted Italian culture in the country. The Italian Cultural Institute recently initiated and organized a series of activities in the Cultural Center of the Jews of Libyan Origin in Or Yehuda, where recently a course of the Italian language has been launched.
The Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute recently stimulated the creation of a Friends of Italy association which consists of more than 15,000 people. In 2004 the negotiations for the new triennial protocol (2004-2007) of the Bilateral Accord in the Cultural Sector in force as of November 1971. The Italian Cultural Institute operates in Israel as of 1960 with its principal office at Tel Aviv and a separated section in Haifa. The Italian language is being taught in various centers around the country. The total number of students studying in centers under the direct control of the Italian Cultural Institute on 2004 reached 1500, in 150 courses with 30 teachers. If the Dante Alighieri Society courses are considered, the figure reaches 2500 students.
Recently, the possibility of introducing the teaching of the Italian language in various high schools and academic institutes has been successfully negotiated. For the academic year 2005-2006 the Italian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv has achieved an agreement with the Interdisciplinary Center di Herzelya for the opening of three academic courses of Italian Culture and Language. Italian is also being taught in four of the seven universities in Israel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University, the Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva and the Haifa University. The average of registrations of young Israeli students to Italian universities stands on about 400 per year, mainly in the sectors of medicine, law, science, politics, architecture, and art. The registrations for courses for the academic year 2004-2005 have seen a major increase of about 10%.
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.