Israel and NATO Membership
Ron Asmus is currently beating the drum loudest, with articles in the Washinton Post and Policy Review over the last year, though others have weighed in. And, while extending NATO's Article 5 protection for collective self defense appears to be a panacea for Israel's security for some, many (this Sailor included) have doubts.
True, the ties between NATO and Israel are already strengthening. In addition to growing military and economic ties with NATO member Turkey, Israel has had expanding involvement with the larger NATO apparatus, including two joint military exercises in 2005. One focused on submarine rescue responses and the other, much more significant exercise focused on mine countermeasures. Indeed, Israel appears to be evaluating the implications and testing the waters for another application in the future. It's also worth noting that Israel's enemies in the Middle East are worried about the implications as well.
In the end, all of this is probably hot air in the near term. First, Israel must resolve its borders disputes before they're even eligible for membership. Second, Israel must overcome the perception in Europe that they're a racist state and a threat to international security. What's the bottom line? Don't hold your breath.
Hat tip to the Salamander, open posted in Mudville.