Israel and Pakistan – A Report

Google is great; it’s amazing what you can find while looking through your referral logs. I have gotten quite a few visits who were searching for Israel and Pakistan. My post about Pakistani recognition of Israel is #5 on Google. While looking through the search results, I noticed a report Beyond the Veil: Israel-Pakistan Relations by P.R. Kumaraswamy which was published by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. It was published in March 2000 before the Al-Aqsa intifada.

Israel has been more interested in normalization than Pakistan. Even though Pakistan is not a “vital” area for Israel, one cannot underestimate its importance in the Islamic world. Since 1948, Israel has been eager to intensify and upgrade contacts and dialogues, but the nature, depth and content of such contacts were determined by the reluctant other: Pakistan. The latter has been reacting and responding to Israeli overtures. While Israel might take the initiative, the outcomes rest on Pakistan.

Kumaraswamy starts out by discussing some similarities between Israel and Pakistan.

Notwithstanding these differences, however, both states share a certain common historical legacy and the contours of state-building. They both suffer from internal strife and divisions. As states created with the explicit purpose of safeguarding the political rights of religious minorities, the Zionist and Pakistani struggles for independence reflect some similar political traits and approaches. Some of the problems they faced in nation-building were also similar.

In both cases, the question of nationhood was strongly influenced by religion; yet those who led the struggle were anything but religious. Neither Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan, nor David Ben-Gurion visualized the creation of theocratic entities.

[…]These are not the only similarities between Israel and Pakistan. Since their establishment, both countries have been haunted by an existential threat and have struggled for acceptance by their regional neighbor/s. It is no coincidence that the security establishment plays a pivotal rule in both countries; in one case as an effective vehicle for national unity and cohesion and in another as the ultimate arbitrator in the national power struggle. While the degree of external threat differs, both countries had genuine fears about their acceptance by the majority from which they broke away.

[…]Unlike their rivals (India and the Arab countries respectively) they pursued a realistic foreign policy devoid of idealism and rhetoric. At the time of their independence, both tried to pursue a non-aligned foreign policy that sought friendly relations with the rival blocs of the Cold War. A host of regional developments curtailed their options, however. Very soon, both were firmly entrenched in the Western camp and emerged as principal allies, and at times proxies, of Washington in the region.

Here are his conclusions on normalization of relations between the two countries:

The absence of formal diplomatic relations has not inhibited Israel and Pakistan from maintaining regular contacts, dialogues and meetings. On numerous occasions, they have adopted identical positions on important developments in the Middle East. Furthermore, they have worked out limited understandings on sensitive security issues, including the nuclear question. Although Pakistan has been reluctant to agree to the persistent Israeli suggestions that full and formal relations be established, normalization is no longer a taboo subject and has been widely discussed by the Pakistani media. The question is when and not if. A comprehensive Middle East settlement, especially with the Palestinians, would significantly modify Pakistan?s position. Nevertheless, ideological and Islamic considerations might prevent Pakistan from agreeing to full normalization.

Whenever Pakistan recognizes and establishes relations with Israel, it will not be the first Islamic country to do so. Since it has no direct disputes with Israel, Pakistan is not under any compulsion to seek a “cold peace” with Israel, and therefore has several options to choose from.

  • The Turkish model: Pakistan can recognize Israel without establishing diplomatic relations immediately.
  • The Iranian model: It can follow the precedent set by the Shah of Iran and recognize the Jewish state, but maintain its relationship under wraps.
  • The Jordanian model: It can imitate the Jordanians and maintain close political as well as military relations with the Jewish state without granting any official recognition.
  • The Chinese model: It can adopt the Chinese example and view military contacts as a means of promoting political relations.

At least in the foreseeable future, the political status of the relationship is likely to be tentative. While maintaining and even intensifying political contacts in private, both Israel and Pakistan will probably be extremely reluctant to discuss the nature and intensity of their contacts and relationship in public.

In my opinion, Pakistan would like to go the Chinese model route, but Israel is not willing especially since it has good relations with India now. That is why Israel is dangling the prospect of neutrality in India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir if Pakistan proceeds towards establishing relations.

Next: Some details of the history of Pakistani involvement in the Arab-Israeli dispute and contacts between Israel and Pakistan.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. More About Israel and Pakistan

    I have argued before that Pakistan should recognize Israel. There have been some ambiguous signs regarding relations between these two countries recently. First, there was Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf meeting Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres during the World Economic……

  2. More About Israel and Pakistan

    I have argued before that Pakistan should recognize Israel. There have been some ambiguous signs regarding relations between these two countries recently. First, there was Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf meeting Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres during the World Economic……

  3. we should recognize israel, they are great people.such things will help them in their sense of security,which they lacked in history.

  4. I think Pak shoud stay ou of the Arab-Israeli conflict.We alredy have a western-backed bully on our backs.
    We wasted so much time on the Israelis only to be backstabbed by the Arabs and Iranians.Iran and the Arab world have ties to India,so I have mixed feelings about wheather Im pro or anti Israel.

    The Arabs and Iranians have no respect for Pakistan.Even outside their countries they continue to attack us verbally.

    I think we should limit our relations with the Jewish state to economic ones for now.I’m sure Israelis would enjoy saving money by importing cheaper products from textile to hardware from Pakistan than spending extra money and importin them fom the west.

    I have no likes for India and the other Mideast countries that’s for sure.

  5. I think Pakistan should recognize Israel. I am a Pakistani and have tons of Israeli friends. We eat, have fun and recreate together, so why not accept each other. I believe this is in benefit of Pakistan and Israel. I do believe that there will be extremists who will appose this idea just because they can?

    Come on! just be friends man. It is stupid that the people of Pakistan and Israel meet eachother without a problem and the governments are being lazy.

  6. pakistan is a confused does not know where its intrests links religion with all issues.guys ,learn to deal with issues on its not consider all countries as ur enemy intent on harming ur country.other countries are busy in growing.hence they have no time & respect for pakistan,

  7. I am a Pakistani who cannot wait for the day Pakistan recognizes Israel. Both countries can benifit from a friendly relationship. Israel can sell it’s defense equipment to Pakistan, and Pakistan can sell its export products to Israel.

    Unfortunately, the 5% of the Pakistani population that is extremist/supports extermists/hates Israel by default will start suicide bombing every town in Pakistan if Israel is recognized. I hope Musharraf learns from Israel and bombs the shit out of the terrorists in Pakistan.

    Israel is a country, and it’s going nowhere. People better realize that, and work for peace and economic cooperation.

  8. Whether some find Kumaraswamy’s comparison “forced” (and the tone does indicate that his stance may be distinctly out of dislike for Pakistan), the similarities do play out in terms of how both countries are confronting a conflict of national interests. For Pakistanis like myself whose parents migrated from outside the current boarders of Pakistan, maybe this seems more apparent to me. Ultimately, Israel and Pakistan were built on ideological grounds, and that is an undeniable fact. Sure, maybe Islam had been an established faith in the region for a continuous 1000 years, but we could say the same thing about the gradual expulsion of Jews from biblical Israel around the 2nd century AD. Just because it happened before the Geneva conventions of War were written, and before modern principals of human rights were formally written doesn’t make it any less an unacceptable act. But as far as the modern states of Israel and Pakistan are concerned, the idea of straddling an Islamic or Jewish state with the full embracing of modern principals of a secular democracy are battles that are central to our existence, and the histories of our formation dictate our status quo. You can liken the fleeing of thousands of arabs from palestine to the fleeing of thousands of hindus from Sindh. Or in the aftermath, the pogroms that followed which forced my parents out of Gujarat, India into Pakistan, just as the Yemenite Jews were confronted with violence upon the formation of the Israeli state. Neither makes the other acceptable, and irrespective of whether Israel is not recognized by the Arab world, but Pakistan and India recognize each other, for Pakistan and Israel, our position in global politics are ultimately going to have to take into account what our nationhood ultimately stands for.

  9. pakistans security & prosperity lie in befriending india.not accepting this simple fact is the root cause for pakistan entangling itself in all kinds of alliances .accept the fact that you cant choose your neighbours, hence it would be common sense to have good ties with them.hope this realisation dawn earlier than latter. vijay dixit

  10. i cant see any reason for pakistan to actually get irritated form israel india relation ship in the after math of 1998 when bith india pakistan have nukes in arsenal the possiblity of all out war is not option no matter how much technolgy india acquires or pakistan acquires bith definately have mean for there nukes to reach in there respective target, so there is no need really to get worried form indo-israeli cooapration as it may help india improve its military arsenal but it in no way weekens pakistan, caz improving our military arsenal is not pakistans main objective all we need is a credable defense and we alredy have acheived that against india in 1998 by going neculer , keeping in view that we dont have any agreesive desgines for any body in the world all we want to do is defend ourselves, now as for as accepting israel is concerened pakistan has taken a principel stand that improvment needs to take place in middeleast before pakistan can consider going towards normilization with israel and when that happen the normilization should not be done with mind set of accuring something form israel but basing on human social values where ppl try to accomdate each other , but for now pakistan should carry on woth its principal stand caz our only conceren is defense against india we r already capable of that, and we will do fine in future as well

  11. Oh my God! I have been thinking for years now how similar the founding of the two states is, and how weird that Pakistan does not recognize Israel. I googled “Similarities between Pakistan and Israel” and this pops up. I thought my search result would turn up nothing.

    This makes me uneasy. I think the recognition of Israel by Pakistan will be inevtible. Pakistanis are highly nationalistic like Israelis. They will make friends with their friends enemies if that means survival. Pakistan desperatley wants to survive and remain a state.

    I will be honest. As a Pakistan-American that makes me very uncomfortable. I stand in solidarity with Palestine. They shouuld have a viable state of their own. Pakistanis deserve a state. Indians deserve a state. Israelis deserve a state. Why not Palestinians?

    Oh my God. This just rattles me. I have to get used to the idea that there are people seriously talking about this issue. I thought I was a lone crazy lunatic thinking of such a scenario.

    I have to make up my mind wher I stand if such a scenario ever occurs.

  12. Pakistan needn’t befriending her. Instead, India should befriend Pakistan, for India has sore relations with Srilanka, China, Bangladesh, Australia and Pakistan that all are the regional countries.

  13. pakistan must recognize israel now we gotta do it dears war is not a solution for all the fateeks ok so we should move i wanna see israel pak relation news on pak and israeli news channels we both have lots of advantages in getting together (being friendz) we should go for that cant wait.My opinion for israel is positive may GOD give us nice thoughts for right and nice decision

  14. India and Israel can be the true partners. Israelis do not need to worry thinking about whether the little Pakistan recognises her or not. Just ignore Pakistan, the epic centre of terrorism. Israelis do not need recognition from Porkistan. Israel is a respected country in the world.

  15. Kaffir india,peace of little shit india and israel.what a joke.india is willing to have a war with china and israel want to go for war with pakistan,so lets have some fucking and china we and talk about china,china will wiped you in a seconds.and pakistan ,,,,,,,,,,every one knows that.the major city of terrorism new old Delhi.and don,t talk about terrorism and see for your self that in your hungry country a lots of terrorism is on the world ,top. all fucking criminals are born in that country,India.

  16. vi jay dixit.did you ask your father is that the last name is shit india.ziyaada akaar Na dikha werna china tumaari gaand maar de gaa.understand.

  17. pussy india,your fucking dick sucking durga Devi little fucking I.I.and shut up amd fuck up with pathan,s because they wants a londe baazi with israel and indian is a slut bitch of talk about rawan,Rawan was the real man with big that is why seeta want to have a sex with rawan so that she can suck and fuck good,but ram OH my.he was a fucking little bhindi size dick who cannot satisfy seeta in his she decided to have a big Muslim dick of rawan to enjoy and suck .

  18. as far as pakistan and israel relations are concerned, i think pakistan will have to play a bigger role to make peace with israel! if egypt and jordan can, surely pakistan can too! it would be at pakistans benefit to have a neutral israel than to see them siding with india in any future tensions!

    and mr khusro mirza, the are u abusing gods and other religious over here huh? did we abuse or insult ur ur religion? then why are u cursing our gods? we can say similar kind of stuff about ur religion, but you see thats the difference between ur maturity levels and ours! we dont have to prove the greatness of our religion by banning and killing innocent people, we prove it through acts of goodwill and maturity! and this is precisely the reason india are ahead of you and will continue to do so until you guys learn some basic human lessons on mutual respect! india has always wanted peace and prosperity and will continue to do so! its high time pakistan does the same…!

    as long as india-china relations are considered, we are both mature growing regional powers, who understand the importance of economic stability! and if there happens to be a war, it would be foolish for china to under-estimate indian military, we would give them a pretty hard time considering our vast army, air force and navy! and if it goes to nuclear warfare, fair enough we lose most of our country but we would end up destroying quiet a bit of china as well, enuff to take them centuries behind! so it wouldnt end too well!

  19. @indian
    no way mister.don,t even think about,israel and pakistan dream good my brother don,t try to look back always see front what will happen to you.first learn some mathematics politics then calculate every things.

  20. @indian
    well my brother i can proof you as many as thousand of words which mostly Indians says about Muslims religion.not even 1 time or 2,3 4 5 but more than 1000 times,its some says about prophet MOHAMMAD,very very bad words,now you tell me my brother it this is your attitude.what the hell is this.I know 5 people that always abused my religion just for nothing,why me why not some one else.well now my answer is this that first you personally stop abusing my religion,i always respect every religion in any matters what so indian,Buddhist,ethnics what ever they believed i always respect then why any one abused my sister and dead mother just for nothing,the answer is that if some one does,n know any thing about politics and religion please stop retaliating if you help me i swear of GOD i,ll take all my words back at any cost and always respect your religion this is the pathan promise.


  22. wow kaffir india,what a word porkistan,now what you eat the pork shit of Pakistan,and i can assure you that you want to eat the thick shit of Pakistan,i am not dumb ass like you,and in case if i say would you feel of course very fuckin stop saying that this country and that country is shit.basically you and your family are all shit eating people,so go to fuckin hell and fuck fucsrael and pussrael.

  23. I wish there will be normal relations between Pakistan and Israel – that will bring a bit of stability in the crazy mid east.

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