RIEAS | Research Institute for 
European and American Studies

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Steven J. Rosen has contributed an article on "Erdogan and the Israel Card. Read more

Introductory Remarks

Greeks and Jews have been constantly active in world history since antiquity. Since the times of Moses and Ulysses, Greeks and Jews have been inexorably associated with all the historical developments in the Mediterranean region and have helped shape some of the most persistent historical trends in Western history.

Greeks and Jews, contrary to what popular culture often claims, share quite a few common elements, especially regarding their respective histories of national fulfilment and nation building. In modern times, the burdens of history have contributed to Greece and Israel often following divergent paths. Nevertheless, changing geopolitics and emerging threats contribute to the two countries now approaching their mutual relations from a different, more rational angle.

With instability again on the rise in the eastern Mediterranean, and with Islamic expansion well under way, Greece and Israel need to recast their mutual relations in a prudent, strategically sound, longer term mould.
Greece, especially, must redefine persistent policy trends and work on refocusing its entire security strategy. Similarly, Israel should develop a political-military narrative tailored to this new relationship. We have no doubt that both countries will greatly benefit from this exercise.

The future will only tell whether the two oldest surviving nations of the Mediterranean would eventually discover their way to a closer, strategically aimed cooperation. Given the emergent environment in which they both exist, not to mention shifting international plate tectonics, they owe it to themselves to try as hard as they possibly can.

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