Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits Israel

  • 27 Sep. 2023 - 28 Sep. 2023
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  • Last updated: 28 Sep. 2023 18:07

On 27 and 28 September 2023, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer visited Israel upon invitation of the Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Hertzl Halevi. In Tel Aviv, Admiral Bauer met with President Yitzhak Herzog. The Chair also received a briefing from senior Israeli defence officials; spoke to the Israeli Defence Force’s Senior Forum; visited the Gaza border crossing; and delivered a speech at the National Security College.

Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits Israel

At the start of the visit, Admiral Bauer received a tour of the Gaza Division by the Commander, Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld. The Admiral was briefed on their military capabilities and the use of artificial intelligence and robotics to monitor border crossings. The Gaza Division has unique expertise in underground counterterrorism. 
Admiral Rob Bauer was then welcomed by the Chief of the General Staf of the Israeli Defence Force, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, at the HaKirya base, where the Ministry of Defence and Israeli Defence Forces Headquarters are located. Discussions centred on military innovation, terrorism and emerging security challenges. Admiral Bauer: “The ability to fight today’s wars as well as prepare for those of tomorrow is fundamental to NATO’s deterrence and defence posture. Working with our close partner Israel to counter emerging security challenges and seek out innovative military capabilities helps both of us maintain the military edge against adversaries”.

On Thursday 28 September, Admiral Bauer was received by the President of Israel, Mr. Yitzhak Herzog. The Chair noted how important Israel’s advanced capabilities are to NATO and that the combination of having a political dialogue and working on military interoperability is a crucial component of our relationship. President Herzog stated that now is the perfect time for Israel to strengthen its strategic alliance with NATO. 

NATO and Israel have worked together for almost 30 years in domains such as science and technology, counter terrorism, civil preparedness, countering weapons of mass destruction and women, peace and security. 

Over the last years, cooperation has grown. In this respect, the new Individually Tailored Partnership Program for Israel will provide an important opportunity to determine Israel’s strategy for the future of our partnership, especially fostering cooperation in the areas of climate change, innovation and technology.

The Chair had the privilege of visiting the office of David Ben-Gurion, the primary national founder of the State of Israel and its first Prime Minister.  

After a strategic briefing by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), Admiral Bauer addressed the IDF Senior Forum providing a comprehensive overview of NATO’s adaptation of its deterrence and defence posture and the recently endorsed DDA family of plans. “These are the most comprehensive defence plans NATO has had since the end of the Cold War. Not only do they integrate national defence plans and NATO defence plans to an unprecedented level; they also provide a much more precise demand signal from NATO and will shape our armed forces for decades to come”.

Admiral Bauer also briefed the National Security College, located in Herzliya, Here, he spoke about the bond that binds NATO and Israel together:  “NATO Allies share many of the concerns that Israel has. We see authoritarian regimes posing challenges to our security, both in Europe and in the Middle East. Over the last year, our cooperation has further grown.  As the Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoana said when he visited a few weeks ago; we are marking a new beginning in our partnership towards our renewed and reinforced partnership. Indeed, further cooperation is planned in areas such as climate change, innovation, and new technologies. We, Israel and NATO, are better off tackling common threats and security challenges together.”