Closer than a brother? Assessing Singapore-Israel relations
Leon, Oei Eu Jin
Date of Issue2017-03-31
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Singapore's close relationship with the Jewish State has been a consistent source of controversy - domestic, regional and international - since its inception in the late I 950s. Critics claim that Singapore's close ties with Israel jeopardise its safety and morality. The relationship is unusual in many respects, and brings with it numerous risks - security and otherwise- that Singapore could well do without. In spite of this, it has since blossomed, and in many ways, both have become to each other the proverbial friend that sticketh closer than a brother. This study attempts to i) summarise the criticisms of the Singapore-Israel relationship, ii) provide a brief historical context of the ties, iii) examine its unrivalled controversy, iv) consider whether Singapore ought therefore to cool the relationship, v) anticipate the concomitant threats to Singapore if it does not, and vi) suggest what Singapore can do to mitigate likely threats. Its central thesis is that cooling Singapore-Israel relations will make Singapore no safer nor moral despite the obvious difficulties the relationship entails. It examines calls for Singapore to 'take a stronger position against Israel' and cautiously suggests that there still appear to be reasonable grounds for Singapore and Israel to maintain the excellent state of relations they have shared since establishing contact.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science