It’s not exactly news that the Arab world doesn’t mind when Israel does its dirty work for it. When Israel bombed Syria’s almost-completed nuclear reactor, “no Arab government commented on the Israeli raid, much less pressed for retaliation against Israel, diplomatic or otherwise.” And Saudi Arabia is firmly in the camp of countries afraid of a nuclear Iran. But it is nonetheless interesting that the United Arab Emirates is adding 3,000 IDF-trained soldiers from the Colombian military to its 50,000-person army. These soldiers are being hired to help defend the Emirates in a potential conflict with Iran or with residents of the UAE influenced by the Arab Spring. The UAE government isn’t likely to curry much favor with its populace if it represses Arab Spring protests with a foreign, IDF-trained army.
Israeli involvement with the Colombian military is so well-known that Chavez has called Colombia the “Israel of South America.” This is no secret:
The Colombian media has not lacked reports on the Israeli involvement in training of the country’s elite soldiers…The large guerrilla group FARC declared in 2007 that former Israeli commando officers help the Colombian military fight the narcotics barons and guerrilla fighters in the country’s jungles. The Colombian Defense Minister Jose Manuel Santos has admitted that…“A group of former IDF officers advises the Colombian military’s Chief of Staff.”
This is not the first time Israel has trained another country’s soldiers. The IDF regularly trains the United States Marine Corps and the militaries of Trinidad and Tobago and Germany. It seems that Israel’s relationship with Arab governments has never been better, but its relationship with the Arab street has never been worse.
Matthew Kalman broke the story of physicist Stephen Hawking’s boycott of Israel. Then Cambridge University tried to falsely deny it.