Invite Israel to join NATO, Ronald Lauder tells Germans


BERLIN (JTA) — Israel should be invited to join NATO, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder wrote in a German newspaper.

Writing in an editorial published Tuesday in the major daily Die Welt, Lauder said current events in Egypt, Tunisia and other Muslim countries show both the forces of "freedom, democracy and economic participation" at work as well as "how unpredictable developments in the Middle East are."

If NATO is to continue upholding "our basic principles and our Western way of life," then Israel, "the only democracy in the Middle East," deserves guarantees for its peace and security that membership in NATO would help provide, Lauder wrote.

Aside from the United States and Canada, non-EU NATO members include Iceland and Turkey.

According to the World Jewish Congress, Lauder sought to place his comments in a German newspaper in part "because Germany is one of the most influential NATO member countries in Europe, and probably more open-minded about such a suggestion" than many other European countries.

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