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Diplomatic and Foreign Relations of Israel

Countries That Recognize and Do Not Recognize the State of Israel

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Diplomatic and Foreign Relations of Israel
Updated July 14, 2008
The State of Israel, merely sixty years old this year, maintains diplomatic relations with most but certainly not all of the countries on earth. Over eighty percent of the countries on earth recognize Israel and maintain good diplomatic relations with Israel.

Founded in May 1948, several countries immediately established relations with Israel, whose independence was the result of a United Nations decision. The following countries recognized Israel and established diplomatic relations within the year following independence.

  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Canada
  6. Chile
  7. Colombia
  8. Denmark
  9. Dominican Republic
  10. Finland
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Luxembourg
  14. Myanmar
  15. Netherlands
  16. New Zealand
  17. Norway
  18. Paraguay
  19. Peru
  20. Romania
  21. Soviet Union
  22. Sweden
  23. Switzerland
  24. United Kingdom
  25. United States of America
  26. Uruguay
Even though the vast majority of countries on earth recognize Israel and maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, no country maintains its embassy in Jerusalem, Israel's capital. Political circumstances make it more convenient for every country to maintain its embassy in Tel Aviv, the country’s original capital city. In 1995, the United States Congress overwhelmingly passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which sought to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem but since then, Presidents have not taken action on the act.

As Israel is a small country, without a huge diplomatic corps, in many instances it maintains relations with foreign countries through various arrangements. For example, relations with small Pacific island countries like Nauru and Palau are maintained through designated staff at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Numerous Caribbean island countries are represented through the Israeli Embassy in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa represents Israel in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho.

Countries Without Diplomatic Relations With Israel

Israel does not have diplomatic relations with 34 countries out of the nearly 200 countries of the world. Some are quite obvious; they are hostile neighboring or other Muslim countries that go so far as to suggest that Israel be "wiped off the map." Others are not so obvious but stubbornly refuse to recognize Israel. The following countries do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

  1. Afghanistan (in 2005 it was reported that Afghanistan would establish relations with Israel)
  2. Algeria
  3. Bahrain
  4. Bangladesh (Islam is the official state religion)
  5. Bhutan (has relations with only about two dozen countries)
  6. Brunei
  7. Chad
  8. Comoros
  9. Cuba (severed diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973)
  10. Djibouti
  11. Guinea
  12. Indonesia (conducts its foreign relations with Israel through Singapore)
  13. Iran (would like to wipe Israel off the map)
  14. Iraq (while the U.S. encourages relations, Iraq refuses to recognize Israel)
  15. Kosovo (Israel appears to be holding off recognition of Kosovo)
  16. Kuwait
  17. Lebanon (considers itself at war with Israel)
  18. Libya (considers Israel "fictitious")
  19. Malaysia (refuses to recognize Israel)
  20. Maldives
  21. Mali
  22. Morocco (recalled chief of Tel Aviv liaison bureau in 2000)
  23. Niger (suspended relations with Israel in 2000)
  24. North Korea
  25. Oman (suspended relations with Israel in 2000)
  26. Pakistan (in 2005 Pakistan accepted Israeli aid following a devastating earthquake)
  27. Saudi Arabia (actively participates in an economic boycott of Israel)
  28. Somalia (has no recognizable form of government)
  29. Sudan
  30. Syria (considers itself at war with Israel)
  31. Taiwan (like many other countries, there is a unofficial trade office in Taipei)
  32. Tunisia (suspended relations with Israel in 2000)
  33. United Arab Emirates
  34. Yemen

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