International recognition of Israel
The State of Israel was established by the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948. As of December 2020, Israel has received international recognition by 164 of the other 193 UN member states. Besides not having diplomatic relations, Israel's sovereignty is disputed by some countries.
On 14 May 1948 the State of Israel was established by the Israeli Declaration of Independence in part of the former British Mandate of Palestine, in accordance with the United Nations Partition Plan. The Arab League and Arab countries opposed any partition of Palestine and to the establishment of Israel, and took military action against the newly formed state in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
On the declaration of independence, a provisional government of Israel was established; and while military operations were still in progress, the provisional government was promptly recognised by the United States as the de facto authority of Israel, followed by Iran (which had voted against the UN partition plan), Guatemala, Iceland, Nicaragua, Romania, and Uruguay. The Soviet Union was the first country to recognise Israel de jure on 17 May 1948, followed by Nicaragua, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland. The United States extended de jure recognition after the first Israeli election, on 31 January 1949.
By the late 1960s, Israel had established diplomatic relations with almost all countries of Western Europe and North and South America, as well as much of Africa.
In the wake of the Six-Day War, to put additional diplomatic and military pressure on Israel, Arab oil-producing countries threatened to impose an oil embargo on countries with international relations with Israel. As a result, many African and Asian countries broke ties with Israel. The Soviet Union gave its support behind the Arab cause against Israel, and most countries of the Soviet bloc severed diplomatic relations in 1967. These included the Soviet Union itself, as well as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Other countries in the Soviet sphere, such as People's Republic of China and Mongolia also did not establish relations with Israel. Diplomatic relations with these countries were restored or established following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and countries that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union also recognised Israel in their own right.
On 1 September 1967, the then eight members of the Arab League issued the Khartoum Resolution, which included a pledge not to recognise Israel. However, Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania over time recognised Israel, though Mauritania has since withdrawn recognition. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco agreed to normalise relations in 2020. Arab League pressure was again exerted after the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. Several countries that once had diplomatic relations with Israel have since withdrawn recognition (Cuba and Iran after the Islamic revolution) or suspended relations: Venezuela in Latin America; Mali and Niger in Africa; and Maldives in South Asia.
Following Israel's recognition of and entering into negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) many African, Asian and even Arab countries restored diplomatic relations with Israel, or recognised Israel. The Vatican entered into diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994. Some countries broke or suspended relations during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese War and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Although Guinea broke diplomatic relations with Israel in 1967, Israel's support to Guinea during its fight against the Ebola virus led to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2016. Nicaragua restored relations in March 2017, Chad did likewise in January 2019. 2020 saw an increase in diplomatic recognition and established relations for Israel due in large part to United States mediation. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recognized Israel on September 15, while Sudan and Morocco announced their intention to normalise relations with Israel on October 23 and December 10 respectively. The most recent country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel was Bhutan on December 12.
On 15 May 1948, one day after the declaration of its establishment, Israel applied for membership of the United Nations, but the application was not acted on by the Security Council. Israel's second application was rejected by the Security Council on 17 December 1948 by a 5 to 1 vote, with 5 abstentions. Syria was the sole negative vote; the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, the Soviet Union and Ukraine voted in favor; and Belgium, Britain, Canada, China and France abstained.
Israel's application was renewed in 1949 after the Israeli elections. By UN Security Council Resolution 69, the Security Council voted, on 4 March 1949, 9 to 1 in favour of membership, with Egypt voting no and Great Britain abstaining. Those voting in favour were China (ROC), France, United States, Soviet Union, Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Norway, and Ukrainian SSR.
On 11 May 1949, the General Assembly by the requisite two-thirds majority of its then 58 members approved the application to admit Israel to the UN by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273. The vote in the General Assembly was 37 to 12, with 9 abstentions. Those that voted for were: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Byelorussia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Ukraine, South Africa, Soviet Union, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. Those that voted against were six of the then seven members of the Arab League (Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen) as well as Afghanistan, Burma, Ethiopia, India, Iran and Pakistan. Those abstaining were: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, El Salvador, Greece, Siam, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom. Many of the countries that voted in favour or had abstained had already recognised Israel before the UN vote, at least on a de facto basis. Of these countries, Cuba and Venezuela have since withdrawn recognition.
As of December 2020, 164 of the other 192 UN member states recognize Israel. 28 UN member states do not recognize Israel: 15 members of the Arab League (Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen), ten other members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Niger, and Pakistan), Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela. In 2002, the Arab League proposed recognition of Israel by Arab countries as part of the resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict as part of the Arab Peace Initiative. Following normalisation agreements signed in September 2020 by Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the Palestinian Authority condemned as dishonorable any Arab agreement to establish formal relations with Israel, describing them as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
The passports of some countries are not valid for travel to Israel, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. Thirteen countries do not accept Israeli passports: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. Some of these countries also do not accept passports of other countries whose holder has an Israeli visa endorsed in it. The stamp may be a visa stamp, or a stamp on entry or departure. Because of these issues, Israeli immigration controls do not stamp passports with an entry visa, instead stamping on a separate insert which is discarded on departure. However, a stamp of another country which indicates that the person has entered Israel may frustrate that effort. For example, if an Egyptian departure stamp is used in any passport at the Taba Crossing, that is an indication that the person entered Israel, and a similar situation arises for land crossings into Jordan. Some countries also ban direct flights and overflights to and from Israel. In August 2020, the United Arab Emirates permitted direct flights from Israel, and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain authorised overflights for such flights. On 8 October 2020, Israel and Jordan reached an agreement to allow flights to cross over both countries’ airspace.
The Israeli flag and national anthem were banned from the International Judo Federation Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, with Israeli contestants having to display the IJF's flag and anthem instead. The ban on Israeli symbols was lifted in 2018 and the Israeli flag and national anthem were allowed to be displayed. Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev was also allowed to attend the October 2018 event in Abu Dhabi. In December 2017, seven Israelis were denied visas by Saudi Arabia to compete in an international chess tournament.
List by country
|= States that have never formally recognized Israel.|
|= States that have withdrawn recognition from, cut, or suspended relations with Israel|
|= States that recognize Israel|
UN member states
|State||Date of de facto recognition||Date of de jure recognition||Notes|
|—||Afghanistan||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|1||Albania||—||16 April 1949||Diplomatic relations established on 20 August 1991.|
|—||Algeria||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|2||Andorra||—||13 April 1994|
|3||Angola||—||16 April 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|4||Antigua and Barbuda||—||22 June 1983||Date diplomatic relations established|
|5||Argentina||—||14 February 1949|
|6||Armenia||—||4 April 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|7||Australia||—||29 January 1949|
|8||Austria||15 March 1949||8 May 1956||Date diplomatic relations established. Prior to that, the two countries had maintained consular relations since 1950. Delegations were upgraded to embassy status in 1959.|
|9||Azerbaijan||—||7 April 1992||Date diplomatic relations established.|
|11||Bahrain||11 September 2020||15 September 2020||On 15 September 2020, an agreement was signed to normalize relations.|
|—||Bangladesh||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports, and Bangladeshi passports are not valid for travel to Israel.|
|12||Barbados||—||29 August 1967||Date diplomatic relations established|
|13||Belarus||11 May 1949||26 May 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|14||Belgium||—||15 January 1950|
|15||Belize||—||6 September 1984||Date diplomatic relations established|
|16||Benin||—||5 December 1961||Date diplomatic relations established. Relations severed in October 1973, and resumed in July 1992.|
|17||Bhutan||—||12 December 2020||Date diplomatic relations established|
|18||Bolivia||22 February 1949||24 February 1949||Relations severed in January 2009, and restored in November 2019|
|19||Bosnia and Herzegovina||—||26 September 1997||Date diplomatic relations established|
|20||Botswana||Broke off relations in November 1973, restored in December 1993.|
|21||Brazil||—||7 February 1949|
|—||Brunei||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports, and Brunei passports are not valid for travel to Israel|
|22||Bulgaria||—||4 December 1948||Relations severed on 10 June 1967, and restored on 3 May 1990.|
|23||Burkina Faso||—||5 July 1961||Date diplomatic relations established. Relations severed in October 1973, and re-established in October 1993.|
|24||Burundi||Relations severed in May 1973, and restored in March 1995.|
|25||Cambodia||—||30 August 1960||Date diplomatic relations established. Cambodia broke off relations in 1975; they were restored on 5 October 1993.|
|26||Cameroon||—||15 September 1960||Date diplomatic relations established. Relations severed in October 1973 and restored in August 1986.|
|27||Canada||—||11 May 1949|
|28||Cape Verde||—||17 July 1994||Date diplomatic relations established|
|29||Central African Republic||Relations were broken in October 1973, were resumed in January 1991.|
|30||Chad||—||10 January 1961||Relations were established in 1961, but severed on 28 November 1972. In 2005, reports emerged of a mutual intention to renew diplomatic relations. Relations restored on 20 January 2019.|
|31||Chile||—||11 May 1949|
|32||China||—||24 January 1992||The Republic of China granted de jure recognition to Israel on 1 March 1949. The two states maintained diplomatic relations until Israel's recognition of the People's Republic of China on 8 January 1950. The PRC, however, did not formally reciprocate until the eventual establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.|
|33||Colombia||—||1 February 1949|
|34||Costa Rica||—||19 June 1948|
|35||Croatia||—||4 September 1997||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Cuba||14 January 1949||18 April 1949||Cuba severed relations in September 1973, and the most recent government does not recognize it.|
|36||Cyprus||—||21 January 1961||Date diplomatic relations established. They had been agreed to on 17 August 1960, but final establishment was postponed due to pressure from Arab nations.|
|37||Czech Republic||—||18 May 1948||Recognition extended under Czechoslovakia. Relations under Czechoslovakia were severed between June 1967 and February 1990. Diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic were established 1 January 1993.|
|38||Democratic Republic of the Congo||—||26 June 1960||Date diplomatic relations established. Ties severed on 4 October 1973, and restored on 13 May 1982.|
|39||Denmark||2 February 1949||12 July 1950|
|40||Dominica||—||January 1978||Date diplomatic relations established|
|41||Dominican Republic||—||29 December 1948|
|42||East Timor||—||29 August 2002|
|43||Ecuador||—||2 February 1949|
|44||Egypt||—||26 March 1979||Signatory to the Khartoum Resolution. Later became the first Arab state to recognize Israel, with the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.|
|45||El Salvador||—||11 September 1948|
|46||Equatorial Guinea||Relations severed in October 1973, and resumed in January 1994.|
|47||Eritrea||—||6 May 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
|48||Estonia||—||9 January 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|50||Ethiopia||—||24 October 1961||Prior to de jure recognition, Ethiopia maintained consular relations with Israel since 1956. Relations were broken in October 1973, and resumed in November 1989.|
|51||Federated States of Micronesia||—||23 November 1988||Date diplomatic relations established|
|52||Fiji||—||August 1970||Date diplomatic relations established|
|53||Finland||11 June 1948||18 March 1949|
|54||France||—||24 January 1949|
|55||Gabon||—||29 September 1993||Relations severed in October 1973, and resumed in September 1993.|
|56||Gambia||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in September 1992|
|57||Georgia||—||1 June 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|58||Germany||10 September 1952 (West Germany before 3 October 1990)||12 May 1965||Date diplomatic relations established. Prior to this, Germany signed the Reparations agreement with Israel. East Germany never had diplomatic relations with Israel during its existence.|
|59||Ghana||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in August 1994|
|60||Greece||15 March 1949||21 May 1990||Date diplomatic relations established|
|61||Grenada||—||January 1975||Date diplomatic relations established|
|62||Guatemala||—||19 May 1948|
|63||Guinea||—||Broke diplomatic relations with Israel on 12 June 1967, and restored relations on July 20, 2016.|
|64||Guinea-Bissau||—||March 1994||Date diplomatic relations established|
|65||Guyana||—||Broke off relations in March 1974, restored in March 1992.|
|66||Haiti||26 February 1949||January 1950||Date diplomatic relations established|
|67||Honduras||11 September 1948||8 November 1948|
|68||Hungary||24 May 1948||1 June 1948||Relations broken in 1967, and restored on 19 September 1989.|
|69||Iceland||11 February 1949|
|70||India||—||17 September 1950|
|—||Indonesia||—||—||Can only travel to Indonesia with an invitation from the Department of Immigration of Indonesia. Can only enter Indonesia through airports in Denpasar, Jakarta and Surabaya.|
|—||Iran||14 March 1950||Voted against UN Partition Plan, recognized Israel, but voted against admission of Israel to membership of UN. Relations severed in late 1979. Does not accept Israeli passports, and the holders of Iranian passports are "not entitled to travel to the occupied Palestine"|
|—||Iraq||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports, except for Iraqi Kurdistan where visa is required for passengers without a signed and stamped letter issued by the Ministry of Interior of the Kurdistan Regional Government if arriving at Erbil (EBL) and Sulaymaniyah (ISU). Iraqi passports are not valid for travel to Israel.|
|71||Ireland||12 February 1949||May 1963|
|72||Italy||8 February 1949||19 January 1950|
|73||Ivory Coast||15 February 1961||24 May 1961||Date diplomatic relations established. Prior to this date, it had maintained trade relations since 15 February 1961. Relations severed in November 1973, and resumed in February 1986.|
|75||Japan||—||15 May 1952|
|76||Jordan||—||26 October 1994||Signatory to the Khartoum Resolution. Recognized Israel in the Israel–Jordan peace treaty.|
|77||Kazakhstan||—||10 April 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|78||Kenya||—||December 1963||Severed relation in November 1973, resumed in December 1988.|
|79||Kiribati||—||21 May 1984||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Kuwait||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|81||Laos||—||February 1957||Date diplomatic relations established. Laos broke off relations in 1973, and restored them on 6 December 1993.|
|82||Latvia||—||6 January 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Lebanon||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports. Holders of passports containing any Israeli visa or stamp will be refused entry.|
|84||Liberia||11 February 1949||Relations severed in November 1973, and resumed in August 1983.|
|—||Libya||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|86||Lithuania||—||8 January 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|87||Luxembourg||11 May 1949||16 January 1950|
|88||Madagascar||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in January 1994.|
|89||Malawi||—||July 1964||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Malaysia||—||—||Does not admit Israeli passport holders without written permission from the government. Malaysian passports not valid for travel to Israel without permission from the government.|
|—||Maldives||—||29 October 1965||Diplomatic relations suspended in 1974. Cooperation agreements in 2009 did not develop into full diplomatic relations and were terminated in 2014.|
|—||Mali||—||Diplomatic relations severed 5 January 1973.|
|90||Malta||January 1965||December 1965||Date diplomatic relations established|
|91||Marshall Islands||—||16 September 1987|
|—||Mauritania||—||28 October 1999||Diplomatic relations suspended 6 March 2009, severed 21 March 2010|
|92||Mauritius||—||Diplomatic relations severed July 1976, restored September 1993.|
|93||Mexico||11 May 1949||4 April 1952|
|94||Moldova||—||22 June 1992|
|96||Mongolia||—||2 October 1991|
|97||Montenegro||—||12 July 2006|
|98||Morocco||1 September 1994||—||On 10 December 2020, an agreement was announced to normalize relations.|
|99||Mozambique||—||23 July 1993|
|100||Myanmar||—||13 July 1953||Date full diplomatic relations established|
|101||Namibia||—||11 February 1994|
|103||Nepal||—||1 June 1960||Date diplomatic relations established. First South Asian nation to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.|
|104||Netherlands||11 May 1949||16 January 1950|
|105||New Zealand||29 January 1949||28 July 1950|
|106||Nicaragua||—||18 May 1948||Diplomatic relations suspended June 2010 and restored in March 2017.|
|—||Niger||—||—||Relations severed on 4 January 1973.|
|107||Nigeria||1960||Relations broken in October 1973, were resumed in May 1992.|
|108||North Macedonia||—||7 December 1995||Date diplomatic relations established|
|109||Norway||4 February 1949||Date Norway recognized Israel|
|—||Oman||—||—||Accepts Israeli passports for transit only, does not accept for admission.|
|—||Pakistan||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports, and Pakistani passports are not valid for travel to Israel.|
|110||Palau||—||2 October 1994|
|111||Panama||—||19 June 1948|
|112||Papua New Guinea||—||1978|
|113||Paraguay||6 September 1948||7 September 1948|
|114||Peru||—||9 February 1949|
|115||Philippines||11 May 1949||13 May 1957|
|116||Poland||—||18 May 1948||Relations were broken in 1967, restored in February 1990.|
|117||Portugal||12 May 1977|
|—||Qatar||April 1996||—||In April 1996, Qatar and Israel agreed to exchange trade representation offices. Trade offices closed in February 2009.|
Israeli-issued passports are not allowed in Qatar. The only time Israel will be allowed is during 2022 FIFA World Cup.
|118||Republic of the Congo||—||9 November 1960||Date diplomatic relations established. Broke relations on 31 December 1972, resumed in August 1991.|
|119||Romania||11 June 1948||12 June 1948|
|120||Russia||—||17 May 1948||Recognition extended as the Soviet Union. Relations broken in 1967, restored on 19 October 1991.|
|121||Rwanda||—||Relations severed in October 1973, and restored in October 1994.|
|122||Saint Kitts and Nevis||—||January 1984||Date diplomatic relations established|
|123||Saint Lucia||—||January 1979||Date diplomatic relations established|
|124||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||—||January 1981||Date diplomatic relations established|
|125||Samoa||—||June 1977||Date diplomatic relations established|
|126||San Marino||—||1 March 1995|
|127||São Tomé and Príncipe||—||November 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Saudi Arabia||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|128||Senegal||1960||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in August 1994.|
|129||Serbia||—||31 January 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|130||Seychelles||—||September 1992||Date diplomatic relations established|
|131||Sierra Leone||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in May 1992.|
|132||Singapore||—||11 May 1969||Date diplomatic relations established|
|133||Slovakia||—||18 May 1948||Recognition extended under Czechoslovakia. Relations under Czechoslovakia were severed between June 1967 and February 1990. Diplomatic relations with Slovakia were established 1 January 1993.|
|134||Slovenia||—||28 April 1992|
|135||Solomon Islands||—||January 1989|
|136||South Africa||24 May 1948||14 May 1949|
|137||South Korea||—||10 April 1962||Date diplomatic relations established|
|138||South Sudan||—||28 July 2011||Date given is the date full diplomatic relations were established.|
|139||Spain||17 January 1986|
|140||Sri Lanka||16 September 1950|
|141||Sudan||23 October 2020||—||On 23 October 2020, an agreement was announced to normalize relations.|
|143||Sweden||15 February 1949||13 June 1950|
|144||Switzerland||28 January 1949||18 March 1949|
|—||Syria||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|146||Tanzania||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in February 1995.|
|147||Thailand||26 September 1950|
|148||Togo||—||Relations severed in September 1973, and restored in June 1987.|
|149||Tonga||—||June 1977||Date diplomatic relations established|
|150||Trinidad and Tobago||August 1962||—|
|—||Tunisia||3 October 1994||—|
|151||Turkey||28 March 1949||12 March 1950||Downgraded ties with Israel to second secretary level in September 2011, and restored full diplomatic relations in June 2016.|
|151||Turkmenistan||—||6 October 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
|153||Tuvalu||—||July 1984||Date diplomatic relations established|
|154||Uganda||—||Broke relations on 30 March 1972, and restored in July 1994.|
|155||Ukraine||11 May 1949||26 December 1991|
|156||United Arab Emirates||13 August 2020||15 September 2020||On 15 September 2020, an agreement was signed to normalize relations.|
|157||United Kingdom||13 May 1949||28 April 1950|
|158||United States||14 May 1948||31 January 1949|
|159||Uruguay||—||19 May 1948||First Latin American country to recognize Israel.|
|160||Uzbekistan||—||21 February 1992||Date full diplomatic relations established|
|161||Vanuatu||—||16 December 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Venezuela||—||27 June 1948||Relations severed in January 2009.|
|162||Vietnam||—||12 July 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
|—||Yemen||—||—||Does not accept Israeli passports.|
|163||Zambia||—||Relations broken in October 1973, and resumed in December 1991.|
|164||Zimbabwe||—||26 November 1993||Date diplomatic relations established|
Non-UN member states
|State||Date of recognition||Notes|
|Kosovo||4 September 2020||Kosovo recognised Israel as part of the Kosovo and Serbia economic normalization agreements (2020) Diplomatic relations established on February 1, 2021.|
|State of Palestine||1993||Signatory to the Khartoum Resolution. Recognized Israel as part of the Oslo I Accord.|
|Vatican City||15 June 1994|
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.
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