Muhammed Fehmi Çetinkaya
Israel-Caribbean Relations Expert

Israel’s Technological Diplomacy in the English-Speaking Caribbean

The oldest Jewish Synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, Bridgetown-Barbados


As we approach the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, the geopolitical landscape is undergoing a profound shift. The transition from a unipolar world to a multipolar one is unmistakable, marked by the emergence of smaller states onto the global stage. In this transformative era, where technological advancements shape the contours of diplomacy, small states are leveraging technology to assert their presence and pursue their interests.

At the forefront of this adaptation of technology to diplomacy is Israel, a small state with outsized influence in global affairs. For Israel, the integration of technology into its foreign policy is not merely a strategic choice but a historical imperative dating back to its inception. As Theodor Herzl, the intellectual architect of Israel, envisioned, technology has become a cornerstone of Israel’s quest for legitimacy in the international arena.

However, Israel’s diplomatic efforts extend far beyond its immediate region. This article delves into Israel’s interactions with three English-speaking Caribbean (ESC) countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Guyana. Despite being geographically distant, these nations share developmental challenges that resonate with Israel’s technological expertise.

Public Diplomacy in the Caribbean

Israel’s engagement in the Caribbean reflects recognition of both historical neglect and burgeoning importance. Despite a delayed focus in the region over the past two decades, there’s been a discernible shift towards heightened attention. This perception underscores the geopolitical weight of Caribbean nations within the UN due to CARICOM, while bilateral relations are portrayed as robust, albeit with a concerted push for expansion. Challenges abound, notably the diminutive size of these nations, logistical hurdles, and limited resources, impeding substantial economic engagement. Nevertheless, Israel’s commitment to overcoming these barriers underscores its strategic imperative to broaden its diplomatic footprint in the Caribbean despite the inherent complexities.

The Israeli MFA highlights the strategic importance of the Caribbean region within the context of its engagement with CARICOM. However, this is juxtaposed with the stark realities of Israel’s current geopolitical constraints, particularly after October 7. While there’s heightened interest in deepening ties with the Caribbean, the allocation of resources is not enough to commensurate with this heightened interest due to competing priorities, notably the war in Gaza. Nonetheless, Israel perceives the Caribbean as a pivotal partner with whom mutual benefits can be derived, underpinned by shared developmental challenges such as climate change impacts, water scarcity, and extreme weather events. Leveraging its technological prowess, Israel envisions a substantive role in addressing these common challenges through collaboration with Caribbean nations. This vision is further buoyed by the longstanding historical ties and mutual respect between Israel and the people of the Caribbean. Politically, Israel’s engagement with CARICOM emerges as a pragmatic approach to navigate the complexities of individual country dynamics, facilitating a collective approach towards addressing shared concerns spanning development, academia, and geopolitical matters.

In the Caribbean, Israel leverages its technological prowess to enhance its soft power projection, positioning itself as a leading innovator. From the Caribbean perspective, cooperation with Israel is important for several interconnected reasons, very similar to Israel’s reasoning. Primarily, barring Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad are small island nations grappling with developmental challenges akin to those Israel confronted in its formative years, thereby fostering a sense of resonance and shared experience. Secondly, this parallel development trajectory amplifies Israel’s relevance and credibility as a partner capable of offering pertinent solutions. Therefore, as non-aligned nations engrossed in addressing internal developmental imperatives, Caribbean countries exhibit heightened receptivity to external collaborations, particularly in areas of technology and innovation. Moreover, their acute attention to global crises further amplifies Israel’s platform for engagement and influence. Collectively, these factors converge to render the Caribbean a conducive arena for Israel to project its technological acumen and consolidate its soft power, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and bolstering its regional presence.


Israel’s engagement with the ESC countries of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Guyana exemplifies the transformative power of technology in modern diplomacy. Despite geographical distance, Israel’s integration of technology into its foreign policy has allowed it to establish diplomatic ties and foster partnerships driven by shared developmental challenges and mutual benefit.

Using public diplomacy, Israel has sought to deepen its ties with the Caribbean nations, recognizing their geopolitical weight and the potential for collaboration. Challenges such as limited resources and competing priorities notwithstanding, Israel remains committed to broadening its diplomatic footprint in the Caribbean, leveraging its technological prowess to address common challenges like climate change and water scarcity.

As technology continues to shape the landscape of diplomacy, Israel’s commitment to collaboration and innovation will remain central to its efforts in the Caribbean and beyond, fostering global development and cooperation.

About the Author
Muhammed Fehmi Cetinkaya holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Koc University, where he also pursued a minor in History and track programs in Diplomacy and International Political Economy. Currently, he is pursuing a master's degree at Boston University's Pardee School, specializing in Diplomacy. His research fields encompass a wide range of topics, including Israeli and Turkish Foreign Policy, Modern History of the Middle East , Public and Digital Diplomacy, and Caribbean-Israel relations. He can speak in Turkish, English and Spanish, and can read Hebrew and Arabic.
Related Topics
Related Posts