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Look Who’s Pivoting to Asia

It’s not the United States. In recent years, trade between Israel and China has boomed, amounting to $10 billion in 2013 and moving beyond military technology to other, more strictly commercial sectors. Diplomatic relations are also flourishing. The benefits of such developments far outweigh the damage done by the tut-tutting of European governments over Israel’s relations with the Palestinians. Elliott Abrams writes:

It’s fashionable to say that Israel is increasingly isolated in the world, and people point to resolutions like the one in Sweden “recognizing a Palestinian state” that are passing European parliaments. The EU is Israel’s largest trading partner, and it would be a serious problem for Israel if the larger economies—Germany, France, the UK—began to cut commercial ties. But that is not happening yet, and these resolutions are either less than meets the eye (the Spanish resolution calls for recognizing a Palestinian state only when it emerges from bilateral negotiations) or in countries of much less economic significance. In any event, a country whose trade with India and China is growing by leaps and bounds is hard to call “isolated.”

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: China, India, Israel diplomacy, Israel-India relations, Israeli economy

 

Mahmoud Abbas Comes to the UN to Walk away from the Negotiating Table

Feb. 22 2018

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, addressed the United Nations Security Council during one of its regular discussions of the “Palestine question.” He used the opportunity to elaborate on the Palestinians’ “5,000-year history” in the land of Israel, after which he moved on to demand—among other things—that the U.S. reverse its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The editors of the Weekly Standard comment:

It’s convenient for Abbas to suggest a condition to which he knows the United States won’t accede. It allows him to do what he does best—walk away from the table. Which is what he did on Tuesday, literally. After his speech, Abbas and his coterie of bureaucrats walked out of the council chamber, snubbing the next two speakers, the Israeli ambassador Danny Danon and the U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, . . . [in order to have his] photograph taken with the Belgian foreign minister.

Abbas has neither the power nor the will to make peace. It’s the perennial problem afflicting Palestinian leadership. If he compromises on the alleged “right of return”—the chimerical idea that Palestinians can re-occupy the lands from which they [or their ancestors] fled, in effect obliterating the Israeli state—he will be deposed by political adversaries. Thus his contradictory strategy: to prolong his pageantry in international forums such as the UN, and to fashion himself a “moderate” even as he finances and incites terror. He seems to believe time is on his side. But it’s not. He’s eighty-two. While he continues his performative intransigence, he further immiserates the people he claims to represent.

In a sense, it was entirely appropriate that Abbas walked out. In that sullen act, he [exemplified] his own approach to peacemaking: when difficulties arise, vacate the premises and seek out photographers.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Mahmoud Abbas, Nikki Haley, Politics & Current Affairs, United Nations