UNESCO’s Jerusalem Resolution Shows Why Neither Russia Nor China Can Replace the U.S.-Israel Alliance

When the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution denying the historic connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, China and Russia joined a number of Arab and Muslim states in voting for it. Besides providing more evidence that the Palestinians are more interested in delegitimizing Israel than in establishing a state, writes Yaakov Amidror, the vote also demonstrates that those who imagine Israel exchanging its ties with America for an alliance with Russia or China are deeply deluded:

China is a weak country. It is trying to climb to the top of the global ladder despite fierce opposition, and it needs all the support it can get on the international stage. The Islamic bloc, comprising 57 of the UN’s 193 members, is therefore crucial. . . .

China has nothing against Israel and would like to improve relations in all areas, but cannot ignore the power the Muslim bloc wields at the UN. This is why it cannot change its voting patterns. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism or the actual diplomatic ties between Israel and China. [Furthermore], there is a gap between the sympathy young Chinese feel for Israel and the views of the older generation, which is still entangled in outdated perceptions and irrelevant historical obligations. . . .

[In] Russia, too, all that matters is the numbers: the Muslim bloc is larger than the bloc of countries that back Israel, so that is the bloc that receives consistent support.

[Additionally], China and Russia share concerns over Islamic extremists, and it is therefore important that they avoid straining their relationships with Muslim countries. . . . This [too] is not a sign of strength but of weakness.

Israelis who cultivate the pipe dream of substituting Israel’s long-term bond with the U.S. with an alliance with China and Russia should take a long, hard look at UNESCO’s resolutions. Moscow’s and Beijing’s policies lack the ethical basis that pervades U.S. policy, and the chances of forging a similar long-term bond with either are slim.

Israel will always be small and will lack sister-states in the international arena. It is much more naturally inclined to foster deep and binding ties with the U.S. than with countries like Russia and China.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel-China relations, Russia, UNESCO, United Nations, US-Israel relations

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy