Israel’s Military Ties with Asia Are Growing

On July 14, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin arrived in Seoul, where he met with senior officials and laid the groundwork for a trade agreement. He also made a point of praising Israeli missile-defense systems, which of course have some appeal to a country in the sights of North Korean rockets. To Alvite Ningthoujam, the visit reflects the success of Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to expand his country’s diplomatic ties with East Asia: ties that in many cases have military as well as economic dimensions:

Of Israel’s total arms exports in 2018 (worth $7.5 billion), 46 percent were purchased by Asia-Pacific countries. . . . Vietnam has become one of the three largest Israeli arms clients between 2014 and 2018, along with Azerbaijan and India. This growing defense trade is crucial for Israel, mainly for funding its defense research-and-development programs, but also for ensuring an uninterrupted flow of foreign earnings into the country.

Moreover, with a limited scope for the consumption of its own defense products internally, Israel is on a constant look-out for clients elsewhere, and Southeast Asia has become a lucrative market. Besides aircraft and related systems, missile and antimissile systems, border-protection equipment, early-warning systems, intelligence equipment, and military-aviation components are the most sought-after Israeli-made items.

Beyond the arms trade, Israel has entered the domain of counterterrorism cooperation. Troops from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), for the first time, trained their Philippine counterparts.

It is certain that military-security cooperation between Israel and these Asian countries will progress further. . . . Notwithstanding the importance of economic cooperation, the Israeli government will continue to encourage defense engagements as a means of diversifying its revenue sources, which could also further lead to the establishment of political ties with these countries.

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Read more at Diplomat

More about: Asia, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel diplomacy, Israeli technology, Reuven Rivlin, South Korea, Southeast Asia

 

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank