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

The American Jewish Establishment Has Failed to Grapple with the Threat of Anti-Semitism

Feb. 17 2020

When the White House released its plan for the creation of a Palestinian state that also gives due consideration to Israeli security, writes Seth Mandel, a number of major Jewish organizations rushed to condemn it. The self-styled “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street lambasted the plan for being too pro-Israel, as did the Israel Policy Forum—founded in the 1990s at the behest of Yitzḥak Rabin. Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) responded equivocally. To Mandel, this attitude is only a symptom of a deeper problem:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: ADL, AIPAC, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism