After the Pandemic, Israel Must Reduce Its Economic Reliance on China

March 23 2020

Given the rapid spread of coronavirus from China to the rest of the globe, and Beijing’s suppression of information about the disease, the U.S. and other nations have begun to rethink the extent to which their economies are entangled with China’s. Israel, which has already responded to Washington’s concerns about its exchanges of technology with China, should lead the way, argue Jacob Nagel and Jonathan Schanzer:

China accounts for roughly 10 to 15 percent of the Israeli economy. Israel relies on China for a wide array of imports. This includes raw materials and food, but also elements of Israel’s automobile, pharmaceutical, construction, and national-infrastructure sectors, to name a few. Chinese components abound in Israeli toys, furniture, jewelry, and more.

There are existing or impending shortages in the aforementioned sectors in Israel. Diversifying trade partners in the Far East and beyond is the only way to ensure this doesn’t happen again. And in doing so, Israel can also assuage its American allies that it is cooling its ties with China. . . . [T]echnological advancements in recent years have blurred the boundaries between defense systems or supervised dual-use systems, [i.e., those that call for special scrutiny because they can be used for civilian or military purposes], and systems with no clear connection to defense. As a result, Israel risks contributing to Chinese technological advances in defense without intending to do so.

As Israel considers reductions in its exposure to China, there will be economists and policymakers who argue that Israel desperately needs Chinese investment and that it cannot be replaced by other countries. They will likely be proven wrong. Israeli tech is coveted by Japan, South Korea, Brazil, India, and European states, to name a few. When the coronavirus crisis has passed, Israel must view them as possible alternatives to Chinese investments and supply chains.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: China, Coronavirus, Israel-China relations, Israeli economy, US-Israel relations

President Biden Should Learn the Lessons of Past U.S. Attempts to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Sept. 21 2023

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Joe Biden addressed a host of international issues, mentioning, inter alia, the “positive and practical impacts” resulting from “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors.” He then added that the U.S. will “continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples.” Zach Kessel experiences some déjà vu:

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and review how past U.S.-brokered talks between Jerusalem and [Palestinian leaders] have gone down, starting with 1991’s Madrid Conference, organized by then-President George H.W. Bush. . . . Though the talks, which continued through the next year, didn’t get anywhere concrete, many U.S. officials and observers across the world were heartened by the fact that Madrid was the first time representatives of both sides had met face to face. And then Palestinian militants carried out the first suicide bombing in the history of the conflict.

Then, in 1993, Bill Clinton tried his hand with the Oslo Accords:

In the period of time directly after the Oslo Accords . . . suicide bombings on buses and in crowded public spaces became par for the course. Clinton invited then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to Camp David in 2000, hoping finally to put the conflict to rest. Arafat, who quite clearly aimed to extract as many concessions as possible from the Israelis without ever intending to agree to any deal—without even putting a counteroffer on the table—scuttled any possibility of peace. Of course, that’s not the most consequential event for the conflict that occurred in 2000. Soon after the Camp David Summit fell apart, the second intifada began.

Since Clinton, each U.S. president has entered office hoping to put together the puzzle that is an outcome acceptable to both sides, and each has failed. . . . Every time a deal has seemed to have legs, something happens—usually terrorist violence—and potential bargains are scrapped. What, then, makes Biden think this time will be any different?

Read more at National Review

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Joe Biden, Palestinian terror, Peace Process