Taiwan and Israel Won’t Be Recognizing Each Other Anytime Soon. But They Should Still Work Together

The Republic of China and the Jewish state share much in common: both were founded in the 1940s, both are small democracies that punch above their weight economically, both are U.S. allies, and both have spent their entire existence under the threat of destruction from larger powers. Nonetheless, the two do not have formal diplomatic relations. Roie Yellinek explains why this is so, and argues that it should not be an obstacle to informal friendliness:

Both Israel and Taiwan struggle for international recognition, yet have not recognized one another. This is essentially because the Israelis want a positive relationship with Beijing and the Taiwanese want a positive relationship with the Arab world.

The countries started inching toward each other in the 1980s and picked up the pace in the 1990s. In 1993 (a year after Israel and China established diplomatic relations), the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Taipei opened in Tel Aviv, and Israel opened an equivalent ministry in Taipei. This was the start of the relationship, but it took a decade for the connection to flourish. Israel and Taiwan have now signed more than 30 trade agreements, including a technology-cooperation agreement (2006) . . . and a water-cooperation agreement (2011).

Israel is famous for its agricultural technology, an area of expertise that is even more attractive for Taipei. Taiwan’s challenges in this field include a lack of sufficient land worthy of cultivation as well as changes in population composition through aging and urbanization, which are causing manpower shortages in agriculture. Israeli agricultural technology is supporting Taiwanese efforts to develop “smart agriculture” to mitigate these problems.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli economy, Taiwan


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7