U.S.-Israel Cooperation Can Be a Model for Countering China

June 24 2020

In the past year, a consensus has emerged in Washington that Beijing poses an economic, security, and military threat to American interests. The Trump administration has therefore been pressuring its allies, including Israel, to pull back from commercial and technological cooperation with China. As a result, the Jewish state has taken some important steps to distance itself from the Asian power. But, write Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer, the U.S. must also help Jerusalem find much-needed economic investment elsewhere, and can do so in ways beneficial to America’s emerging anti-China coalition:

Founded in 1977 by the U.S. and Israel with bipartisan support from Congress, the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) had approved 1,000 joint American-Israeli projects and grants of $363 million, as of 2019. Other binational agreements between the two countries build on the BIRD model, including the Binational Agricultural Research and Development fund and the Binational Science Foundation.

[Additionally, there is the] potential of bringing in America’s Indo-Pacific allies who view Beijing’s rise with justifiable alarm. They can displace Chinese investments. The India-Israel Research and Development Cooperation Initiative, for example, which is based on the BIRD model, could include American participation to jumpstart greater Indian investment in Israel’s high-tech sector. Other Indo-Pacific allies should be brought into new BIRD-like trilateral agreements with the U.S. and Israel in order to unleash more capital.

Congress should build upon the success of the BIRD. It has already jumpstarted U.S.-Israel high-tech cooperation. It’s time now to help Israel and our friends in the Indo-Pacific region develop technologies critical to the competition with Beijing. In doing so, America can displace Chinese funding in Israel and mount a successful campaign to counter Chinese influence that should have started long ago.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: India, Israel-China relations, Israeli economy, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria