China Emerges as Iran’s Biggest Defender

Recently, the Chinese ambassador urged the UN Security Council to uphold the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and not to extend sanctions on the sale of conventional weapons to the Islamic Republic. Beijing, moreover, has defended Tehran’s space launches—undoubtedly designed to test ballistic-missile technology. On top of that, China continues to buy Iranian oil despite U.S. sanctions. To Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg, such behavior should make Israelis far warier of China:

[Above all], China stands to benefit from the expiration of sanctions on Iran. A Pentagon report warns that China (and Russia) are set to sell Iran fighter jets, battle tanks, attack helicopters, and modern naval capabilities once the UN arms embargo expires. When missile restrictions expire in 2023, China’s long-time illicit transfers of missile-related parts will become robust and overt commercial trade. If past is prologue, Tehran will share these capabilities with its terrorist proxies like the Lebanese Hizballah, Shiite militias in Iraq, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and the Houthis in Yemen.

China has already incorporated Iran into its global Belt and Road Initiative to build a transportation, energy, and communications network running from China through Central Asia and the Middle East into Europe. In fact, some reports traced Iran’s coronavirus outbreak to a Chinese infrastructure project in Qom. Even amidst a widening pandemic, direct flights flew daily between Iran and several cities throughout China, due to pressure from Beijing. China now sees the legalized arms trade as the logical next step in its expanding this relationship.

If China embraces and protects the world’s most anti-Semitic regime—even arming it with weapons to attack the world’s only Jewish state—perhaps it’s time for Israelis to reexamine ties with Beijing.

Read more at Ynet

More about: China, Iran, Israel-China relations

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship