China Values Its Ties with Iran More Than Its Ties with Israel

July 31 2020

Beijing and Tehran are reportedly on the cusp of concluding a massive agreement that would involve military cooperation and $400 billion of Chinese investment in the Iranian economy over the next 25 years. While Israel has for some time enjoyed growing and beneficial economic relations with China, Jacob Nagel and Mark Dubowitz contend that these do not offset the dangers of the world’s second-most powerful country siding with Israel’s most dangerous enemy:

For Israel, this is a clear sign that it is time to pivot from Beijing. . . . The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also the most dangerous adversary of the United States—Israel’s most valuable ally. The Chinese Communists are serial proliferators of nuclear and missile technology to rogue regimes like Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. They threaten Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are militarizing the South China Sea, weaponizing data, stealing intellectual property on a massive scale and committing shocking human-rights abuses, including forcing more than one million Uighur Muslims into concentration camps.

But for Israel, decoupling won’t be simple. China is one of Israel’s largest trading partners and sources of foreign investment, alongside the United States and Europe. . . . Beijing sees Israeli critical infrastructure as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (a trillion-dollar global land, sea, and communications program spanning more than 100 countries). This includes the Haifa port (where the U.S. Sixth Fleet docks), the port of Ashdod, underground tunnels and control systems in the northern Carmel mountains, and Tel Aviv’s subway system. The strategic importance of this infrastructure is clear, given that some of it runs alongside key military installations, major businesses, food suppliers, and other essential Israeli military and civilian services.

Israeli strategic planners may be tempted by the idea that China-Israel economic ties could offset Beijing’s growing partnership with Tehran. That is a delusion. The CCP will acquire everything it can from both Israel and Iran without fear or favor. And, if forced to choose, it will choose the Islamic Republic. Iran provides critical energy supplies to China that Israel cannot match. Its population is eight times larger. Its land mass is 75 times greater. It occupies a much more strategic territory for the Belt and Road. And the Islamic Republic is an American enemy, which Beijing can leverage in its global contest with the U.S.

Read more at FDD

More about: China, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israel-China 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