When It Comes to China, America Must Practice What It Preaches to Israel

March 1 2022

As the U.S. has become more clear-eyed about seeing Beijing as its primary geopolitical rival, it has at times expressed concern about Sino-Israeli cooperation, a subject Mosaic has covered extensively. The Jewish state has generally acquiesced when its most important ally has asked it to avoid certain dealings with China. But, write Nathan Picarsic and Jonathan Schanzer, America has not always followed its own advice:

Recently, Israel rejected a bid by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation to build a light rail system. In a bizarre twist, CRRC is now more welcome in the United States thanks to a decision by the Biden administration to remove it from a list of Communist Chinese military companies.

The Israelis announced last month that CRRC lost the tender to build the green and purple lines of Tel Aviv’s light rail system. CRRC may be the largest rolling-stock company in the world, but it is also a Chinese state-owned enterprise. Its extensive ties to the People’s Liberation Army prompted the Trump administration to list it among the Chinese companies into which U.S. investors would be prohibited from investing.

It appears that the White House needs to reexamine its China policies. But not the Israelis. Indeed, one might have expected Israel simply to shrug and accept the CRRC bid. It did not. . . . Israel has admittedly not fully aligned its China policy with the United States. But as the CRRC episode reveals, the U.S. still has a long way to go in aligning with itself.


Read more at FDD

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

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy