China Threatens to Downgrade Relations with Israel over a Newspaper Interview with a Taiwanese Diplomat

In an interview published on Monday, the Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu warned Yaakov Katz about the implications of Israel’s reliance on Beijing, citing an American diplomat who said, “you must be doing something right when China gets upset.” In response, a Chinese official reportedly threatened to curtail relations with Israel. In the original interview, Katz also sketched some of the reasons why Taiwan is particularly wary of China today, as well as the complex history of Israel-Taiwan ties.

On Monday—just before he sat down for the interview—Wu said that around eighteen Chinese jets crossed into Taiwanese economic waters. . . . He said that over the last year, China has flown 972 sorties into Taiwanese air-defense identification zones and more recently, deployed an aircraft-carrier strike force to the east of the island. Taiwan, he added, is the number-one target of Chinese disinformation efforts and cyberattacks.

The interview with Wu came just a week after U.S. president Joe Biden warned that China was “flirting with danger” over Taiwan, and promised to intervene militarily to protect the island if it is attacked.

Israel-Taiwanese relations are complicated, mostly due to Israeli concerns that overt diplomatic ties with the island nation will upset China, one of Israel’s largest trade partners. Earlier this month, for example, the Foreign Ministry reportedly ordered Israeli diplomats stationed around the world to refrain from inviting Taiwanese officials to Israeli events or from participating in events organized by Taiwanese diplomats.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: China, Israel-China relations, Journalism, Taiwan


Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion