The Israeli Prime Minister Isn’t Going to China to Provoke Washington

On Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed reports that he is planning a visit to China, most likely in October, and that he informed the White House of his plans last month. Richard Kemp explains the economic and strategic reasons for such a diplomatic move, and responds to the critical reactions:

Those who have attacked the planned visit as poking a stick in President Biden’s eye after he failed to extend an invitation to the White House, or even suggested Netanyahu is looking for an alternative partner to the U.S., are clearly mistaken. The former thought underestimates Netanyahu’s political savvy—whatever anyone thinks of his policies and character—and the latter is simply laughable.

Netanyahu is never going to lead his country closer to the Chinese dictatorship at the expense of the fundamental relationship with America, just as the first Israeli prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was never going to opt for Soviet patronage in defiance of America despite immense pressure from Stalin to do so. The U.S. is and will remain Israel’s closest and most important strategic and military ally and the two countries share common cultural, liberal, and democratic values. China’s repressive Communist autocracy, on the other hand, is anathema to Israelis, including the current government.

Diplomacy and communication between Xi Jinping and one of America’s staunchest allies can only benefit Washington’s relations with the second-most powerful nation on the planet. Netanyahu is not the French president Emmanuel Macron, who publicly challenged the U.S. over European strategic autonomy as well as its Taiwan policy during his visit to Beijing in April, playing straight into the hands of Xi. The Israeli prime minister is an experienced political leader who will not allow himself or his country to be exploited by the Chinese Communist Party and will have in mind American interests as well as Israel’s.

Moreover, Kemp notes, it would be hard for Washington to object to the visit when Secretary of State Antony Blinken just made his own trip to Beijing last week.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, China, Israel-China relations, U.S.-Israel relationship

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University