Why Israel Must Be Cautious of China’s Imperial Designs, Even When They Come in Benign Garb

In 2021, the Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a “Global Development Initiative” (GDI), an investment plan ostensibly aimed to help countries meet sustainability goals laid out by the UN. A year later, Beijing announced its “Global Security Initiative” (GSI), a parallel diplomatic plan whose signature achievement (thus far) is the Saudi-Iranian deal concluded in March. The Communist country then added its “Global Civilizational Initiative” (GCI), meant to spread its values through soft power. Tuvia Gering, assesses these grand plans, and what they mean for the Jewish state:

Xi Jinping invited Israel to “take an active part in the GDI” in a conversation with President Isaac Herzog in November 2021. Jerusalem has yet to respond or to take an official stance on the three initiatives. But if it does—or if senior Israeli officials publicly support it—they will join the company of anti-liberal nations who have embraced it, giving China a propaganda win. If Israel joins and is later forced to withdraw, its relations with Beijing will suffer.

At the same time, outright opposition to the initiatives will be perceived as too confrontational. Therefore, Israel’s interest is not to join the GDI or express blanket support for it, but rather to continue project-by-project cooperation with China on development while balancing economic, foreign policy, and security considerations.

The GSI, in contrast, is intended to undermine U.S.-led security frameworks. In the Middle East, it may jeopardize the progress of the Abraham Accords and the I2U2 (a grouping launched in 2022 comprising Israel, the U.S., India, and the United Arab Emirates). Furthermore, given that Beijing is dogmatically biased in favor of the Palestinians and provides Iran with an economic lifeline, international legitimacy, and technological solutions to ensure the regime’s survival, support for the GSI goes against Israel’s strategic interests.

The GSI’s stated support for the UN Charter is a smokescreen for China’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the most egregious violation of the charter, which Beijing and Moscow justify as a response to “NATO expansionism.” Similarly, the good intentions that pave China’s road to “inter-civilizational dialogue and cooperation” under the GCI erode [the] values that underpin human rights, dignity, and freedom from oppression.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: China, Israel-China relations

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus