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

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security