Why Taiwan Stands with Israel

On Tuesday, representatives of Hamas met with their counterparts from Fatah—the faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) once led by Yasir Arafat that now governs parts of the West Bank—in Beijing to discuss possible reconciliation. While it is unlikely that these talks will yield any more progress than the many previous rounds, they constitute a significant step in China’s increasing attempts to involve itself in the Middle East on the side of Israel’s enemies.

By contrast, writes Tuvia Gering, Taiwan has been quick and consistent in its condemnations of Hamas and Iran and its expressions of sympathy with Israel:

Support from Taipei goes beyond words. Taiwan’s appointee in Tel Aviv and de-facto ambassador, Abby Lee, has been busy aiding hostage families, adopting the most affected kibbutzim in southern Israel, and volunteering with farmers. Taiwan recently pledged more than half a million dollars to Israel for critical initiatives, including medical and communications supplies for local municipalities. This follows earlier aid from Taiwan to an organization helping Israeli soldiers and families immediately after the October 7 attack.

The reasons why are not hard to fathom:

In many ways, Taiwan sees a reflection of itself in Israel—two vibrant democracies facing threats from hostile neighbors. Both nations wield substantial economic and technological prowess, and both heavily depend on U.S. military exports and diplomacy. Taipei also sees Israel as a “role model” for what Taiwan should aspire to be, citing its unwavering determination and capabilities to defend itself.

On a deeper level, Taiwanese leaders seem to view Israel’s war with Hamas and Iran as an extension of a greater struggle between democracy and autocracy.

Gering urges Israel to reciprocate these expressions of friendship and to take into account that “China has been going above and beyond to demonize the Jewish state in international forums.” Above all, he writes, Jerusalem should “take a firmer stance against China’s support for Hamas and Iran-backed terrorism, exposing the hypocrisy and repression that underpin its vision for a new global order.”

Read more at Atlantic Council

More about: Israel diplomacy, Israel-China relations, Palestinian Authority, Taiwan

 

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy