Why reassessing Israel’s risky relationship with China matters
Analysis: Beijing’s full-throated defense of the Islamic Republic should set off alarm bells for any Israeli who fears a nuclear-armed Iran with advanced ballistic and cruise missiles capable of bringing a second Holocaust.
The following is an excerpt:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called on the United Nations Security Council to reimpose, or “snapback,” international sanctions and restrictions on the Islamic Republic of Iran – a terror-sponsoring regime that seeks to wipe Israel off the map.
Just as the prime minister was speaking, another country was addressing the Security Council in defense of Iran: the People’s Republic of China.
Most Israelis would be shocked to learn this. According to a December 2019 Pew research poll, 66 percent of Israelis hold a favorable opinion of China against 25 percent who hold an unfavorable view.
As support for the Chinese Communist Party plummets worldwide, Israel is one of only nine countries where positive views of Beijing recently increased.
Sino-Israeli comity is particularly evident in the economic sphere: China accounts for roughly 10 to 15 percent of the Israeli economy. Sino-Israeli trade stood at $15.3 billion in 2018, an almost 4,400 percent increase in real dollar terms since 1995.
Admittedly, other American allies have strong ties to China. Chinese trade with Germany, for example, stood at $231 billion in 2018, an almost 2,000 percent increase in real dollar terms since 1992.
But trade hasn’t made Beijing popular in Deutschland. Only 34 percent of Germans, according to the same Pew poll, hold a favorable view of China compared to 56 percent that do not. This is one of the lowest favorability ratings for China in Europe.
Read the Hebrew translation here.