IT is a given, almost akin to a “holy grail” within Israel – particularly, in the political sphere – that Israel’s “best friend” is America. Yes and no. Regardless, a basic backgrounder is in order to understand what’s what.
YES, due to inherent common values and worldviews, the two nations are bound by mutual underpinnings. While a majority of Americans and Congressional Republicans overwhelmingly support Israel (and Israel’s majority Jewish public returns the sentiment towards America), the increasingly hostile Demster machine is on the warpath. Indeed, yesteryear’s Democratic operatives no longer even maintain the pretense of being pro-Israel, nor are they pro-American. But let’s not digress.
ON the other hand, the Executive Branch, for the most part, has been a fair-weather friend, dependent upon who is POTUS. However, no one, least of all Israel’s politicians, should have been shocked by HUSSEIN Obama’s overt hostility. That’s a vast understatement. In reality, even if they failed to execute their due diligence prior to his first term, his 2009 speech in Cairo was crystal clear: The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamism, has his support and that is that. In fact, not only did he prove his loyalty to them throughout the Mid East, but within America’s power centers. No doubt.
SIGNIFICANTLY, PM Netanyahu’s second round at the helm coincided with HUSSEIN Obama’s first term as POTUS. But in order to internalize how far down the rabbit hole the relationship between Israel and the Executive Branch has descended, one must understand the following backgrounder:
INDISPUTABLY, PM Netanyahu’s American roots run deep, even though he was born in Israel. True, many are aware that he served with distinction within the IDF’s Sayeret Matkal…. סיירת מטכ”ל …. aka “The Unit.” Agreed, it is Israel’s most elite special forces commando unit, the General Staff’s Reconnaissance arm. Yet, few know that PM Netanyahu spent a portion of his childhood in a suburb of Philadelphia, having graduated from Cheltenham High School. Not only that, after he completed his service in the IDF – having returned to Israel after high school – he headed back to the U.S. to attend MIT, the most esteemed academic powerhouse in the world. Moreover, upon graduating MIT, he was a doctoral student at Harvard in political science, until his studies were cut short upon the death of his brother, Yoni, during Operation Entebbe.
MIND you, none of the above is inconsequential to the thesis at hand, in so far as he is every bit American-centric as he is Israeli. Don’t forget this.
IN conjunction, having established that PM Netanyahu is more than intellectually endowed (even though combat hardened, he found it mentally impossible to throw off Obama Inc.’s yoke – until now) the question always looms: How could he hitch Israel’s security, its economic future alike, to the most anti-Israel administration ever to disgrace the People’s House? And since this investigative journalist is not inclined to waste time, the following (March 2015) should serve as partial edification: “Can Israel Survive As The Jewish State?”
WOLFF BACHNER: And speaking of responsible world leaders, why isn’t the Prime Minster of Israel bringing up these serious issues with the nations involved in the peace process and especially with Obama and demanding an end to all military threats to Israel before Israel will negotiate again? Is he trying too hard to appease Obama and the various European talking heads, and by doing so, weakening Israel’s position even further in a peace process that is already an anti-Israeli charade?
ADINA KUTNICKI: It is this lock-step and debasing march which stopped him (during 9 years as PM, from 1996-1999 and 2009 -2015) from declaring victory over Hamas during the 2014 summer-long war, one which blanketed/blitzed the entire country with missile and rocket barrages. More indicting, instead of laying waste, years ago, to Iran’s mushrooming genocidal WMD program, he is still begging President Obama to lead the charge, knowing full well that he has no such intention. Chasing ghosts.
In the main, PM Netanyahu is best described as a “serial accommodator”, comparable to a badly battered wife who just can’t help herself from going back to her abuser, one last time, for more punishment. Now, others may tsk, tsk and opine: well, the POTUS is the big man in the arena, therefore, what can poor “Bibi” do but genuflect? Hogwash.
In furtherance to the above charge and indictment, whereas PM Ben-Gurion took on the U.S. when Israel was little more than a military pipsqueak, PM Netanyahu behaves as if Israel is a vassal state. This is the case even though he has at his disposal the most adept forces in the region, let alone technologically advanced. Hence, the question is not one of actual force strength, but one of inner and moral fortitude. Hmm.
Thus, he weakened Israel’s position within (already hostile, pro Arab) international forums, once he gutted the nation’s core standing. Realistically, are others supposed to be “more Catholic than the Pope”, so to speak? Not only that, why should they disagree with Israel’s PM, in effect, after he already conceded (his “reasoning” doesn’t count for a damn) to the “rights” of the so-called Palestinians? Unforgivable.
” As early as August 1968, Arafat defined the PLO’s strategic objective as “the transfer of all resistance bases” into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel during the June 1967 war, “so that the resistance may be gradually transformed into a popular armed revolution.” This, he reasoned, would allow the PLO to undermine Israel’s way of life by “preventing immigration and encouraging emigration … destroying tourism … weakening the Israeli economy and diverting the greater part of it to security requirements … [and] creating and maintaining an atmosphere of strain and anxiety that will force the Zionists to realize that it is impossible for them to live in Israel.”
Unarguably, PM Netanyahu is the best orator on the world stage. He proved it on several occasions, most recently, at his speech to Congress on March 3, 2015. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is a highly gifted and polished communicator. But his commanding presence is both a byproduct of having been a special forces commando in Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal Unit (General Reconnaissance Staff), coupled with the natural confidence gleaned from being a top graduate of MIT, one of the most acclaimed universities in the world. Not too shabby, brawn and brains alike.
NOW, this backgrounder is hardly an exercise in futility. In fact, it serves to connect several intrinsic geo-political fault-lines, all of which lead to the absolute blow back caused by HUSSEIN Obama’s deep animus, his many betrayals to Israel. Other allies alike.
WITH the above firmly understood, the fact that any Israeli PM – most of all, PM Netanyahu – would do “business” with China, sans consulting with Washington (as if they should have to consult with any foreign power, but that’s another story), tells the tale. Mind you, it is not inconsequential that under Obama Inc. there is a tacit acceptance of economic sanctions against Israel. Say whaaat? Isn’t U.S. legislation very clear, it is illegal to boycott Israel and other allies?
BUT no matter, punishment for not gifting Judea and Samaria – the Jewish people’s thousands year old historical heartland – in its totality, to the so-called Palestinians, knows no bounds. Obama Inc., ungrateful bastards that they are, is not satisfied with PM Netanyahu’s past capitulation, regarding the Jewish heartland. How many recall that he surrendered (upon the blasted Wye River Accords in 1998, during his first stint as PM from 1996-1999) over 80% of Hevron to Arafat’s PA terror junta, even though it is the cradle of Judaism, it wasn’t his to give away, and is where Judaism’s patriarchs/matriarchs are buried?
WHICH brings us straight back to Israel’s burgeoning relationship with China, mostly due to HUSSEIN Obama’s fiery geopolitical blow back. Assuredly, Israel is certainly not blind to China’s “spotty” human rights record, and neither is the U.S. Indeed, Washington is practically owned by China, and that’s not an exaggeration.
IN this regard, despite years of capitulation by PM Netanyahu to Obama’s dictates, certain alliances are A-changin’:
As Europe and America continue to be flooded with welfare-dependent Muslim migrants, companies and universities are being pressured to divest their investments and boycott products made in the State of Israel. But while some in the West turn their backs on Israel, Chinese business leaders are investing there more than ever before. China admires the Jewish state, including its emphasis on education, strong family relationships, leading entrepreneurship, breakthrough technological innovations, and most of all its incomparable success despite its size in a hostile neighborhood of enemies.
Around the same time, Gaon Holdings that controls Ahava, informed Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that China’s investment giant Fosan has acquired the company for $77 million.
Ahava’s plant is located in the West Bank that is a target of the BDS movement, and in 2011 it was forced to close its London flagship store after weeks of demonstration by pro-Palestinian groups. In June the Dead Sea cosmetics company was reportedly considering relocating its factory from Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, located beyond the Green Line, to inside Israel’s pre-1967 border.
However, now that China has acquired the company and seeking to expand the products into China’s enormous and rapidly expanding cosmetics market, Ahava may not need to relocate. Back in 2007, Ahava had already signed exclusive distribution agreement with a Chinese company to build up the brand name in China.
Moreover, if other European nations follow Iceland’s model and boycott all Israeli products and not just those in the West Bank, relocating a factory would not make a difference.
In contrast, while the West boycotts Israel, Chinese companies such as Fosun have been pouring investments into Israeli companies the past years. For Fosun, which also bought Israeli medical and cosmetic energy-based device manufacturer Alma Lasers in 2013, “Israel is a highly attractive market that complements Fosun’s global expansion strategy.”
Unlike Europe that is still reeling from recession and the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, China recognizes technology and innovations is a factor for continued growth. Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center said in 2015, Chinese investments in Israeli start-ups would reach $467 million, a 54% increase from $302 million last year.
IVC counts some 30 new Chinese investors in Israel since 2012, with companies like Huawei and Desay seekings deals, and Alibaba—the worlds’ largest e-commerce company—investing $5 million in the startup Visualead in January and later in Jerusalem Venture Partner’s VC fund.
Other deals include acquisition of controlling interest in Tnuva Food Industries, Pegasus Technologies Ltd that develops and sells digital pens for the computer environment, Adama Agricultural Solutions, Ltd., agreement to build the new Ashdod port by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., $130 million donation to Technion, $300 million joint center between Tel Aviv University and Tsinghua University for innovative research and education, just to name a few.
But not every Academic institution in the West wants to boycott Israel:
David Fuchs, managing partner of the newly formed $20 million Synergy China Funds, observed Chinese VC market is growing by leaps and bounds. As such many Israeli venture capital funds have raised capital from Chinese backers, and Israeli start-ups can also tap into more Chinese capital when they expand operations in the lucrative Chinese market.
It is interesting to note that just before Iceland and EU’s ominous moves in September to boycott Israel, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a film in late August to mark the 70 anniversary since the end of WWII and to express Israel’s gratitude for China sheltering 20,000 Jews who fled Nazi-occupied Europe.
In the film, the Consul General of Israel in Shanghai Mr. Arnon Perlmansaid, “the film is a token of appreciation to Shanghai and to the Chinese people from the people of Israel. The Israel people will never forget how the Chinese people came to our help during our darkest hour. It is here, in Shanghai, where Jewish refugees could find shelter from the Nazi regime.”
Among the Israelis featured in the video are former refugees from Shanghai, Mayor Yona Yahav of Haifa, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Robert J. (Yisrael) Aumann, high tech professionals, famous magician Hezi Din, various students and artists. After Israel made the film, which received wide Chinese press coverage, China responded with a video to express a heartwarming “you’re welcome.”
Very prescient considering what would unfold in a matter of days after the film was made, with Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemning Iceland’s boycott and status as “a volcano of hatred spews forth from the Reykjavik city council building”, while EU’s decision provoked Prime Minister Netanyahu to invoke Nazi Germany’s boycott on Jewish stores and that “we have historical memory of what happened when Europe labeled Jewish products.”
One thing for sure, Obama has done what no other American president has been able to do. His policies have forced historical enemies to become allies. Israel has formed close ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Russia, and apparently, now even in China.
AS things stand, it is certainly prudent for Israel to look eastward. Yes, this is coming from an American patriot, one who happens to also be an Israeli Zionist!