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Thread: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: America 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place

    Netanyahu: Israel, Russia agree on Iran

    Jerusalem, Moscow agree that Iranian nukes would constitute grave danger, PM Netanyahu says following meeting with Putin; two leaders addressed Iran issue in detail, Russian president says

    Omri Ephraim
    Latest Update: 06.25.12, 17:45 / Israel News


    A beautiful friendship? Israel and Russia agree that Iranian nuclear weapons would constitute grave danger for the Jewish state and for the whole world, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahusaid Monday following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "I believe that we should be doing two things now: Boosting the sanctions (on Iran) and also boosting the demands," Netanyahu said.

    Related stories:



    Speaking earlier, President Putin said the two leaders "spoke in detail about the Syria issue and about the Iranian nuclear program."

    "I would like to stress again that the negotiations were detailed and very effective," he said. "I'm convinced that the cooperation between Russia and Israel will develop later as well, and this matter certainly meets the demands and interests of both states, in the region and in the world at large."

    'Friendly ties'

    Speaking to the media after meeting PM Netanyahu, Putin thanked Israel's leadership for inviting him to visit.

    "My visit here reinforced the assumption that we have friendly relations, and these are not just friendly relations," Putin said. "This is a solid basis for building dialogue and partnership."


    Putin greeted by PM's wife (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO)

    Earlier Monday, President Shimon Peres greeted Putin in a dedication ceremony for a memorial to the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in Netanya. Peres said he is certain that Russia, which fought fascism, will not tolerate similar threats, "not an Iranian threat and not bloodshed in Syria."

    Signal to Egypt

    During the press conference, Netanyahu also addressed regional realities, referring to the Islamist victory in Egypt's presidential elections.

    The PM said that Israel "appreciates the democratic process in Egypt" and respects the Egyptian election results.

    "We look forward to working together with the new administration on the basis of the peace agreement between us," Netanyahu said. "I believe peace is important for Israel. I believe peace is important for Egypt."

    Meanwhile, President Putin addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asserting that "against the backdrop of events in the Middle East, it is important to resolve longtime conflicts."

    "We urge all sides to renew negotiations; this is the only way to resolve the problem," the Russian president said.

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    Default Re: America 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place

    Companion Thread:


    Putin 'at a loss' after Bethlehem street named for him




    • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a press briefing after opening a guesthouse …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was "at a bit of a loss" that a street was named after him in Bethlehem, revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus.

    Putin spoke in Jordan as he wrapped up his Middle East tour, which included a stop in Bethlehem in the West Bank and talks with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas who ordered a street to be named after his guest.

    "I would like to live a bit longer," Putin quipped, referring to a European

    tradition according to which streets are named after the deceased.

    "It was absolutely unexpected to me," he told reporters in the Jordan Valley, the last stop of his two-day tour, which included a visit to Israel and talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

    "To be honest, I am at a bit of a loss but there's nothing you could do," he said, indicating he did not want to protest so as not to offend his host.

    After Putin's predecessor in the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, travelled to Jericho in the West Bank last year a decision was made to name a street after him.

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: America 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place

    Bloomberg News
    Israel Pushes for China Investment as Xi Focuses on Peace Plans
    By Calev Ben-David
    May 10, 2013


    Xi Jinping, China's president, right, shakes hands with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 9, 2013. Photographer: Kim Kyung-Hoon-Pool/Getty Images


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to China this week seeking more trade with the world’s second-biggest economy. While his hosts welcomed the overture, they were focused on the Middle East peace process.

    A government spokeswoman said during Netanyahu’s visit that China was pushing for the resumption of talks to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Xi Jinping put forward a new proposal to restart talks when he met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose two-day trip overlapped with Netanyahu’s visit.

    Before Netanyahu and Abbas arrived in the country, China offered to host a meeting between them to break a stalemate in peace negotiations deadlocked since 2010. Though the two didn’t take up the idea, the suggestion marked a new assertiveness in a region where Xi may also be trying to ease a standoff between Israel and Iran, a source of Chinese oil.

    “Beijing is certainly upping its game in the Middle East,” Willy Wo-Lap Lam, an adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, wrote in an e-mail. “China is a major importer of Middle-East oil, yet its clout there has so far been limited. The Xi administration hopes that it can exert more influence in defusing the Iranian crisis given China’s huge investments in oil facilities in Iran.”

    Xi’s four-point proposal to Abbas called for a halt to settlement activities, an end to violence against civilians and lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip. He called for an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    U.S. Influence


    The U.S. has long been the most important foreign power involved in the Israel-Palestine peace process, with former President Bill Clinton hosting the Camp David summit in 2000. The so-called Quartet of international Middle East peace mediators headed doesn’t include China.

    China’s positions on some issues including Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program have put it at odds with the U.S. Along with Russia, the Chinese government has opposed tougher sanctions against Iran’s atomic program and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    China offered a proposal for resolving the Syria conflict when joint U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi visited Beijing last November. The plan fell short of calling for the removal of Assad and was never taken up.

    Responsible Manner


    Asked yesterday if China wants to play a greater role in peace negotiations, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said her government has “always been fair and acted in a responsible manner” and noted that envoy to the peace process, Wu Sike, recently visited the region.

    “All this is to push for the resumption of Middle East peace talks and to strike for early progress,” Hua said.

    With China supporting the Palestinian push for statehood, Abbas said he would welcome its involvement in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    “China should play an important role during the process as it is a fair country, impartial and adhering to justice,” the Palestinian leader told reporters in Beijing during his trip.

    The visits by Netanyahu and Abbas reflect ambitions by China’s new leaders to play a bigger role in a region where it has historically been a bystander, said Steve Tsang, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham in England.

    Greater Assertiveness

    “It reflects in part the greater assertiveness of China under Xi Jinping, as Xi would like to see China being respected more globally,” Tsang said. “I don’t think it necessarily means that China is determined to find a solution to the most basic of the Middle Eastern problems.”

    In public, Netanyahu spoke only about economic cooperation, saying at a meeting with Xi yesterday that the two countries should “seize the future” using their advantages -- China as a global power and Israel as a “global center of technology.”

    “I propose that Israel in many ways be the R&D lab for China,” Netanyahu said.

    Chinese investment in Israel includes the 2011 sale of 60 percent of fertilizer maker Makhteshim-Agan Industries Ltd. to China National Chemical Corp. for $2.2 billion and the acquisition of Alma Lasers Ltd. by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. for $240 million.

    Asked if China could become a member of the Quartet, Israeli ambassador Matan Vilnai said the Asian country’s positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue aren’t significantly different from those of the U.S., Russia, the United Nations and European Union.

    “I think it’s complementary with America’s diplomacy” He Wenping, director of the African Research Section at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview today. “It’s walking toward the same direction. They are not going in opposite directions. It’s not like the Syria crisis.”

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    Default Re: America 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place

    Companion Thread:



    Putin Volunteers Russian Troops for Golan Heights


    Jun 10, 2013



    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday offered Russian replacements for the peacekeeping force Austria wants to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

    Austria said it was concerned about the safety of its 370 soldiers because the conflict in Syria has spread to a strategic border crossing.

    Security conditions have deteriorated in the area around the U.N. Golan Heights headquarters since the Quneitra crossing became the site of a clash between Syrian and rebel forces, CNN reported Friday.

    Austria's announcement it will remove its soldiers slashes the number of U.N. troops in the Golan Heights by one-third.

    Filipino and Indian peacekeepers will remain and the United Nations may bring in troops from other nations, U.N. spokeswoman Josephine Guerrero said.

    Putin told a meeting of top Russian military officers in Moscow the United Nations has asked Russia to make a larger contribution to its peacekeeping efforts and he is ready and willing to replace the Austrians.

    "Naturally, that will happen only if the regional powers show interest in our proposal and if the U.N. secretary-general asks us to do that," Putin said.

    Syrian tanks crossed into a demilitarized zone Friday and two U.N. peacekeepers were wounded when a mortar shell fell near the U.N. base, Israeli officials said.

    Syrian rebels briefly took control Thursday of the Quneitra crossing, the only route between Israel and Syria, The New York Times reported.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday Western support for the Syrian opposition will only fuel violence in the country.

    "We are disturbed by statements coming from leaders of the so-called Free Syrian Army as well as from some U.S, representatives, to the effect that support for the armed opposition will continue in order to restore the military balance on the ground. That is a road to nowhere," Lavrov said.

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    Default Re: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

    Obama: Bibi is a Pain in the Ass



    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama are not known to have had a good relationship, but the American president seems to have taken it a bit too far.

    In a new book that was released Tuesday, Obama is quoted as expressing what he really thinks about Netanyahu during his 2012 presidential campaign.

    According to the book, “Double Down,” Obama said that “We all know Bibi Netanyahu is a pain in the ass” when discussing the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs.

    “Double Down” was written by MSNBC correspondents Mark Halperin and John Heilemann and it reveals behind-the-scenes political stories from the American presidential race in 2012.

    The quote about Netanyahu by Obama, which was reportedly made during a meeting between the President and his aides a year before the elections, is the only time Israel is mentioned in the book.

    Relations between Obama and Netanyahu were strained during Obama’s first term, with supporters of Obama accusing Netanyahu of interfering in the U.S. election in favor of Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney. Supporters of Netanyahu, meanwhile, accused Obama of trying to keep Netanyahu from being reelected last January.

    Days before the last Israeli elections, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, who is close to Obama, wrote that the President had said repeatedly that Israel does not know what its own best interests are.

    Obama, according to Goldberg, had said that Netanyahu “is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation” every time he announces new construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

    Moscow announces Netanyahu to meet Putin in two weeks – as Kerry lands in Jerusalem





    Shortly before US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Jerusalem Tuesday night, Nov. 5, the Russian president’s office announced that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would pay a short working visit to Moscow on Nov. 20 for talks with President Vladimir Putin.

    DEBKAfile’s sources: The Israeli leader has determined to explore the route trodden by Saudi Arabia, Gulf Emirates and Egypt, who – feeling let down by the Obama administration’s decision to pull out of the Middle East, and concerend by its outreach to Iran – turned to Moscow in search of closer diplomatic and military ties.

    Although this was in Netanyahu’s mind for some time, Putin chose to announce his visit just as Kerry was to land in Jerusalem, attesting to Moscow’s eagerness to maintain the political and military momentum it has established in the Middle East.

    Earlier Tuesday, Moscow announced that Geneva II, the conference for a political solution of the Syrian war, would not take place at the end of the month as scheduled.

    Monday, DEBKAfile’s military sources revealed exclusively that Russia, with Saudi encouragement, was negotiating for a permanent berth for its warship in one of Egypt’s Mediterranean ports.

    With the wheels of the region spinning at such speed, Netanyahu felt obliged to find out for himself what Israel had to gain from closer ties with Moscow. Russia is becoming more and more influential in determining Middle East affairs against the growing passivity of the Obama administration - a situation Israel cannot afford to ignore. Neither is Netanyahu indifferent to Putin's expanding role in developing the back-channel between Washington and Tehran.

    Netanyahu last met Putin in May when he made the trip to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to urge the Russian leader not to supply Syria with S-300 anti-aircraft batteries.

    The coming visit will have a wider agenda, including Syria and the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians sponsored by the United States. But the most central issue will no doubt be Iran and its nuclear program. That visit will no doubt overshadow Secretary Kerry’s talks in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority and his reproof on the sluggish pace of their peace talks.

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    Default Re: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

    Netanyahu in Moscow: I Guarantee Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons

    By: Shalom Bear

    Published: November 22nd, 2013


    Netanyahu speaking to Jewish community leaders in Moscow. Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90


    Speaking to an audience of Jewish community leaders in Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu stated that he guarantees that Iran will not have nuclear weapons, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

    Israel has been has been threatening, almost explicitly, that any agreement signed with Iran will not restrict Israel from acting unilaterally to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear breakout capability.

    Netanyahu’s remarks came in the footsteps of Washington’s overwhelming silence in response to the latest Antisemitic remarks emanating from Iran.

    Netanyahu expects that an agreement will be signed in Geneva, if not this week, then the next. During Netanyahu’s meeting with Russian President Putin, he could not get Putin to back off from supporting the Geneva deal. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Netanyahu that Russia will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.


    A senior Israeli official told Makor Rishon that Barack Obama is interested in Iran not having nuclear weapons while he sits in the White House, but it doesn’t bother him if they are at the edge of the breakout point.

    The official reiterated that Israel’s position is that Iran must remove all capabilities for making nuclear weapons, while the US government only wants Iran to not assemble the weapon itself. In the meantime, Iran is demanding the right to continue to enrich uranium for “civilian purposes”, and wait until the world is distracted with some other problem, to put the bombs together. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been warning, during an official visit to Canada, that Iran would use ‘dirty bombs’ in its terror war against Western targets.

    Israel's Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

    White House officials are saying that Israeli demands that Iran stop all enrichment would lead to war, according to a JTA report. The report says that given the choice of no enrichment, the White House believes Iranians would choose to build a bomb. Which is exactly what Iran is going to try to do either way.

    Opposing the White House is Senator Mark Kirk (R), who said that that Netanyahu’s assessment is correct, and that increasing, not reducing, sanctions at this point is what will force Iran to physically halt their nuclear weapons program.

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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    Netanyahu in Moscow: I Guarantee Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons

    By: Shalom Bear

    Published: November 22nd, 2013


    Netanyahu speaking to Jewish community leaders in Moscow. Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90


    Speaking to an audience of Jewish community leaders in Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu stated that he guarantees that Iran will not have nuclear weapons, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

    Israel has been has been threatening, almost explicitly, that any agreement signed with Iran will not restrict Israel from acting unilaterally to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear breakout capability.

    Netanyahu’s remarks came in the footsteps of Washington’s overwhelming silence in response to the latest Antisemitic remarks emanating from Iran.

    Netanyahu expects that an agreement will be signed in Geneva, if not this week, then the next. During Netanyahu’s meeting with Russian President Putin, he could not get Putin to back off from supporting the Geneva deal. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Netanyahu that Russia will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.


    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin in Moscow.


    A senior Israeli official told Makor Rishon that Barack Obama is interested in Iran not having nuclear weapons while he sits in the White House, but it doesn’t bother him if they are at the edge of the breakout point.

    The official reiterated that Israel’s position is that Iran must remove all capabilities for making nuclear weapons, while the US government only wants Iran to not assemble the weapon itself. In the meantime, Iran is demanding the right to continue to enrich uranium for “civilian purposes”, and wait until the world is distracted with some other problem, to put the bombs together. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been warning, during an official visit to Canada, that Iran would use ‘dirty bombs’ in its terror war against Western targets.

    Israel's Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe (Boogie) Yaalon visits the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

    White House officials are saying that Israeli demands that Iran stop all enrichment would lead to war, according to a JTA report. The report says that given the choice of no enrichment, the White House believes Iranians would choose to build a bomb. Which is exactly what Iran is going to try to do either way.

    Opposing the White House is Senator Mark Kirk (R), who said that that Netanyahu’s assessment is correct, and that increasing, not reducing, sanctions at this point is what will force Iran to physically halt their nuclear weapons program.
    Only 'Russia' could make a 'guarantee' stick and work, but there will be a price for Israel.....

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    Default Re: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

    Gaza Strip also wants to join Russia - Hamas

    19 March 2014, 17:03


    Photo: EPA

    According to online reports, the treaty on Crimea being accepted into Russia has prompted the setting up of an initiative group that will draw up a proposal for the Palestinian enclave in Israel to hold a referendum on joining the Russian Federation, too. This is reported by the Russian-language version of the Palestinian Information Centre.

    The initiative group comprises Russian nationals making their home in Gaza. These are mostly Russian women, totallig some 50,000, who have married Palestinian men but have retained their Russian passports, the report says.

    Read also: Echo of Crimea: Scotland, Venice and Catalonia want independence too, who's next?

    The report quotes a group member as saying that "Moscow has said it will defend Russians anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, we live in a place where Israel has threatened our lives and those of our children for years on end. But if the Gaza Strip joined Russia, we would also have a well-protected border, up-to-date weapons, perhaps, even nuclear weapons. This would make Israel and Egypt speak with Palestinians differently, the activists feel.

    They are absolutely unperturbed by the fact that Russia is far away from Gaza. They point out that Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands are also far away from the UK. The activists have no doubt about the outcome of this kind of referendum, the Information Centre points out.

    But then, the report about setting up this kind of initiative group has thus far failed to be confirmed by other sources, as well as by other language versions of the Palestinian Information Centre, owned by the radical movement HAMAS, currently at the helm in the Gaza Strip, NEWSru Israel points out. Nor has there been any reaction from the HAMAS leadership to the news. The publication suggests in this context that the Russian language version report is just a canard to attract more readers amid the general interest in the Crimea joining Russia issue.

    Also questionable is the reported number of Russian nationals making their home in Gaza. The Russian media reported in December 2012 that the number of Russian passport holders in the Gaza Strip made up slightly fewer than 400.

    Voice of Russia, Newsru.com

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    Default Re: Obama 'Moves Towards Abandonment of Israel' guess who's going to take our place?

    Israel and China are Getting Closer. Should America Be Worried?

    If it succeeds in bringing Israel closer into its orbit, then the United States will have lost a key part of its strategy to contain China in this century.

    by Daniel J. Samet



    During a visit by Chinese vice president Wang Qishan to Israel last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the “ growing ties ” between the two countries. Since they established official relations twenty-six years ago, Israel and China have strengthened the bilateral relationship across a number of areas. Israel’s warming to America’s chief competitor sends a clear message to Washington that it can no longer count on unconditional Israeli support.

    The United States should be concerned about its closest Middle Eastern ally seeking warmer ties with China. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, Jerusalem has depended heavily on Washington for military sales, economic cooperation, and diplomatic pressure. The United States in return has made Israel an obsequious bedrock of its postwar Middle East strategy, first as a bulwark against Soviet influence and more recently against religious extremism.

    China’s economic and military rise may over the next few decades push Israel away from Washington and toward Beijing.

    Vice President Wang’s visit touted economic cooperation as especially close. Bilateral trade skyrocketed from $50 million in 1992 to $10 billion in 2013, while Chinese investment in Israel totaled $16 billion in 2016. Israel’s vibrant start-up culture is particularly attractive to Beijing, which through its “Made in China 2025” initiative seeks global dominance in its high-tech and advanced manufacturing sectors.

    Israel’s geopolitical position is of further interest to Beijing. China could soon make Israel a larger part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the country’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure grand-strategy plan. Israel has great potential as an energy supplier and a bridge to markets in Africa, Europe, and the rest of the Middle East. Although the United States is still far and away Israel’s largest trading partner, China will certainly close the gap in the years to come. If Jerusalem moves further into Beijing’s sphere of influence, Washington will lose one of most reliable allies at a time when it needs all the help it can get to contain China.

    Although Israeli-Chinese ties have not yet entered the security realm, there is evidence to suggest that they soon may. The U.S. government has expressed concern that Chinese investment in Israel, which so far has touched only non-military sectors, will allow China to eventually develop the high-tech capabilities needed to challenge American military hegemony. A Chinese company has notably secured the rights to operate an expanded seaport in Haifa (Israel’s largest naval base is next door). China, which has already built a port to the south in Ashdod, hopes to increase its influence in the Mediterranean, where the United States has long had a foothold in the form of the Sixth Fleet. Further Chinese development on the Israeli coast will inevitably erode American military power in the region. Although China’s close ties to Iran preclude security cooperation with Israel, it is uncertain how long that dynamic will last.

    China has been busy courting nonaligned countries through its ambitions to dominate global affairs. If it succeeds in bringing Israel closer into its orbit, then the United States will have lost a key part of its strategy to contain China in this century.


    Is China getting too close to Israel?

    Two multi-billion dollar Chinese seaports near critical Israeli sites are raising concerns over potential security issues and relations with Washington

    By Richard S Ehrlich
    Bangkok, December 23, 2018 10:39 AM (UTC+8)


    An Israeli naval officer holds the mooring rope of the INS Tanin, a Dolphin AIP class submarine, on its arrival at a naval base in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Photo: AFP

    China is constructing seaports at two sites where the US 6th Fleet deploys, in Haifa next to Israel’s main naval base and Ashdod near Tel Aviv, prompting concerns about China’s military potential in the Mediterranean Sea and Middle East.

    “The civilian [Chinese] port in Haifa abuts the exit route from the adjacent [Israeli] navy base, where the Israeli submarine fleet is stationed and which, according to foreign media reports, maintains a second-strike capability to launch nuclear missiles,” Israel’s Haaretz media reported."

    No one in Israel thought about the strategic ramifications,” Haaretz said in September.

    The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke visited Haifa on October 25 in support of the 6th Fleet which is headquartered in Naples, Italy.
    Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) signed the Haifa contract in 2015, began construction in June, and is to operate the Bayport Terminal for 25 years starting from 2021.

    SIPG signed memorandums of understanding with U.S. ports in Seattle, Washington in 2006 and Georgia Ports Authority in 2004, plus Barcelona, Spain, in 2006.

    SIPG also works with European ports in Rotterdam, Hamburg and London, and two ports in Japan, its website said.

    China Harbor Engineering, one of China’s biggest government-owned enterprises, is meanwhile constructing a port at Ashdod, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Tel Aviv.

    “At $3 billion, this is one of the biggest overseas investment projects in Israel, ever, and also one of the biggest for the Chinese company, China Harbor Engineering,” wrote Arthur Herman, senior fellow at the Washington-based Hudson Institute think tank in November.

    “Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast is the destination of fully 90 percent of Israel’s international maritime traffic,” Herman said.

    Ashdod’s current port hosted the USS Ross guided-missile destroyer in October which also supports “U.S. national security interests in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations,” a USS Ross public affairs officer said on the Navy’s website.

    “This is an historic moment,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2017 when he joined Chinese officials to lay the cornerstone of the Ashdod port.

    Israel’s Transportation Ministry and the Ports Authority permitted construction of the Chinese ports at Haifa and Ashdod “with zero involvement of the [Israeli] National Security Council and without the [Israeli] navy,” Haaretz said.

    “The first [concern] is over Chinese control of strategic infrastructure and the possibility of espionage,” the London-based Economist magazine reported in October.

    “Israeli submarines, widely reported to be capable of launching nuclear missiles, are docked there [at Haifa]. Yet the deal with the Chinese firm was never discussed by the cabinet or the national security council, a situation one [Israeli] minister described as astonishing,” the Economist said.

    Trading routes


    “There are skeptics in several Israeli political parties and among former national security officials, who warn of potential security issues and possible friction with the United States resulting from Chinese involvement in Israeli infrastructure projects,” wrote Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security advisor to President George W Bush.

    The ports form part of China’s international, multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

    The Belt and Road project would link China with countries elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe along lucrative trading routes across land and sea, with Ashdod serving as a crucial port for seaborne trade with Europe, Abrams said.

    China’s Haifa and Ashdod ports are part of “an ambitious trans-Asian strategy to pursue three key resources for China’s future greatness: petrochemicals, consumer markets, and advanced technology,” he said in his 2018 brief. Middle East oil and gas fuels China’s growth.

    The Middle East would also offer a huge commercial market for purchasing Chinese exports, including consumer goods, electronics and other items. Gilad Cohen, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s deputy director general for Asia and the Pacific, is bullish on Chinese investments in Israel. “Recently there have been increasing warnings against allowing China to participate in projects and investments in Israel.”

    Cohen said in October. “There are some who go as far as to deem any Chinese economic involvement in our region as a threat to our interests and a danger to our economic independence. These statements are damaging to relations between the countries.

    “We are a country with confidence in its capabilities, unafraid of exposure to new markets, while we safeguard our security and strategic interests,” Cohen wrote in a published opinion piece headlined: “How Close to China is Too Close for Israel?”

    Prime Minister Netanyahu meanwhile hosted China’s Vice President Wang Qishan along with Jack Ma, CEO and founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, in Jerusalem in October.

    Their summit “reflects the growing ties between our countries, our economies, our peoples,” Netanyahu said.

    In 2017, Netanyahu visited Beijing and met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    China established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 when Deng Xiaoping and Yitzhak Rabin were in power, and continues to support Israel during votes in the United Nations.

    Chinese Deal to Take Over Key Israeli Port May Threaten U.S. Naval Operations, Critics Say


    By David Brennan

    In Focus
    China’s Deal to Control Israeli Port May Threaten U.S.

    The Haifa port will come under control of the Shanghai International Port Group in 2021. Israeli critics are worried about potential security issues posed by China’s presence.
    Launch Slideshow 3 PHOTOS

    A Chinese company is planning to take over management of Israel’s Haifa port as Beijing continues to advance its global influence in the form of economic projects and big commercial deals.

    The Haifa port sits close to the hub of the Israeli navy base that is reportedly home to the country’s nuclear-capable submarine force, according to The Times of Israel. Israeli critics are calling for an investigation into potential security issues posed by the Chinese presence along the country’s Mediterranean coast.

    At the University of Haifa’s Workshop on Future of Maritime Security in the Eastern Mediterranean conference at the end of August, Shaul Chorev, reservist brigadier general of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), former navy chief of staff, and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said a new mechanism was required to keep an eye on Chinese investments in Israel.

    According to a summary document of the meeting, sent to Newsweek by Chorev, one of the key concerns among those present was that the Chinese Haifa contract could “limit or preclude” regional cooperation with the U.S. Navy, which has become ever more valuable due to political developments in the Middle East.

    The Shanghai International Port Group's management of the newly expanded Haifa port is due to be inaugurated in 2021, noted Ynet, and the contract will run for 25 years. Another Chinese firm won a contract to build a new port in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, reported Haaretz.

    But, as the August conference noted, this project also has political and military dimensions. Chorev and his colleagues warned that Israel lacked a process to analyze economic investments for its national security implications, and must rapidly develop one.

    China has been hard at work creating a network of infrastructure to extend its economic reach around the globe. Its mammoth Belt and Road Initiative hopes to establish a 21st-century Silk Road by 2049. Beijing will invest as much as $8 trillion in the undertaking, said the Center for Strategic and International studies.

    Cranes at the port of the Haifa, in northern Israel, on April 23, 2013. A Chinese firm will operate the port from 2021 through 2046. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

    The “belt” refers to land corridors running from China into Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The “road” will be comprised of sea routes stretching all the way to central Europe via the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean.

    President Xi Jinping has been vocal in his push for what he called the “military civilian integration policy,’ by which the leader intends to combine “the ideas, decisions and plans of military and civilian integration” in “all fields of national economic development and defense building.”

    In that light, the commercial contract for the Haifa port would theoretically give the Chinese military a usable facility in the Mediterranean along one of the world’s most vital trade arteries.

    The deal could affect the relationship between the U.S. and the IDF. Retired Admiral Gary Roughead, the former chief of naval operations, said he was in favor of increased Israeli-U.S. cooperation generally, but a Chinese-run port in Haifa meant American ships could not regularly use the Israeli naval base nearby.

    According to the summary provided by Chorev, Roughead explained, “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely U.S. ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites and interact freely with our crews over protracted periods.

    “Significantly, the information systems and new infrastructure integral to the ports and the likelihood of information and electronic surveillance systems jeopardize U.S. information and cybersecurity,” he continued. “These factors might not preclude brief port visits, but it would preclude homeporting and other protracted projects and initiatives.”

    The U.S. Navy has been gradually pivoting, noted Taylor & Francis, from the European theater and Middle East to the Persian Gulf and Asia, particularly because of the challenge posed by an increasingly powerful China. Europe is no longer the ultimate focus of American foreign policy.


    The USS Iwo Jima, is anchored in the northern Israeli port of Haifa, Israel, on March 15. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images


    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, the U.S. 6th Fleet is America’s sea arm in European waters. But since the end of the Cold War, the importance and size of the fleet has diminished. Russia’s navy has become more active in the region recently, due in part to its involvement in the Syrian Civil War and Russia’s use of the naval base at Tartus, Syria. The Mediterranean is more open than it has been in decades.

    But talk of a Chinese challenge to American hegemony in Europe may be premature. A vehemently anti-imperialist power, Communist China has traditionally been against establishing military facilities overseas.

    Mathieu Duchâtel, an expert on Chinese foreign policy at the European Council on Foreign Affairs, told Newsweek that as that country becomes a bigger world player, it must protect its global interests and investments, whether in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean Africa or farther afield.

    He stressed that this was not the same as creating bases to challenge U.S. military dominance. Though that may take place in the future, “it would be a major break” from Beijing’s established policy, Duchâtel explained.



    U.S. Navy may stop docking in Haifa after Chinese take over port

    Concerns prompt ‘review’ of Shanghai agreement within Israel’s inner security cabinet, sources say.

    By Michael Wilner
    December 15, 2018 21:25


    The USS George H.W. Bush docked in northern Israel's Haifa Port, July 3, 2017. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

    WASHINGTON – The US Navy has acknowledged that its longstanding operations in Haifa may change once a Chinese firm takes over the civilian port in 2021, prompting Israel’s national security cabinet to revisit the arrangement, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    Haifa, the nation’s largest port city, regularly hosts joint US-Israeli naval drills and visits from American vessels. But a 2015 agreement between Israel’s Transportation Ministry and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) – a company in which the Chinese government has a majority stake – has raised intelligence and security concerns that are only now prompting an interagency review.

    That agreement granted SIPG control over the port for 25 years. The Chinese company has committed $2 billion to the project and, according to state-run media, plans to transform the port’s bay terminal into the largest harbor in the country.

    A representative of the Sixth Fleet said the navy’s partnership with Israel remains “steadfast.”

    “Our US Navy ships frequently visit Haifa, Israel, for both US-Israel bilateral military activity and port calls,” Commander Kyle Raines told the Post, when asked whether China’s coming presence might affect fleet operations in the Mediterranean city.

    “For now, there are no changes to our operations in Israel,” the commander continued. “I can’t speculate on what might or might not occur in 2021.”

    Three sources familiar with the matter said that due to concerns that US defense officials privately shared with their Israeli counterparts, the Israeli government has launched “a review of the agreement at a high level,” specifically among members of the inner cabinet.

    According to one source, several members expressed worry that sensitive infrastructure matters have not been properly vetted by Israel’s full national security cabinet prior to approval.

    “You don’t want a decision that was made ostensibly for business reasons to have an impact on Israel’s relationship with the American navy,” the source said.

    The deal was signed off by Israel Katz, who was serving as transportation minister at the time and has remained in the position since. He occupies a seat in the national security cabinet.

    A senior IDF officer confirmed that the review is under way. But it is unclear whether Israel has any recourse to allay US concerns with the China project, which is already sealed and in motion.

    “Historically, it’s interesting to see [that] the whole awakening is now when the contract was signed in 2015 – it begs the question what the hype is all about. It’s probably more conducive now because of the US-China tensions over trade, national security and the like,” said Assaf Orion, a retired Israeli brigadier-general and expert on Israel-China relations now based at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “There is always a question of encouraging investment versus managing risk.”

    “The bottom line here is that Israel will make a fatal mistake by doing either or both of the following: disregarding China’s potential to advance Israel’s economy, and doing it with our eyes shut,” Orion continued. “We must keep our eyes open, fully aware of the risk management requirements and its possible impact on the US-Israel relationship.”

    Retired Israeli and American defense and intelligence officials raised concerns throughout the summer that Chinese management of the port might jeopardize America’s operations there.

    The former head of Israel’s Mossad, Efraim Halevy, sounded an alarm in recent months over the security implications of China’s creeping presence across Israel’s critical infrastructure. And retired admiral Gary Roughead, ex-chief of US naval operations, warned that a Chinese-run seaport in the bay could force the navy to dock its warships elsewhere.

    “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely US ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites and interact freely with our crews over protracted periods,” Roughead remarked during a conference last month at the University of Haifa.

    “Significantly, the information systems and new infrastructure integral to the ports and the likelihood of information and electronic surveillance systems jeopardize US information and cybersecurity,” he added.

    Israel has its own security concerns in Haifa to consider as well. The seaport in question is not far from an Israeli navy base where the country maintains its fleet of submarines, which foreign press has reported are capable of carrying and launching nuclear missiles. Domestic critics say that China’s shipping operations in close proximity to the fleet amount to an unacceptable security risk.

    This would not be the first time that the Sixth Fleet altered its operations in Haifa due to security concerns. In the aftermath of the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000, and during the Second Intifada, the frequency of port calls fell dramatically and USO Haifa was permanently shuttered.

    But neither of those events were within Israeli government control.

    The Prime Minister’s Office, Transportation Ministry and Foreign Ministry declined requests for comment on this report.


    Analysis Israel Is Giving China the Keys to Its Largest Port – and the U.S. Navy May Abandon Israel

    China will operate Haifa port, near Israel's alleged nuclear-armed submarines, and it seems no one in Israel thought about the strategic ramifications
    Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out after a visit inside the Rahav, the fifth submarine in the fleet, after it arrived in Haifa port January 12, 2016\ REUTERS

    In an interview with the religious-Zionist media outlet Arutz Sheva, Prof. Horev noted that one topic that came up at the event was Chinese investments in Mediterranean ports, and in Israel in particular. Pointing out that a Chinese company will soon start operating Haifa Port, he said that Israel needs to create a mechanism that will examine Chinese investments to ensure that they do not put Israel’s security interests at risk.

    “When China acquires ports,” Horev said, “it does so under the guise of maintaining a trade route from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal to Europe, such as the port of Piraeus in Greece. Does an economic horizon like this have a security impact? We are not weighing that possibility sufficiently. One of the senior American figures at the conference raised the question of whether the U.S. Sixth Fleet can see Haifa as a home port. In light of the Chinese takeover, the question is no longer on the agenda.”

    Israeli, Chinese and Dutch officials sign agreements for foreign operation of Haifa and Ashdod ports, in 2015. Nir Keidar
    Horev also noted that the Americans are now turning most of their attention to the southern China Sea and the Persian Gulf, at the expense of the Middle East. In a period like this, he said, it would be right for Israel to bolster its status as a strategic base for the Americans.

    The Haifa conference was held in conjunction with the conservative Washington-based Hudson Institute. Several of the American participants were former senior Pentagon and navy personnel. The remarks of the senior figure Horev quoted were sharper than the polite tone he used. The Americans who were at the conference think Israel lost its mind when it gave the Chinese the keys to Haifa Port. Once China is in the picture, they said, the Israel Navy will not be able to count on maintaining the close relations it has had with the Sixth Fleet.

    The Chinese company SIPG won the bid to expand the Haifa Port three and a half years ago. The project is slated to be inaugurated in 2021 and calls for the Chinese company, which also operates the Port of Shanghai, to run the Haifa Port for 25 years. Another Chinese firm won the bid to build a new port at Ashdod.

    Those decisions were made by the Transportation Ministry and the Ports Authority, with zero involvement of the National Security Council, and without the navy being in the picture at all. The problem lies not only in the implications that ties with the Chinese have for Israel’s relations with the United States, which under the Trump administration is ramping up its rhetoric on China because of the trade wars and tensions in the China Sea.

    The civilian port in Haifa abuts the exit route from the adjacent navy base, where the Israeli submarine fleet is stationed (and which, according to foreign media reports, maintains a second-strike capability to launch nuclear missiles). As with Chinese involvement in other huge Israeli infrastructure projects – such as the Mount Carmel tunnels and the light-rail train in Tel Aviv – it seems as though no one involved in the security or diplomatic arenas even stopped to think through the strategic consequences of these moves.

    China is acquiring vast influence over essential infrastructures in Israel and, indirectly, also a closer look at some of Israel’s military capabilities. Over the years, that could place at Beijing’s disposal a potential means of wielding pressure against Israel, if the latter should endanger Beijing’s interests in the region.

    In Chinese eyes, as I have written before, Israel is barely a speck on the great world map. China is looking to the long term, is building projects and expanding ties as part of its “one belt, one road” initiative (aka, the “economic Silk Road”): the strategy that aims to extend Beijing’s economic influence and upgrade its global status. China is not necessarily hostile to Israel, but its interests are tangled and complex, and certainly don’t recall in any way those underlying the strong alliance between America and Israel.

    A good example: China’s close ties to Iran, against the backdrop of its consumption of Iranian oil. The remarks of the senior American figure quoted by Horev need to serve as a warning light. Israel must upgrade its transportation infrastructures, and there’s nothing wrong with improving its trade relations with China. However, the question is whether the decisions that have been made took into account all the relevant considerations – and the possible risks.


    The Israel-China-U.S. Triangle and the Haifa Port Project

    November 27, 2018 Roie Yellinek


    This essay is part of the Middle East-Asia Project (MAP) series on "Israel: The Future is Asia". The series investigates Israel's expanding relations with Asia -- the forces propelling and impeding their growth, the progress made in their development, and their as yet unrealized potential. See More ...


    In March 2015, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) won the tender to operate the northern port in Haifa, a facility being built by Ashtrom Group and Shapir Engineering.[1] In July 2018, management of the first part of the new port was transferred to SIPG, which produced an unexpected backlash throughout the Israeli media.[2] What could have sparked such harsh reactions? A possible explanation is that the powerful Haifa port workers’ union is the driving force behind the effort — reminiscent of the campaign waged by the Association of Contractors and Builders in December 2017, which included billboards and a Facebook page calling for the prevention of Chinese companies from penetrating the Israeli market.[3]

    Yet, whoever is responsible for waging the current campaign deserves credit for putting the issue at the forefront of Israel’s public agenda. The Israeli decision-making process regarding Haifa port — from the project’s inception to this very day — has been opaque, at best. On the occasion of SIPG’s successful bid to manage the new Haifa port, Minister of Transportation Israel Katz exclaimed: “This is an historic day for Israel ... The Chinese group that won the tender will bring competition to the sector . ..The new ports will create thousands of new jobs and lead to a drop in the cost of living ... It’s an expression of confidence in the State of Israel on the part of a superpower, which has decided to invest billions of shekels in Israel and turn it into an international cargo center for all the world.”[4] However, the deal reportedly did not involve the participation of either the Israeli Cabinet or the National Security Council.[5] Assuming such accounts are correct, then the Israeli port contract bids process ignored the potentially far-reaching implications of letting a foreign company manage the main gateway to the country.

    In their single-minded determination to increase competition and participation of the private sector in the Israeli port industry, the Israeli authorities have incurred risks and problems that could have been avoided: friction with the American side, the possibility of ‘leakage’ of sensitive information into Chinese hands, and extensive foreign control over the Israeli economy that might provide pressure points the Chinese could someday exploit. Israel’s trade with its immediate neighbors is miniscule. Nearly all the container cargo that enters and leaves Israel passes through the ports of Haifa, Ashdod, and Eilat.[6] Israel’s submarine fleet is based at Haifa, which is also a port of call for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. Thus, ceding control of these ports to a foreign entity — in this instance, a Chinese company — entails risks that are, or should be, plainly evident.

    The United States, and more specifically, the long-standing U.S.-Israel strategic partnership, is the key element shaping Sino-Israeli ties. There have been two major cases when, in the past, Israel’s efforts to develop ties with China have generated friction with its principal ally, the United States. The first incident occurred in July 2000, which culminated in the cancellation — due to American pressure — of Israel’s sale (agreed four years earlier) of the Phalcon advanced airborne early-warning (AEW) system.[7] The second incident took place in 2005, when the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) deal to upgrade the Harpy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — concluded with China several years earlier and which the U.S. had not explicitly opposed — was likewise scuttled.[8] Reflecting the high level of U.S. displeasure with the Harpy deal, the Bush administration reportedly requested that four senior Israeli defense ministry officials be dismissed.[9] Israeli defense industry officials were plainly dissatisfied with their government’s decision to accept an American veto on arms sales to China and thereby cut them out of a lucrative market.[10]

    Unlike the sensitive issue of sophisticated arms sales to China, the Haifa northern port facility, part of which was transferred to Chinese operation last July, has never been defined as being off-limits by American officials in their discussions with their Israeli counterparts. Nevertheless, the proximity of this facility to an Israeli navy port that the U.S. Sixth Fleet operating in the Mediterranean under European command also uses has raised concerns and potential problems — including the possibility that American ships might no longer dock there.[11]

    Should the Chinese intend to spy on the Israeli or American navies, control of the Haifa facility will likely be a valuable asset. Given that many Chinese companies are state owned or state-directed, the possibility that their activities are not strictly commercial in nature cannot be ruled out. Here, it is worth noting that SIPG, though listed as a public firm, is under the control of the Shanghai government, which holds most of the company's shares. Furthermore, the duration of the initial contract to operate the port (i.e., 25 years) would allow for China to implement a long-term plan of espionage, were it inclined to do so — creating a degree of exposure that American officials would likely find untenable, and that ultimately could inhibit U.S.-Israeli naval cooperation.[12]

    Furthermore, Israel itself may lose the ability to control its own assets. Unlike other projects that were or are carried out by Chinese companies in Israel, the long duration and extensive scope of the Chinese presence will enable China to develop access to sources of knowledge within the Israeli economy. In the last few months, several Chinese espionage and cyber-crimes cases against American companies and entities have been reported.[13] As disturbing as these cases are, in none of them does China enjoy the easy and regular access as it does through the new seaport. Any company (civilian or military) that wishes to send and/or receive goods through the port will be exposed to the Chinese company operating that facility.

    Over the past decade, the tiny Israeli market has been swarmed by Chinese companies across a wide range of sectors — from high-tech and Dead Sea industries to the construction of a high-speed railway and subway tunnel. The enormous disparity in size between the two countries, coupled with the opacity of Chinese interests and intentions due to the role and behavior of the Chinese Communist Party in conducting foreign economic relations should give all Israelis pause. If nothing else, permitting unfettered Chinese access to the Israeli economy could lead to an unhealthy degree of dependence. Regarding the new Haifa port, consider this scenario: Should the Chinese government, for whatever reason and at any time, decide to divert the ships that use this facility to another port, say, in Greece or Cyprus (where the Chinese already operate seaports), the Israeli economy would suffer great damage.

    The danger to Israel is magnified by the widely held belief among Israeli policymakers and the public that Israeli technology is so important to China that the latter would refrain from any action that might place this relationship at substantial risk. President Xi Jinping has reinforced this belief, stating (during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2017 visit) that Beijing “recognizes Israel as an important strategic partner regarding innovation.”[14]

    This brings us back to the challenge Israel faces regarding how to manage ties with China without causing unnecessary friction or unwittingly compromising its vital strategic partnership with the United States. The fact that whereas no Chinese president has visited Israel in 18 years three American presidents (Bush, Obama and Trump) have made a total of five trips to Israel within the same period is indicative of the level of importance of the U.S.-Israeli, as compared with the Sino-Israeli relationship.

    Whereas Israel and the United States have had misunderstandings, the longevity and extensiveness of the ties that bind them — including that they are both democracies, and that the large Jewish community living in the United States serves as a ballast — endows the bilateral relationship with a character and level of importance that Israel-China relations do not possess and are unlikely to acquire. Indeed, China is a close ally of Iran, which openly calls for the destruction of Israel, and of North Korea, which has supported Iran’s nuclear program and Syria’s production of chemical weapons.
    The lesson derived from the Phalcon crisis in 2000 is that lack of communication and clarity between the two sides leads to incidents that can escalate very quickly. Israel and the United States need to quickly find solutions to the tensions between them regarding the new port in Haifa, and jointly develop an approach to dealing with Chinese investment and commercial activities that have possible strategic ramifications.

    It is not too late to find a way how to ease the tensions between Israel and the United States regarding the case at hand. The United States needs to explain to the Israeli policymakers and the public the risks associated with a Chinese company managing the new port in Haifa. Meanwhile, the Israeli side must be very clear about how it intends to deal with the potential threat the Americans see in this new commercial arrangement. As for the longer term, Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests a potentially useful model for Israel to employ in conducting business with China: “It might be worth forging more links not between Jerusalem and Beijing but between Israel and specific Chinese provinces, entities that by definition focus on legitimate civilian needs.”[15] For their part, American officials should endeavor to convey their concerns about pending agreements with Chinese entities before such deals are executed and encourage Israel to introduce safeguards that will not only ensure its continued prosperity but the security of its critical infrastructure, national assets, and defense systems.


    [1] Avi Bar-Eli, “Chinese Company to Run New Haifa Port,” Haaretz, March 24, 2015, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-chinese-group-to-….

    [2] See, for example, Shimon Cohen, “Approaching China, Moving Away from the US,” INN, August 28, 2018, , https://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/381148; and Amiram Barkat and Shlomit Len, “‘We Must not Give the Seaports to the Chinese, They are Always on the Side Against Israel’: Shaul Horev in a Worried Interview,” Globes, November 17, 2018, https://www.globes.co.il/news/articl...did=1001260628.

    [3] Max Schindler, “Chinese Builders Urge Caution in Using Chinese State Firms for Infrastructure,” The Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2018, https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Business-and-Innovation/Builders-urge-….

    [4] Lior Gutman, “Now It’s Official: Israel Approved the Construction of Two New Seaports,” Calcalist, January 5, 2014, https://www.calcalist.co.il/local/ar...621011,00.html.

    [5] “Israel’s ties with China are raising security concerns,” The Economist, October 11, 2018, https://www.economist.com/middle-eas...urity-concerns; and “Officials warn of risks in warming business toes with China,” The Times of Israel, October 14, 2018, https://www.timesofisrael.com/officials-warn-of-risks-in-warming-busine….

    [6] “Israel’s Seaports – Israel’s Way to International Trade,” Israel Seaports Company, http://www.israports.org.il/he/PortI...s/default.aspx.

    [7] Wade Boese, “Israel Halts Chinese Phalcon Deal,” Arms Control Association, September 1, 2000, https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2000_09/israelsept00.
    [8] See Yitzhak Shichor, “The U.S. Factor in Israel Military Relations with China,” China Brief 5, 12 (May 24, 2015), https://jamestown.org/program/the-u-s-factor-in-israels-military-relati….

    [9] Yitzhak Ben Horin, “US Demands Firing Yehiel Horev and Amos Yaron,” YNET, June 12, 2005, https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3098041,00.html

    [10] “The Ministry of Defense Surrenders to the American Demand and Does Not Approve Security Export Deal with China,” The Marker, June 8, 2005, https://www.themarker.com/misc/1.296413.

    [11] David Brennan, “Chinese Deal to Take Over Key Israeli Port May Threaten U.S. Naval Operations, Critics Say,” Newsweek, September 14, 2018, https://www.newsweek.com/chinese-deal-take-over-key-israeli-port-may-th….

    [12] Author interview with two former U.S. Government officials. October 29 and November 8, 2018, Washington D.C.

    [13] See, for example, Alyza Sebenius and Nico Grant, “China Violating Cyber Agreement with U.S., NSA Official Says,” Bloomberg, November 8, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-official-says; and “Chinese spies charged in US with trying to steal jet engine secrets,” The Guardian, October 30, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...engine-secrets.

    [14] Itamar Reichner, “Achievement of the Journey to China: 25 Agreements Worth USD$2 Million,” YNET, March 23, 2017, https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,73...939540,00.html.

    [15] Eran Lerman, “Israel’s Strategy Toward China doesn’t Conflict with American Interests – it Serves and Reinforces them,” Mosaic, November 19, 2018, https://mosaicmagazine.com/response/...inforces-them/.


    Israel-China port deal triggers U.S. Navy pushback


    A soldier walks on the dock of the U.S. aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush, as it docks at the Haifa port, Israel Monday, July 3, 2017. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool photo via AP) more >

    By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2018

    Israel’s decision to allow a Chinese government-connected firm to run a key Israeli port is causing rare friction with Washington amid behind-the-scenes pushback from the U.S. Navy, which has a long history of docking at the port.

    Intelligence and security concerns raised by U.S. defense officials have prompted Israel’s national security cabinet to revisit a deal to give Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) control over commercial operations at the port of Haifa in 2021, according to an Israeli news report.

    While the Israeli Transportation Ministry struck the agreement with SIPG — a company in which the Chinese government has a majority stake — back in 2015, the Jerusalem Post reported Saturday that the deal is now coming under interagency review.

    Citing Chinese state-run media reports, the Post noted the deal granted SIPG control over Haifa for 25 years in exchange for a commitment by the company to invest $2 billion in a project to transform Haifa’s bay terminal into the largest harbor in Israel.

    The catch is that Haifa, Israel’s largest port city, regularly hosts joint U.S.-Israeli naval drills and visits from American vessels — a situation the Post claimed has triggered concern among U.S. officials.

    Three sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper on condition of anonymity that concerns U.S. defense officials shared privately with their Israeli counterparts, have prompted the Israeli government to open “a review of the agreement at a high level.”

    One of the sources pointed to concern that sensitive infrastructure matters were not properly vetted by Israel’s full national security cabinet prior to approval of the SIPG deal.

    Publicly, American Navy commanders have downplayed the appearance of U.S.-Israel friction over the deal, but have suggested the situation is being watched closely by the Pentagon.

    “Our US Navy ships frequently visit Haifa, Israel, for both US-Israel bilateral military activity and port calls,” Commander Kyle Raines, a spokesman for the Navy’s Sixth Fleet told the Post, when asked whether China’s coming presence might affect fleet operations in the Mediterranean city.

    “For now, there are no changes to our operations in Israel,” he said. “I can’t speculate on what might or might not occur in 2021.”

    Analysts claim frustration over the SIPG deal has been brewing for years among U.S. officials and former Israeli military commanders. Increased U.S.-China tensions, as well as growing concern in Washington over the prospect of Chinese military and intelligence expansionism around the world, appear to have pushed the frustration to the surface.

    According to Arthur Herman, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute in Washington, the Chinese government has a “keen interest in establishing a strategic foothold in the eastern Mediterranean through the port of Haifa.”

    “With the decline of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the eastern Mediterranean, U.S. strategic interests have depended more and more on cooperation with Israel’s navy,” Mr. Herman wrote in an analysis posted on the think tank’s website in November. “Such cooperation could be endangered if China’s maritime presence grows.”

    He went on to note that Shaul Chorev, a former deputy commander of Israel’s navy, had raised concern over the SIPG deal in Haifa during a recent Hudson Institute conference.

    “If asked whether the U.S. should forward-deploy U.S. Navy ships in Haifa port, which will be operated by the Chinese, I would recommend against that,” the former Israeli commander warned, according to Mr. Herman. “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely U.S. ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity, and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites.”

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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