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Takin’ It To China

While China has wavered over whether to participate in the American-led march to hang sanctions on Iran, officials of the Jewish Country have been pushing their own mum campaign to convince the Chinese that Iran should be disciplined for their renegade nuclear program.


Last February, an Israeli delegation made their way to Beijing to present evidence of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The divulged purpose of the visit was to illustrate the economic impact on China that would result from an Israeli strike on Iran. Should the international community fail to stop Iran from assembling an atomic weapon, Israel warns that an attack is inevitable.

Said one Israeli official:

“The Chinese didn’t seem too surprised by the evidence we showed them, but they really sat up in their chairs when we described what a pre-emptive attack would do to the region and on oil supplies they have come to depend on.”

Ties between Israel and China were marred when in 2000 an arms deal became bungled. The United States pressured Israel to cancel a $1 billion arms deal, many years in the making, to sell China an advanced airborne tracking system. Israel later agreed to pay a $350 million penalty. In 2005, Washington blocked another Israeli arms deal with Beijing involving a drone aircraft.

Well, Israel is also threatened by China’s growing thirst for Middle East oil from many of the Jewish State’s sworn enemies.

The Israeli ambassador to Beijing, Amos Nadai was heard saying:

“Israel is not a great supplier of the kinds of natural resources that China can find among some of our neighbors but we do have a lot to offer them, and there is a strong sense of mutual respect.”

Well, look at it in this light:

These two nations have some remarkable commonalities:

“their histories as ancient civilizations and the transformative economic growth that has defied conventional wisdom and a yearning for regional stability.”

Says Andrew Jacobs, Jerusalem correspondent for The New York Times.

In the game of tangible goods, Israel sells China: telecommunications equipment, high-tech products and irrigation systems. Trade between these two countries reached $4.5 billion last year; that’s up from $3.8 billion in 2006, although three-fourths of this is Chinese exports to Israel.

If not for the two-decade-old American-led embargo on arms sales to China which has stymied the Jewish Country’s most lucrative export, the imbalance would be less severe. Well, Israeli officials are frustrated over the ban, though they’re forced to acknowledge that their Washington relationship trumps the yearning for Chinese business.

Andrew Jacobs says that:

“Oddly enough, the close ties between Israel and the United States have become something of an Achilles’ heel for the Jewish state, during the 1990s, when Beijing was diplomatically isolated after the violent crackdown on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, the Chinese sought closer relations with Israel because they thought it might bring them closer to the United States”

“This was an illusory period during which China thought the Jewish and Israeli lobbies could open doors for them in Washington”

Said research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, Yoram Evron.

A deeply held affection for Karl Marx and Albert Einstein and regard for the Jewish’s country’s military prowess are cornerstones of a Chinese fascination with Jews. Adding to the previously mentioned commonalities between the two ancient nations, recall that both are victims of genocide and Japanese hatred during the era of the Second World War.

Time is Running Out

It is not sit back and watch as – but more of a chance that the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States could collapse amid their dispute over Iran.

In three simulations conducted in Israel and the United States, a dispute was had over a response to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The simulations envisioned a diplomatic crisis as Washington tried to stop Israel from attacking Iran.

A report on the three simulations said:

“The United States was unwilling to use military force or support Israeli military action even after other measures failed…U.S.-Israeli relations deteriorated dramatically.”

The report by the Washington Institute, titled “Serious Play: War Games Explore Options on Iran,” reviewed war games which were conducted by three leading Western strategic institutes.

In December 2009, Brookings Institution, Harvard University and Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies conducted separate simulations to analyze Iranian nuclear scenarios – leading strategists played the leadership of Iran, Israel and the United States.

The report, authored by defense fellow Jeffrey White, read:

“And three recent war games focused on the Iranian nuclear weapons issue suggest that the prospects for halting the regime’s progress toward nuclear weapons are not good…The results, unfortunately, were uniformly negative.”

Former Defense Department analyst, White, reviewed all three simulations. He said that these war games, with a scenario that envisioned the emergence of Iranian nuclear weapons, ended with a bolstered Teheran and tattered relation between Israeli and the U.S.

The Harvard simulation, organized by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, concluded that President Barack Obama would indeed fail to garner international support for sanctions against Iran, while, Jerusalem and Washington would grow apart amid disagreement over a nuclear Iran.

“The U.S.-Israeli relationship deteriorated dramatically during the game, leading to a deep diplomatic crisis…Indeed, most observers would probably characterize the outcome as a win for Iran and a defeat for the United States and Israel.”

The Brookings simulation also ended witnessing U.S. anger toward Israel as Washington attempted to avoid conflict with Iran. In this particular war game, Israel actually attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“The United States was unhappy with Israel over the attack…The United States tried to talk tough with Iran but also sought direct negotiations.”

In Tel Aviv, INSS envisioned an indecisive Israel and U.S. amid Iran’s advancement toward nuclear weapons. At the end of the simulation, Iran also emerged undeterred by either Jerusalem or Washington:

“Israel and the United States lacked clear goals and strategies for dealing with Iran’s program…Israel was perceived as being unhelpful to the United States.”

The war games suggested that Israel’s military option against Iran would create a hurdle for U.S. strategy in the Middle East. The report said that the simulations pointed to disputing assessments regarding the threat coming from Iran’s nuclear program.

“The United States eschewed military action to avoid the attendant risks, while Israel was more willing to take the risks to avoid, or at least postpone, the nuclear threat…Game play suggests that an eventual U.S.-Israeli crisis is likely.”

White urged the Obama administration to reconsider and revise a strategy and tactics toward Iran. He cited a U.S. option for regime change in Teheran as well as plans for military action against Iran.

“The United States must plan for military action, either by itself, with others, or in the wake of unilateral Israeli strikes…Both the military and the public should be prepared for the consequences of these scenarios. These preparations must be carried out with the full understanding that the military option is practicable — and, at the end of the day, may well be the required course of action.”

A recommendation was made that Israel prepare both its military and civilian sector for what White called an

“extended war on multiple fronts and deep within the homeland.”

Such a war, he cautioned, could result in casualties and disruption of civilian life.

“Israel already appears to be moving in this direction, and that course seems wise given the outcome of the war games,”

said White.

“Time is running out.”

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