Netanyahu Is Not Showing Contempt for U.S. by Going to China

(Ynet News) Col. Richard Kemp - I wouldn't be surprised if Jerusalem and Washington discussed China's invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Beijing before it was accepted. Those who have suggested Netanyahu is looking for an alternative partnership to the U.S. are clearly mistaken. Netanyahu is never going to lead his country closer to the Chinese dictatorship at the expense of the fundamental relationship with America. The U.S. is and will remain Israel's closest and most important strategic and military ally. China's repressive communist autocracy is anathema to Israelis. Netanyahu needs to go to Beijing because China is Israel's third largest global trading partner, although the trend of growth between the two countries has slowed as a result of Israel's own national security considerations and accommodation of U.S. concerns. Last year Netanyahu stressed the "limit to how much we can open ourselves up to being dependent on non-like-minded states." With increasing Chinese diplomatic involvement in the Middle East, Netanyahu cannot afford to be left out of the moves that China is making in the region, all of which have a direct bearing on Israel's critical national interests. It is not good enough for him to stand on the sidelines and watch as events unfold. It is crucial that Xi Jinping understands Israel's position directly from the prime minister. The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA.

2023-06-29 00:00:00

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