Israel Increasingly Courting China as an Ally – Dan Levin
As an Israeli diplomat, Dore Gold has sat down with Palestinian negotiators in search of that elusive solution to the Middle East conflict. But the shifting tides of geopolitical power brought Mr. Gold to China this month, where he found himself hosting a Sabbath dinner with guests not traditionally invited to this Jewish gathering: Chinese officials.
That Mr. Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, was in Beijing explaining the Hebrew prayer for wine and the need for defensible borders to Chinese military brass reflects a growing desire by Jerusalem to bring a rising China over to Israel’s side of the negotiating table on Iran and the Palestinians.
He was joined in Beijing by retired Gen. Uzi Dayan, a former deputy chief of staff for the Israel Defense Forces and a former national security adviser. Together they spent several days meeting with Chinese military officers, becoming the first Israelis to speak at the Academy of Military Science of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The Israelis came prepared with materials translated into Chinese, vital for an audience largely unfamiliar with the details of Israel’s security requirements. That meant framing the situation in ways the Chinese could understand, like a map of 263-mile-long Israel juxtaposed on a map of China. At one meeting a Chinese official asked Gold: “Who is Israel with, the United States or us?” “I was very clear in my discussions with the Chinese that the United States and Israel are allies,” Gold said. “But nothing in international affairs says you can only be friendly with one state.” (New York Times)