December 22, 2004
by Reb Yudel
Still no major American media coverage of the big tussle between the Pentagon and Israel over an Israeli contract to upgrade a weapons system for China. Here's the latest from Ha'aretz.Here are the key points from Ze'ev Schiff's Ha'aretz analysis:
I am baffled. A story that has Douglas Feith, Tel Aviv, arms sales, and a hardening neoconservative policy towards Beijing in one place, and one doesn't see a single mention in the NYT, the Washington Post, or the LA Times.
The problem is that Israel walked into the problem of a severe clash - and not for the first time - with many members of Congress who maintain an anti-China line. In recent weeks there were hysterical reports in the U.S. about Israeli advanced technology sales to China. It's been said, for example, that American soldiers defending Taiwan could be harmed by Israeli technologies, and American ships by the Harpy. A special congressional committee held hearings and heard some very tough remarks against Israel.Of course, it could be that Israel is preparing for the inevitable shift in patrons as the American century comes to an end.
A key question that cannot be ignored is why such misunderstandings repeatedly come up between Israel and the U.S. regarding China. There's a series here: once it was about the sale of Lavie technologies to China, then about the supposed sale of the U.S.-made Patriot missile secrets to China. One time it was in the wake of the sale of advanced air-to-air missiles to China, and then came the Phalcon affair - and there are plenty of other examples.
Just as the alliance with France became meaningless as that country assumed its natural size on the world stage, so too it makes sense to forge as close ties with as many of the 21st century world powers as possible.
Andy, you used to be Mr. Washington. Any inside into what's going on here?