Last year, while visiting Israel, we took a jeep tour of the Negev desert. After bumping up and down through the rough terrain, with occasional stops to observe desert trees and plants, we parked on a high spot, which let us see the desert panorama. Our guide pointed out at a steep rock in the distance and said that soldiers from the elite IDF forces had the tradition to climb that rock and carve their names on it.
He said that Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu had been among them. At the time I thought how regretful was that Barak went from a war hero to a person ready to sell Israel. That “transition” cost him his political career. (Incidentally, at the time he was trying to revive it by setting up a new party for the upcoming elections, but it didn’t work.)
I had the same thoughts about Ariel Sharon, who gave away Gaza, which led to the Hamas victory and their continuous attacks against Israel. The country was forced to deal with the calamity through operation Cast Lead – a PR disaster for Israel, which ironically was performed by the Kadima government. However, I never thought that Netanyahu was going to join the group of politicians, who try to betray their country. I am not talking treason here – it’s all about short-sighted policies, which look reasonable, but in long term turn disastrous and end up with the same outcome as treason.
Everybody knows that Israel is in a difficult situation and needs peace, but that shouldn’t blind the politicians into taking actions that defy logic. Recently Netanyahu agreed to release from prisons a very large group of Arab terrorists in exchange for PLO’s support for new negotiations. Israel got absolutely nothing in return other than an empty promise.
Of course, the whole operation was forced on Israel by Obama and his hapless Secretary of State John Kerry. Anyone familiar with the “peace process” knows that Arabs have never been serious about negotiations. Every new round is seen by the aging terrorists, who control PLO, as another opportunity to milk the international community for billions of dollars, which will disappear into their foreign bank accounts.
I don’t know if Mr. Heinz Ketchup is more ignorant than Obama or simply evil, but he wanted to pressure Israel so badly that he even threatened the country with a “third intifada.” However, the Israeli politicians, who know the situation much better than the circus duo from Washington, D.C., should’ve opposed that shameful “transaction.” They didn’t.
While some may argue (though unconvincingly) that the release of the terrorists is acceptable in the name of preserving the good relations with the USA, the last week’s decision of Netanyahu about the case against the Bank of China is totally and absolutely inexcusable.
As you may know, there is a court case pending in New York, where 22 families of victims of Arab terrorism in Israel are suing the Bank of China for helping terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad by conducting financial transactions for them. It seems that the idea of hitting the finances of the terrorists through the courts, which many organizations tried to implement (including the Israeli government), was finally realized.
The issue here is that the case depends heavily on the testimony of the former counterterrorism agent Uzi Shaya. He has key information to prove that the Bank of China was aware of what they were doing:
“According to court documents, Shaya was part of a delegation of Israeli counterterrorism officials who met with Chinese officials in April 2005, warning them that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were transferring large sums of money to their militants through the Bank of China. At that meeting, the Israelis asked Chinese officials to “take action” to prevent further transfers.”
Since his status prevents him from testifying on his own, he needs to get the Israeli government’s permission to appear as a witness. Last week the Netanyahu government moved to quash the subpoena issued by the US court, which potentially could ruin the chances of conviction.
Of course, the government had a good excuse:
“The State of Israel is steadfastly committed to doing everything within its power to bring terrorists and their sponsors to justice, to prevent future terror attacks, and to support victims of terrorism and their families,” the motion filed to American federal court read, adding that “the subpoena must be quashed because it violates Israel’s sovereign immunity, it seeks sensitive national security information that is protected as foreign state secrets.”
Needless to say, the victims of the terrorism that the Bank of China facilitated were outraged. Their lawyer countered the excuse that the testimony will affect the national security:
“Darshan-Leitner added that the need for “financial engagement” with China was understandable, “but not at the cost of abandoning these families who have had loved ones murdered by the Palestinian terror groups who we allege moved funds through the Bank of China.”
She further accused Netanyahu of “hiding ulterior motives or interests because everything Shaya is prepared to discuss was already laid out in a previous affidavit and has already been publicly stated.”
Before that decision, the government of Israel seemed to support the legal action:
Netanyahu has fashioned himself as an expert on fighting terrorism for his entire political career. And signs of official Israeli involvement in the case are everywhere.
The claims against the bank include detailed listings of account numbers, dates and precise sums of money that were transferred over several years— information that would almost certainly require professional intelligence work to obtain.
So far the Bank of China hasn’t shown any regret or intention to resolve the problem:
“The Bank of China declined comment. But in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China opposes “all forms of terrorism” and takes a “proactive role in global counterterrorism cooperation.” He said China also takes safeguards “to prevent any financial institutions from supporting terrorist activities.”
China has never labeled Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorist groups.”
The change in heart started around the time when Netanyahu was planning his visit to China last spring. Reportedly, the Chinese threatened to cancel the visit, if the case proceeded.
Here we have another Israeli politician willing to ignore the suffering of his own people in the name of the siren song of the huge economic promises. China is not a friend of Israel and never will be. China is not going to lead the world in any shape or form.
All they provide is cheap labour with total disregard for the working conditions or the environment. Their totalitarian government through their dictatorship (which our Justin Trudeau admires do much) makes sure that this “competitive edge” is kept intact. They try to apply the same tactics in the countries, where they expand their business, which so far has brought significant tensions in Africa.
China is involved in bitter territorial disputes with its neighbours Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines over small islands (which it never controlled) due to the potential oil and gas deposits in the area.
The Chinese manipulate their currency, use brutal economic pressure and shamelessly steal technology and patents. Due to the Chinese industrial spying, USA and Canada lose billions of dollars every year.
The article about the court case mentions that in the plans for cooperation with Israel “China is especially interested in Israeli technology in agriculture and medical equipment.” When translated into business Chinese, that means: “We will let you open shop here and after we steal all of your technologies and claim them as our own, we will kick you out.”
China is interested only in exploitation of resources and technologies. When they get everything they need, they’ll be out. If they are able to derive some profit, either from Israeli technologies or Hamas transaction fees, they don’t care who they are dealing with.
They are very efficient and ruthless when they deal with the Muslims in Xingjian, but have no interest whatsoever in declaring Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. The fact speaks for itself.
They are not ashamed to exploit the Holocaust to their own advantage:
“During his visit to China this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled that the city of Shanghai was “one of the few places that opened its gates” to Jews fleeing Hitler. Officials of the Chinese Communist government, standing nearby, beamed with pleasure at the expectation that people all over the world would read how their regime rescued Jews.”
Just another piece of communist Chinese deception. The officials failed to mention that the city at the time was under Japanese occupations and the Japanese authorities made the decisions about who would be let in:
“It is important to note that much of China was under Japanese military occupation from 1931 until 1945, and immigration to Shanghai was controlled by the Japanese government, not the Chinese. The Japanese, hoping to improve their relations with the U.S. and the American Jewish community, permitted about 20,000 German and Austrian Jews to settle in Shanghai during the 1930s.
This immigration was made possible in part by false documents given to Jews by the Dutch consul in Lithuania, Jan Zwartendijk, and by transit visas to Japan provided, without official sanction, by Japan’s acting consul-general in Lithuania, Sugihara Chiune. Officially the visas were good for only eight to 12 days, but the Japanese authorities allowed the refugees to remain in Japan for up to eight months until they found other destinations. Many went to Shanghai, including 500 rabbis and students (and their families) from the famous Mir Yeshiva.”
The Algemeiner columnist is correct with one exception – the Japanese government was aware of Sugihara’s work. They never objected and the saving of the Jews didn’t hurt his career in any way. Also, there were a few other high military officers from the Imperial Army, who facilitated the passage of the Jews. Of course, Hitler wasn’t thrilled by all that, but we should never forget that history is complex – painting the allies of Germany with the same brush is unfair.
That shows the true nature of the Chinese government – they are ready to spread any lies in order to advance their interests, yet when they are confronted about the genocide in Tibet or the treatment of religious minorities (like Catholics or Falun Gong), they are quick to get offended.
So let me get this straight – Netanyahu is ready to forego the justice for his people killed by Muslim terrorists in order to appease a lying and deceptive country in the name of not yet materialized economic benefits. And the message he sends to China is loud and clear – they can support and finance any atrocity and get away with it, because nobody would have the courage to confront them.
Tomorrow China will be gone from Israel, looking for easier targets, but the pain of the Israeli victims’ families, betrayed by their own government, would never go away.
Benjamin Netanyahu will have to live with his conscience for the rest of his life (provided he has conscience).
Capitulating to enemies and bullies in the name of short-term economic or other gain has never brought anything good. It usually makes those people and countries more arrogant in their bullying, because they feel contempt for those who surrender to them.
We should never forget that Israel has been most successful when responding to aggression in a straightforward and confrontational way. Showing that you are stronger than your enemies is the only path to success in history.
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