Israel defies Trump … but why?

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Given that he clearly prides himself on his no-nonsense approach to everything including foreign policy, international trade and immigration, President Donald Trump must be ruing his administration’s outstandingly slavish support for Israel.

Thanks to the Zionists within his top team of advisers, among them his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump has defied international law and moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and effectively endorsed the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem and cut financial aid to the Palestinians. He has also continued the standard US policy of giving Israel money, weapons and intelligence, even though Zionist spies have stolen what secrets that have not been given and the Israel military has attacked US warships.

Trump might have expected that the government of the country that he has described as “the best of allies” would show some sensitivity to important American military and security concerns. Yet it very much looks as if in two years’ time, despite loud Pentagon protests, the management of the key port of Haifa will be handed over to a Chinese company, owned and directly controlled by the government in Beijing. Despite the serious concerns of US military analysts, the Shanghai International Port Group will take over the running of Haifa port in 2021 in a $2-billion deal.

Working out the problem ought to have been a no-brainer for the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Haifa is a regular port of call for the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet. It is, therefore, a certainty that at some point, the Chinese company will seek to collect a wide range of intelligence on American warships, including the monitoring of their signals and radar systems.

While insisting that Washington does not want Israel to entirely avoid dealing with China, it has been trying to drive home the security risks involved in allowing Chinese investment. Beijing already has state-owned firms investing in Tel Aviv’s light rail system which not only passes a key military port but also the Israeli Defense Forces’ headquarters at Kirya.

Israeli spy chiefs may be calculating that they can learn far more about Chinese intelligence-gathering operations than Beijing can learn in Israel. If this risk only concerned Israel, then it is the Israelis concern. But the presence of the US Navy, to say nothing of the advanced American weaponry provided to the Israeli military, alters the equation entirely. Yet this appears not to have entered the head of the Netanyahu government, even though they ought to have recognized the potential sensitivity of the deal from the outset.

As things stand, the Haifa port management deal is still going ahead. Will Donald Trump play pussycat, roll over and let the project proceed? Or will he finally put his foot down and threaten to row back on some at least of the many generous concessions that Washington has made to the Israelis? There is, of course, another possibility. Israel might be working on closer intelligence links with Beijing which could ultimately bring a cornucopia of Chinese secrets, of great use to the Americans. Therefore, defying Washington over the Chinese management of Haifa docks, the regular port of call for the US Sixth Fleet, would be an excellent way to gain the trust of intensely suspicious Chinese spymasters.


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