Giving Into Terror

Op-ed: Israel has lost moral authority to demand others fight institutions supporting terror groups

By Ariela Ringel-Hoffman
Yedioth Ahronoth
November 21, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Chinese culture minister Cai Wu in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Chinese culture minister Cai Wu in Jerusalem.

The word combination “maintaining interests” – rather than gut reactions – should allegedly explain the Israeli government’s decision to back out of a legal lawsuit against the Chinese bank which managed accounts of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. Yet this combination actually clarifies exactly why this decision is wrong.

The Israeli government – which decided to abandon the Wultz family, whose 16-year-old son Daniel was killed in a murderous terror attack near a falafel stand in central Tel Aviv, and send it without any help to wage its battle against the Bank of China which managed the organization’s accounts – has lost its moral authority to demand that others fight such institutions.

One doesn’t have to be extremely wise to realize that if the Israelis are allowed to shut one eye, others are allowed to shut both. And all this for what? “Softening the relations,” we are told. Oh, come on. As optimistic as we may be, a visit by the prime minister and his wife, including an entourage of associates and businesspeople, is not softening relations. Not to mention the fact that this is a slippery and elusive concept in its nature.

For decades, since 1991, when Israel and China established diplomatic relations, the latter has been strict about voting against Israel. A moment after that exciting occasion of exchanging ambassadors, China agreed to make a huge gesture and abstain – yes, abstain – in a vote seeking to cancel the UN resolution which defined Zionism as a racist movement. After that it got worse.

The picture is quite similar in terms of the economic relations between the two countries. The volume of Israeli imports from China is three times the volume of exports to China. And of the overall Israeli exports to the Far East, China – with its 1.4 billion citizens – doesn’t even reach 20%.

So what’s left? Hope. That’s nice, it’s just that hope for better days is a worthless answer for the Wultz family. And the result is that what will dictate the continuation of these relations are indeed interests – the Chinese interests, not the Israeli ones.



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