There are two reasons why wooing China is critically important for Israel – politics and economics.

Politically, Israel faces growing isolation after the November 29 UN vote giving the Palestinians non-member nation status. The fact that Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau (half of the eight countries who voted with Israel against the resolution) are supporters offers little comfort; Israel needs friends with more clout. During Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, China – as usual – sided with Israel’s critics; condemning Israeli attacks while neglecting to condemn Hamas rockets.

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