Iran is a threat to Israel: Time to speak up

The government should be following the developments of the China-Iran deal with great concern.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran at the weekly cabinet meeting (photo credit: OHAD TZVEIGENBERG‏)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran at the weekly cabinet meeting
(photo credit: OHAD TZVEIGENBERG‏)
When it comes to the Iranian threat to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not known for being shy about his views – and that’s putting it lightly.
Netanyahu famously addressed both houses of the US Congress in 2015, despite knowing it would anger then-president Barack Obama, because he felt it was so urgent and essential for the US not to enter an agreement that would only postpone – not stymie – Iran’s moves towards a nuclear weapon.
So it’s hard to understand how quiet Israel is being when the UN Security Council arms embargo on Iran delineated in that agreement is coming to an end in October.
Yes, Netanyahu and departing Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon have spoken out in support of US efforts to “snap-back” sanctions on Iran.
But with other major powers already making it clear that they oppose renewing the sanctions and plan to take advantage of the new business and diplomatic opportunities after the expiration, the few public statements from Israel seem lackluster.
A recent Pentagon report said China and Russia seek to sell Iran attack helicopters, fighter jets, tanks and more once the UN arms embargo expires in October.
China, which has close ties with Iran, plans to take things even further, with the two countries reportedly working on a multibillion-dollar 25-year economic and security deal, according to a document leaked to The New York Times. The proposed agreement would lead to a closer military relationship between Tehran and Beijing, including joint military exercises, research and weapons development and intelligence sharing.
The deal between China and Iran has not been signed yet, but the government should be following these developments with great concern.
Any of the new resources directed to the Islamic Republic’s army can be turned on Israel.
And the massive Chinese cash influx for Iranian banks, infrastructure projects, telecommunications and more from the economic section of the deal frees up the regime to spend more on its proxies and terrorist groups that are part of the mullahs’ mission to destroy Israel.
Plus, several Chinese companies bidding to build two lines of the Tel Aviv light rail have also worked on projects in Iran. The deal would increase the likelihood that one company could work in Israel and the Islamic Republic simultaneously, which could lead to security breaches and intelligence about Israel passed on to Iran.
China does not take the Iranian threat to Israel seriously, viewing it as bluster by Tehran to gain more influence on the world stage.
But Israel does take it very seriously – and rightly so – considering that Iran goes beyond just talk about annihilating us, funding Palestinian terrorists and Hezbollah and is trying to establish bases near our northern border.
Israel needs to do all it can to make that clear to China, before they take steps that can further fuel Iran’s obsession with destroying this country.
Chinese companies have poured billions of dollars in the Israel market, working on infrastructure projects, investing in hi-tech companies in an array of fields and more.
Strong economic ties with Beijing have mostly been good for Israel – though there is some tension with the US over some of those areas – but they should not preclude Israel from standing up for its own security.
Yes, China is much bigger than we are, but Israel still needs to voice its concerns and try to work with a friendly country to make sure it doesn’t do the least friendly thing possible and bolster the forces – Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad – that seek to attack us.
Netanyahu has spoken many times about his role in improving Israel’s ties with countries in Asia, including China. Netanyahu also likes to say for him, Israeli security comes before everything else.
The time has come for him to use those ties that he proudly touts for Israel’s security and to speak up. As long as China does business with Iran, Israel needs to reconsider doing business with China.