Israel is emerging as a global player in the changing face of the division of the world between the major imperialist powers.
And Australia, as one of the most strident cheerleaders of the US imperialist cause, is helping to promote that emergence.
The Netanyahu visit also encompassed a stopover in Singapore and was to have included a visit to Fiji (cancelled for “logistical reasons”).
Singapore has had military ties with Israel since the latter helped it create an army in 1967 following its independence from Malaysia, while Fiji contributes more “peacekeepers” to Israel’s borders than any other country on a per capita basis.
Netanyahu’s Australia visit comes after his visits to England and the US where he met PM Theresa May and President Trump.
So what’s the agenda here?
Trump clearly wants key allies to do more to help make America “great” again. Australia, Israel and Singapore are among those key allies.
This does not mean that Trump will be less bellicose or less of a warmonger than Hillary Clinton, had she been elected. Indeed Trump has just announced a $54 billion expansion of US military muscle, his justification being that “We have to win. We have to start winning wars again”.
What it does mean is that the international Al Capone wants his gang there with him all the way, ready and willing to intervene regionally at minimal cost to the US.
Comprador journalist Greg Sheridan and Australian Strategic Policy Institute writer Antony Bergin, did their bit to prepare Australian public opinion for just such an approach prior to Netanyahu’s visit.
Bergin co-authored (with Efraim Inbar from Israel’s Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies) a report titledThe Wattle and the Olive last year calling for Australia to “upgrade military and diplomatic relations with Israel to tap into its expertise in counter-terrorism and hi-tech weapons systems”.
Sheridan enthused over the recommendation in Murdoch’s un-Australian, saying that “Australia could benefit from Israel’s expertise in unmanned aerial systems, ship-borne missile defence, cyber-warfare, armoured vehicle protection, smart sensors and a range of other capabilities.
“Both nations are intimate US allies and operate a great deal of common US defence equipment, including soon the F-35A version of the Joint Strike Fighter.”
Israel also has strong military ties with India (see US imperialism, Israel and the militarisation of India ). Thus, Israel, India, Singapore and Australia allow US imperialism to reverse shadow the Chinese initiative of a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road along which China pursues growing influence in the South China Sea, the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean through to Africa and the Middle East.
China’s economic ties are strong, but military force is stronger
China already has strong ties with Israel which it has been able to foster by recognising the Zionist state and ignoring its lebensraum illegal settlements on remaining Palestinian territory.
Earlier this year, Israel and China reportedly reached a deal for around 6,000 Chinese construction workers to come to Israel to help with housing construction. The two countries have agreed to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement. Additionally, Chinese investment in Israeli technology companies and in infrastructure has been growing and Chinese tourists have been heading to Zionist-occupied Palestine (Israel).
In fact Israel trades more with China (its third largest trade partner), India, and Japan than it does with its major ally, the United States.
Even the strongest economic ties have never prevented trade and investment partners from facing off in times of war when larger strategic interests and loyalties are called into play by a dominant military power. The political power of US imperialism grows out of the barrels of its guns.
Thus, when Netanyahu says "Israel is pivoting towards Asia in a very clear and purposeful way," at a press conference and dinner event in Singapore, it is clear which dominant power he is channelling, namely, the military ally rather than the trade partner.
It is no accident that Netanyahu’s visit is the first to Singapore by an Israeli Prime Minister in more than 30 years, and the first ever to Australia.
The timing reflects the jockeying for influence and the positioning of forces loyal to US imperialism in our region.
US imperialism is girding its loins against growing Chinese influence.
This can only spell disaster for the Australia and the region if US-China conflict gets out of hand.
We must have an independent and peaceful approach to regional and global instability, and that means redoubling our efforts to smash US imperialism’s stranglehold on our sovereignty and independence.