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>Israel Faxx
>JN May 29, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 98

Israel Won't Discuss Military Sales to China

By Roger Wilkison (VOA-Beijing)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- on a four-day official visit to China -- was in Shanghai Thursday, trying to boost his country's agricultural and high-technology exports to the booming Chinese market. But there is one aspect of Israel's sales to China that neither government is willing to talk about.

Netanyahu says a special relationship is developing between China and Israel, since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. Ties have blossomed as China has sought investment and technology to spur its development efforts. Speaking to reporters, the Israeli leader held out bright hopes for future cooperation between the two nations.

"We are very fortunate that China and Israel --the Chinese people and the Jewish people that are two of the oldest people on earth, with ancient civilizations -- have developed the capacity to develop dynamic societies that can seize the future. And we believe that the cooperation between us can bring prosperity and peace to our peoples and to our neighbors as well."

One Israeli high-tech export that the Chinese have developed a taste for is military equipment. According to Western experts in Beijing, the secret trade is worth more than $100 million a year. They say China is the largest customer in Asia for Israeli military-related exports and that Israel is second only to Russia in the volume of its military sales to China.

Western military attaches in Beijing say cooperation between the two countries in the defense field runs deep. They say the Aircraft Industries of Israel are involved in Chinese projects covering fighter development and airborne early warning technology. They believe Israel's military industries are providing cruise missile-related technology to China. And they say Rafael --the Israeli Defense Ministry's research and development agency for air-launched weapons -- has sold Python-3 air-to-air missiles to the Chinese and is seeking to sell them the more advanced Python-4.

China has provided Iran and Saudi Arabia with sophisticated weaponry, and neither of those states is a friend of Israel. One military attache in Beijing believes Israel's military relationship with China involves a calculated risk that, as these ties progress, they might influence China's policy toward the Middle East.


Media-Savvy Fascists Return to Europe

By Andre de Nesnera (VOA-London)

The European editor of a British publication which specializes in investigating racist and extreme-right wing political parties says the recent strong showing by the "German Peoples' Union" -- or DVU -- in elections in the state of Saxon-Anhalt is a clear danger signal.

In the recent elections to the regional parliament of the eastern German state of Saxon-Anhalt, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Party was humiliated, receiving only 23 percent of the vote. But that defeat was overshadowed by the result of the extreme-right wing and openly racist "German Peoples' Union" which swept into parliament with nearly 13 percent of the votes cast.

The British magazine "Searchlight" specializes in the investigation of right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and racist organizations. "Searchlight's" European editor, Graham Atkinson, says there is an undercurrent of extreme-right wing German nationalism which has never really left the scene since the end of the Second World War. That nationalism feeds off the popular discontent brought about by economic problems -- and Atkinson believes in the future, there will be a hard shift to the right in the five states of former East Germany.

The British expert on right-wing extremist groups believes there is a reemergence of fascism -- but not only in Germany. "It is not the fascism of the 1930s. These people do not run around -- for the most part -- wearing uniforms like Hollywood Nazis. They are in fact very smooth, media-presentable. They can argue their politics in a very articulate way and as has been shown, they can actually break through into the political mainstream by establishing a resonance within the wider population, sufficient to give them 13 percent of the vote in Saxon-Anhalt and 15 percent in France."

Atkinson says the next clear indication in Germany of the strength of extreme right-wing parties will come in October during the federal elections. He says the extreme-right wing "National Democratic Party" will field candidates. That political party has better organizational structures and, he says, is far more hardcore Nazi than the DVU -- which has just shown its strength in regional elections in Saxon-Anhalt.


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