The US based Freedom House think-tank has released the initial findings of its annual Freedom in the World report. The report analyses the state of political and civil freedoms, as well as the state of governance frameworks, in each country around the world, based upon a "combination of on-the-ground research, consultations with local contacts, and information from news articles, nongovernmental organizations, governments, and a variety of other sources."
While next year marks 25 years of bilateral ties between the two countries, and Chinese officials were unreservedly gushing over Israeli innovations in technology and modern weaponry, the Chinese are stumbling over their ideological commitments. As a Communist country sworn to a non-aligned vision of global social justice, Beijing is concerned about being viewed as too pro-Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.
Israel's satellite industry is in crisis after a SpaceX rocket carrying an advanced Israeli communications satellite exploded on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida last Thursday 1 September. The accident and the subsequent loss of the Israeli-built satellite has been described as a "crushing blow" to Israel Aerospace Industries.
It was mid-afternoon, mid-Ramadan. Other than one sleeping traveller, and a handful of workers, the mosque complex in Kaifeng, Central China, was deserted. It was an eerily quiet place in an otherwise bustling, noisy city.
I had come to the mosque with an energetic, enthusiastic member of one of the Jewish families which had thrived in that city for centuries.
The Kaifeng synagogue, which had served a community tracing its roots to the first millennia CE, had been destroyed by floodwaters nearly two centuries ago.
Surveying the post-war international system in 1952, Israel's founder David Ben-Gurion wrote that European hegemony was on the decline, and that it stood to be replaced eventually by Asia.
As would happen with many of his varied insights, this one, too, proved prophetic.