Creation Amidst the Chaos: How Israel is Building Cultural Bridges During a Global Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has pillaged the global community; none have been left unaffected. In Israel, the disturbing side effects of the virus trickle down through all aspects of society. Even so, Israelis, deeply ingrained with a sense of resiliency - remnant of a past encompassed by existential threat  - have refused to wallow their despair. Instead of hiding under an isolating blanket of self-preservation, individuals and institutions alike are erecting platforms upon which unlikely partnerships can flourish. Although obscured by the virus's destruction, new paths in Israeli society have been cleared, bound towards relationship-building and reconciliation between historic adversaries.  

The Pakistan-Israel diplomatic relationship has always been precarious. For religious reasons, Pakistan adamantly opposed UN Resolution 181 in 1947. Although evidence of economic cooperation has since been discovered, Pakistan's official government policy remains opposed to Israeli sovereignty. Antagonism between the two ideologically-opposed states intensified in the 1980s when Israel was suspected of collaborating with India to preemptively strike the Kahuta nuclear facility. During this period of heightened tension, the International Relations scholar Tajwar Ali was born.

China’s digital yuan: should Israel be concerned?
In the midst of confronting a crisis of epic proportions, the People's Bank of China introduced the "digital yuan" pilot programs across four citie —making China the world's first global superpower to roll out a national digital currency. That China's leadership rolled out this project in late April while simultaneously dealing with the profound social, economic, and political challenges caused by Covid-19, reflects just how important this development is to the Communist Party. 

But why is it so important to China? How will it influence the balance of power in the global arena? And what does all this have to do with Israel? 

China’s bear hug for the blockchain
As the world confronts the profound social, economic and political challenges that have emerged in the wake of Covid-19, Beijing has unleashed digital innovations that hold profound implications for the future of international trade, global governance, and geopolitics.

On April 25, in the midst of battling the pandemic, China’s government established the world’s largest blockchain ecosystem, the Blockchain Service Network (BSN), and its central bank introduced “digital yuan” pilot programs across four cities – making the People’s Republic the world’s first major economy to issue a national digital currency.

Pompeo Visits Israel: China is likely to be on the agenda
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to land in Israel on Wednesday. His visit coincides with the swearing-in of a new Israeli government, breaking the country’s year-long political deadlock. The COVID-19 pandemic and moves towards annexing parts of the West Bank are likely to dominate Mr. Pompeo’s discussions with both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. Yet also likely to be on the agenda is the thorny issue of US-China tensions and Israel’s position in relation to them.

The US is Israel’s closest strategic ally. The two countries share democratic values and a belief in free and fair trade within a rules-based international order. In the Middle East – Israel’s backyard – Jerusalem and Washington see eye to eye on many strategic and security issues. When it comes to dealing with China, however, the picture is less clear.

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