SIGNAL Note 65: SIGNAL Celebrates the Work of Renowned Educator, Prof. Emeritus Meron Medzini

People-to-people relations are a core component of Xi Jinping Thought. The Chinese leadership has been responsible for crafting many policies that include or are centered around this formidable principle, such as the Belt and Road Initiative. As countries integrate economically and interact politically, having the cultural and personal understanding that comes from a direct individual contact, the road to improved economic, business, and strategic ties. A central method for strengthening people-to-people relations is via bilateral academic exchange.An excellent example of the very positive impact of this kind of exchange in strengthening ties between two countries is the story of the illustrious Professor Medzini.

At 87 years old, Professor Emeritus Meron Medzini is still a force to be reckoned with. A SIGNAL Distinguished Fellow, Prof. Medzini, recently completed his 6th and final Academic Seminar in China, where he lectured more than 1000 students, faculty and community members in several cities across the country.

Everything Over the Heavens: A new arena for confrontation and cooperation

There is an ancient Chinese idea that “under heaven’s canopy there is nowhere that is not the king’s land,” this is the concept of Tian Xia. China of the 21st Century has pushed its ambitions further than anything the ancient thinkers could have imagined. Since launching its first unmanned spacecraft in 1999, China has released itself from terrestrial constraints and propelled itself far above heaven’s canopy. The Chinese space program soared into the new millennium, as China became the third country to independently send humans into space in 2003. It has since expanded its space capabilities, launching a variety of prototype space-stations (Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2), as well as a cargo ship (Tianzhou), capable of refueling other spacecraft. 2018 saw China fire more rockets into space than any other nation in the world. A year later, China made history with Chang’e 4 – successfully landing the first rover on the dark side of the Moon. China has become one of the very few powers that have any sort of mastery over Earth’s immediate cosmos.

SIGNAL Note 64: “Indispensable Netanyahu”- The Israeli prime minister’s diplomatic role has overriding importance for American and world security

After 13 years in office, Benjamin Netanyahu has served long enough to have rankled every Israeli I know. He faces a difficult election on September 17, after failing to form a coalition government following a national election earlier this year. As an American, I avoid taking a view on Israeli politics, but this is a special situation in which Netanyahu’s diplomatic role has overriding importance for American and world security. I have argued since 2009 that the United States has a narrow but important set of common interests with Russia in the Middle East. Thanks in large part to Netanyahu, security cooperation seems effective.

No other world leader could have convened, as Netanyahu did June 25, a meeting of Russia’s national security adviser Nicolai Petrushev and American NSA John Bolton. Speaking in Jerusalem, Petrushev declared, “We pay special attention to ensuring Israel’s security,” calling it “a special interest of ours because here in Israel live a little less than about two million of our countrymen.” He added, “Israel supports us in several channels, including at the UN.”

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