1st Edition

Israel-Asia Relations in the Twenty-First Century The Search for Partners in a Changing World

Edited By Yoram Evron, Rotem Kowner Copyright 2024
    360 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines Israel's growing interaction with Asia's sub-regions and countries since the 1990s. It shows how these interactions have increased in recent years, both at government level and for companies, entrepreneurs, academic institutions, religious groups, tourists, and NGOs. Likewise, it discusses the evolving shared interests between Israel and Asian states and demonstrates how Asian countries adopted sophisticated policies that allowed them to get closer to Israel without compromising their traditional support of the pro-Palestinian position. It also explores how Israel differentiates between different regions, circles of importance, and countries in Asia rather than sees Asia as a monolithic whole. This groundbreaking book concludes by assessing the overall state of relations at present and likely future developments.

    List of Maps

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors


    Note on Translations and Conventions

    1. A Passage to Asia: The Rise of Israeli-Asian Relations since the 1990s and Their Current Nature

    Rotem Kowner and Yoram Evron

    I. Israel’s Asian Core Circle

    2. Relationship under a Glass Ceiling: A Framework for China-Israel Relations

    Yoram Evron

    3. Chinese Investment in Israel under the Shadow of the United States: A Precarious Success?

    Wang Yu

    4. The Indo-Israeli Connection: From Years of Rejection to Growing Partnership

    Shalom Salomon Wald and Evgenia Rozenfeld

    5. India-Israel Security, Defense Ties, and the Iranian Dimension

    Sujata Ashwarya

    II. Israel’s Asian Secondary Circle

    6. Israel-Japan Relations: A Recent Promise that Has Yet to Materialize

    Rotem Kowner

    7. Israel and the Two Koreas: Between Sentiments and Pragmatism

    Guy Podoler

    8. Israel-Taiwan Relations in a Changing Geopolitical Environment

    Mor Sobol

    9. Israel and Singapore: An Old-New Affinity Between Nations under Siege

    Kevjn Lim and Mattia Tomba

    III. Israel’s Asian Peripheral Circle

    10. Central Asian Republics and Israel: Relations on a Firm but Low Fire

    Zeev Levin

    11. Israel-Myanmar Relations and the Rohingya Mass Killings

    Chen Bram and Ran Shauli

    12. Israel-Indonesia Relations: An Ongoing Saga of Unrecognition and Backroom Contacts

    Giora Eliraz and Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat

    13. The Role of Israel and Anti-Zionism in Malaysian Political and Cultural Life

    Mary Ainslie


    14. Asia's Place in 21st-Century Israel and Its Diplomatic Network: Conclusions and Implications

    Rotem Kowner and Yoram Evron




    Yoram Evron is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chinese studies at the University of Haifa, Israel

    Rotem Kowner is Professor of History and Japanese studies at the University of Haifa, Israel

    "Israel-Asia Relations in the Twenty-First Century is a groundbreaking book. It tells the rise of Israel from a state on the verge of isolation some three decades ago to a country with a complex network and extensive economic and military relations in contemporary Asia. Solidly grounded in a nuanced analysis of written sources and data in various languages as well as numerous interviews, this volume is going to be the standard work on this topic for years to come."― P.R. Kumaraswamy is Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, and the author of India’s Israel Policy (Columbia University Press, 2010)

    "Israel’s growing position in twenty-first-century Asia is a spectacular story. Two long-time observers of Israel-Asia relations, Yoram Evron and Rotem Kowner offer an astute assessment and much elucidating analysis of Israel’s Asian strategy, its motives, and its success. As the first in two decades to bring all the parts of Israel’s diplomacy in Asia together, this judicious and deeply researched volume is a must-read for anyone interested in Israel’s foreign relations in general and its Asian ties in particular."― Ambassador Nissim Ben-Shitrit, General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013–15) and former Ambassador to Japan (2007–13)

    "Deeper levels of engagement between countries in Asia and the Middle East is a fascinating field of study, and this volume is a very welcome addition to the literature. Yoram Evron and Rotem Kowner have led a diverse set of contributors to cover Israel’s most consequential Asian bilateral relationships as well as issues that will shape the trajectory of Israel-Asia ties. Highly recommended!"― Jonathan Fulton is Professor of Political Science at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE, the author of China's Relations with the Gulf Monarchies (Routledge, 2019), and the editor of Routledge Handbook on China–Middle East Relations (Routledge, 2022)

    "In the last three decades, some far-reaching changes have occurred in Asia which enhanced Israel’s diplomatic, strategic, and economic relations with the continent’s main actors. Edited by two leading Israeli scholars of Asian affairs, this volume offers a wide range of chapters which explore in thoughtful and comprehensive ways the dramatic changes which took place in Israel’s ties with various Asian countries. This book is a must reading for scholars, students, and practitioners who are interested in the diplomacy and economics of Asia and Israel. Moreover, it is also a very useful book for anyone interested more generally in understanding the sources and processes of important changes in the diplomatic and economic relations among states."― Benny Miller is Professor of International Relations at the University of Haifa, Israel, and the author of States, Nations, and the Great Powers (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and of Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump (University of Chicago Press, 2020)