Israel-Palestine: return to the headlines

and Moscow and Beijing in all this?

The new crisis in the Middle East, which will increasingly focus the attention of the American administration, will it provide an opportunity for Russia and China to push their anti-Western pawns a little further across the world?

It is not at all obvious that a conflict between Israel and Iran, making the Persian Gulf a perilous zone, benefits the two giant allies of circumstance, whatever their satisfaction at seeing Washington struggling.

Their first reactions were calls for “restraint” to avoid an escalation.

For Russia, which Iran notably supplies with drones for its war in Ukraine, the weakening of this supplier would pose difficulties. But Moscow had avoided completely breaking with Israel, even if the Jewish state, furious at Russian support at the UN for Arab countries in the conflict in Gaza, moved closer to kyiv. That Joe Biden is entangled in a major crisis, as was already the case after October 7, is an advantage for Vladimir Putin: American and Western aid risks arriving even more slowly and sparingly to Ukraine in difficulty on military terrain. And an election of Donald Trump would only reinforce this dangerous development for Europe.

For Beijing, Washington's great rival in the Pacific, the West's focus on the Middle East could distract the United States from its regional allies like the Philippines or Japan.

And could encourage Chinese power to take the plunge: annex Taiwan. A very dangerous game. But Xi Jinping is cunning and aware of the importance of trade with the West and the security of sea lanes. Will he be able to be careful? For the Chinese economy, a surge in Gulf oil to $200 a barrel would prove disastrous.

Even if the Israeli-American alliance suits them, However, Beijing and Moscow will not put all their eggs in one basket, Iran. Because Tehran's aggressiveness worries many of their friends, particularly in the Arab-Muslim world.

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