Gaza War and the Chinese-Russian manipulation to expel U.S. from the Middle East

The joint Chinese-Russian support for achieving the goals of the Palestinian Authority, as there is no point in going to the negotiating table if Israel does not allow it to decide the future of the Gaza Strip.

After the start of Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” by the Hamas movement against Israel on October 7, 2023, to which Israel responded with Operation “Iron Swords”, it became clear to the eye, and in full view of the entire international community, that Washington and Tel Aviv are losing their reputation, soldiers, and mechanisms daily.  In Gaza, and that the prestige that Israel enjoyed has been broken forever and will not return, which is what both China and Russia are trying to exploit to their advantage to re-present themselves regionally and internationally as a major party in the Middle East and its hot files, most notably the Palestinian issue, by confirming through their official media that  The United States of America is no longer the only superpower in the Middle East, with the Chinese newspaper “Global Times”, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party in China, devoting a large editorial confirming that the United States of America is practicing a policy of “public hypocrisy and lying” in the face of the international community and Palestine, and here  Beijing has moved to portray itself as a “global player” in the face of American hegemony and arrogance.

 This has become very clear during the recent period in the open Chinese-Russian challenge to American and Israeli hegemonic policies, at a time when the West allied with the United States of America and Israel in confronting Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, under the pretext of supporting the Israeli occupation army in eliminating the Hamas movement, supporting and supporting the Israeli narrative, with its military and political repercussions on the ground in Palestine, the region and the Gaza Strip. Gaza, China and Russia have taken a common, clearer and different path with the European Union countries that support Israel and the West, with major repercussions on the international and regional arena in the Middle East region, creating a new reality in the face of American hegemonic policies, and achieving a joint Russian-Chinese rapprochement with the countries of the region.  In order to ultimately achieve the common Russian-Chinese interest in expelling the United States of America from the entire Middle East, and their joint call for the reunification of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the control of the current Palestinian Authority, and declaring their leadership of the efforts of the entire international community in reconstructing Gaza and pushing Israel to agree to the principle of the two countries solution.

  We note here the joint Chinese-Russian support for achieving the goals of the Palestinian Authority, as there is no point in going to the negotiating table if Israel does not allow it to decide the future of the Gaza Strip, or more precisely the principle of not returning the Palestinians on the back of an Israeli tank. This will be done through a political solution that satisfies all parties, and with Palestinian and Arab welcome to the entry.  China and Russia are on the negotiating line facing Israel, as the United States of America is not alone in playing the role of “sole mediator”, which it has played for many decades. Here, China’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, condemned all attacks against civilians, stressing the need to return to the peace process to achieve a two-state solution. It is clear that China and Russia led the efforts to condemn Hamas only, without a clear condemnation of Israel and its attacks against the Palestinian people and their children in Gaza.  But the Western countries rejected that joint Russian-Chinese position, because they wanted to condemn the Hamas attack only, without indicating the responsibility of the Israeli occupation for the current situation in the Gaza Strip.

  The Chinese-Russian challenge to the American and Israeli vision has reached its maximum extent, after their joint refusal to condemn the Hamas movement, and considering it as an axis of Palestinian resistance and not a terrorist group. Indeed, the Russian challenge reached an open level against the United States of America and Tel Aviv by hosting “Musa Abu Marzouk”, the official of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Hamas movement in  Moscow after the outbreak of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which provoked the American and Israeli embassies and those in charge of their duties in Moscow, by directing a strong blame to the Russian side for daring to blatantly challenge Washington and Tel Aviv in the heart of Moscow. We find that during the past year alone, 2022, at least two high-level delegations from the Hamas movement headed to Moscow in order to hold talks with Russian President Putin.  Then the joint Russian-Chinese challenge, and also publicly, to the American and Israeli position that categorically rejects the presence of the Hamas movement in the political scene of the Gaza Strip, through the Chinese and Russian assertion and their response to Washington and Tel Aviv, that it is not possible to talk about the future of the Gaza Strip, with the marginalization or absence of the Hamas movement in determining and determining  The future of the Gaza Strip, and their conviction, namely China and Russia, that Hamas has become a political and military force that controls the course of events inside the Gaza Strip and Palestine, which is what Washington and Tel Aviv reject in form and content.

  During a press conference with foreign journalists, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman “Mao Ning” also refused to condemn the attack carried out by the Palestinian resistance against Israel, stressing that China always supports the rules of fairness and justice. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reiterated its call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which angered the Israeli embassy in Beijing and American politicians, according to the first Chinese statement consisting of two paragraphs, which deliberately did not mention Hamas by name, and replaced it with Palestine and Israel.  China was careful not to criticize Hamas explicitly and publicly in this conflict, according to statements by a number of Chinese officials, which raised an Israeli objection.         

 Moscow also continued its public challenge to American and Israeli policies regarding the Gaza Strip, through Russian President Vladimir Putin hosting his visiting Iranian counterpart “Ibrahim Raisi”, on Thursday, November 30, 2023, in the heart of the capital, Moscow, and all Russian and Iranian official media and newspapers appeared.  And with it, China, to focus on the content of that Iranian visit to Russia, with a deep focus on the statements of Iranian President “Ibrahim Raisi” publicly criticizing what is known as the “unjust world order,” and his explicit condemnation from the heart of Moscow of Israel’s war on Gaza, considering it a “crime against humanity”, which occurs with the support of the United States of America and other Western countries. He described Russia and China as two friendly countries, with Iranian President “Raisi” affirming that his meeting with President Putin will create new favorable conditions for cooperation between the two parties in confronting bullying policies and the imposition of American brute force in confronting them all.

   Here, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation launched by the Hamas movement against Israel comes in the interest of China and Russia to prove their ability to lead the Middle East and exclude or reduce the size and influence of Washington in it, especially after both Beijing and Moscow were quick to criticize Israel’s actions in its response to the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. In addition to their call for a ceasefire, in an attempt to create a position that shows their global leadership as an alternative to American hegemony biased towards Israel, which takes into account balance and interests in dealing with international crises, especially in the Middle East region, most notably the Palestinian issue.  With the Russian envoy to the United Nations “Vasily Nebenzia”, likening the ongoing Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip to the brutal siege imposed on the town of Leningrad during World War II.

 It is not unlikely that if the situation in Gaza worsens militarily, security-wise, and humanitarianly, both China and Russia will open new war fronts against Israel and its American ally that supports it, from Lebanon and Syria, and with the support of the militias that orbit Tehran in Iraq and Yemen. Here we find that the conflict between the peace and resistance camps in the region goes beyond Palestine and the Palestinians, to the civilizational conflict between the West and the Islamic world, by taking advantage of the tragedies that occur to expand the scope of forces opposing Western influence, with joint Chinese-Russian leadership and support for the countries of the entire Middle East.

  According to my perception, both China and Russia have succeeded, through their agents in the region from the “axis of resistance” resisting the policies of the Israeli occupation, in directing an indirect military strike against the American side through Israel, to send a firm message to Washington whose purpose is to overcome the penetration of Israel’s security and arrogance and the prestige of its army, which is not.  Whoever underestimates the political results achieved by the executing, planning and sponsoring parties, whether it is the Hamas movement alone or the axis of resistance as a group supported primarily by China and Russia, is defeated and wrong.  This is based on the doctrine, convictions and goals of this axis, which seems to have achieved a distinguished political achievement that exceeded all the calculations of Washington and Tel Aviv, despite all the atrocities against civilians in the Gaza Strip, due to Israel’s use of excessive force against them.  The deliberate visit of Russian President “Putin” to the Gulf region after the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, came as a direct public challenge to Washington and its Western allies. “Putin’s” talks in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi demonstrated the success of the Russian leader “Putin” in courting the traditional allies of the United States in the oil-rich Gulf, who openly criticized Israel’s aggression against Gaza, unites the Chinese, Russian, Gulf Arab and Islamic positions in the face of Israel and America, and strengthens their efforts to expel the United States of America from the Middle East region as a whole, for the benefit of Moscow and Beijing.

   The reasons for the keenness of US President Joe Biden, along with some American institutions, such as the Ministries of Defense and State, to deny the existence of indications suggesting that Iran is a major party in the current confrontation between Hamas and Israel after the outbreak of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, can be explained after intelligence reports indicated  A former American woman said that the green light for the Hamas military operation against Tel Aviv was given during a meeting between leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Hamas movement in Beirut, on October 2, 2023, and that planning for the operation began about two months ago with direct Iranian support as a close ally of both.  China and Russia.  This explains, from my point of view, the reasons for US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s request to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, for China to use its influence, partnerships, and proximity to Iran and the axis of resistance resisting Israeli occupation policies in the region, to prevent the expansion of tensions and fighting and the entry of parties, militias and new armed forces confronting Israel, such as the Houthi militia in Yemen and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, as well as other Shiite sects supported by Iran in Iraq and Syria, which China, through its Foreign Minister “Wang Yi”, refused to comment on as a matter of maneuvering and political play in confronting Washington and its policies biased to Tel Aviv.

Based on the previous analysis, we notice this joint Chinese-Russian plan, especially in the long term, to expel the United States of America from the Middle East and restrict its influence and dominance over the affairs of the region. Chinese involvement in the Middle East has given Chinese President “Xi Jinping” credibility as a global statesman, in addition to his growing popularity among the countries and peoples of the Middle East as a peacemaker, after his success in achieving Saudi-Iranian reconciliation. We find here that Beijing’s recent moves in the Middle East have given Arab leaders some negotiating power against Washington, while giving China a diplomatic boost with its Russian ally.  The feeling of intense anger has also increased on the part of all countries and peoples of the Middle East towards the United States of America as an dishonest mediator in the Gaza Strip after the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, considering that it has become part of the Israeli war on Gaza. The administration of President Joe Biden has sent several military payments.  From the security aid package to Israel, with pledges for more military assistance in the future in the face of defenseless civilians in the Gaza Strip.

 Moreover, the timing was not appropriate for the United States of America to announce, on Monday, October 9, 2023, and only two days after the start of Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” by the Hamas movement against Israel, that it still wants to move forward in its efforts to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which led to inflaming tensions in the Middle East. Therefore, the joint Russian-Chinese benefit from all these American and Israeli mistakes, with the support of their Western allies, came to increase their political, public and popular popularity among the peoples of the region, as an attempt to expel and obstruct the growing American influence and role in the region, and thus the rise of China and Russia as rising powers friendly to the countries of the Middle East, working for the benefit of the people of Palestine, the Palestinian issue and the Gaza Strip.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit