Most of the world is unaware of how closely tied Taiwan and Israel actually are. In fact, even the two countries are relatively unaware of their own significance in relation to each other.
The Jerusalem Post recognizes many of their similar challenges and realities. Both countries are republics. Israel’s government was founded in 1948, Taiwan (Republic of China) relocated to the island of Formosa in 1949 when it became widely known as “Taiwan”. Both face large and near enemies—Islam, in the case of Israel, and Taiwan faces China.
But there is more to the connection between the two.
Both are strategically important to Western democracies. Islam must go through Israel if they want to reach the United States, just as Taiwan is one of the few bodies of land standing between the States and China.
Taiwan and Israel rarely see snow and their lands and mountains offer beautiful scenery and excellent agriculture. Both have a long history of war. Israel, the US, and Taiwan are all inhabited by immigrants. Though America and Taiwan have similar standing with the aborigines , the nation of Israel and the Palestinians aren’t quite so peaceful.
Israel is approximately 8,000 miles square. Taiwan is less than 14,000. Both are taller than wide, offering similarities even in their geometry.
Israel stands at a strategic juncture of both continents and oceans, Taiwan offers a pit-stop to many ships and airlines traveling in and around East Asia and traffic from the Eastern Pacific. Both have no-visa entry agreements with the United States and English is a dominant second language.
Each offers stark diversity for tourists, both in contrast to Western culture as well as from within their own respective global communities. Many Jews live throughout the world as well as Mandarin speakers. Each have recognized subcultures and communities within Urban America.
The Facebook page, Taiwan for Israel, recently opened and drew some attention within Taiwan and the US, though it hasn’t seen much activity from Israel so far.
It will be interesting to see how the international community responds to these two, small powers. For all the power and size their enemies have, both Taiwan and Israel seem to have streaks of both “luck” and fortune.
Taiwan-Israel cross-flags image courtesy: