Israel looks to India, not China, for Haifa Port

In July, Israel awarded the tender for the privatization of the original Haifa Port (separate from but located next to the new, Chinese-operated Haifa Bayport Terminal) to an Indian firm—despite competing Chinese bids for the project. This decision reflects a growing Israeli appreciation for U.S. concerns about the threat posed by Chinese investment in Israel. At the same time, the deal, the first-ever Indian acquisition of a Mediterranean port, highlights India’s growing geo-economic interest in the Middle East. Increased Israeli wariness of high-risk Chinese capital, coupled with an influx of lower-risk Indian investment, could provide a powerful counter to China’s intensifying efforts to penetrate the region, as well as a valuable opportunity for the U.S. to build common ground with India outside the Indo-Pacific arena even as tension persists between Washington and Delhi over India’s equivocation in its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Sam Millner – JINSA Policy Analyst