Many topics fall under the rubric China and Israel, 1948–1998, including relations between the Republic of China and Hong Kong with Israel, China's relations with other states in the Middle East, the Israeli Communist Party's policy toward China, and the impact of Sino-Israeli normalization on Southeast and South Asia. Goldstein and his contributors provide readers with a comprehensive analysis of their subject.
Despite their shared antiquity and many similar features (such as emphasis on education, attachment to the family) , plus their having enjoyed a valuable friendship through history, the Chinese and the Jews had a rough time of it in the half century under consideration. This resulted both from the international scene (such as the cold war) and the domestic situations in both Israel and China (such as the cultural revolution in China). Eventually though, Goldstein writes, "despite a wide variety of views within the Chinese and Israeli politics on political, ethnic and religious issues," the two nations put aside their differences and have since a decade or so understood the importance of bilateral relations. Although Israel is a close ally of the United States, its governments of different periods "have opted for a China policy softer than the U.S. notion of ‘enlightened engagement' with the PRC," notes Goldstein The Israeli people, as well as their government, tacitly recognized the importance of their hard-won normalization with China. The story ends, as Moshe Yegar points out, with "PRC-Israeli relations … solid in 1998."
Looking forward, Goldstein argues, China and Israel share important common interests in many ways—military, security, technology, and agricultural cooperation. The likelihood of retreat of Sino-Israeli relations "seems remote," he writes, an observation confirmed by frequent mutual visits by top leaders of the two states and other recent developments.