Politics, Strategy, and Israel’s Natural-Gas Reserves

June 29 2015

Israel has been slow in tapping into the large reserves of natural gas that have been found off its coast. Explaining the political and legal issues that have delayed further pumping of gas, Haviv Rettig Gur comments on the strategic significance of the reserves themselves:

Prime Minister Netanyahu has something of a grand strategy for Israel that sees the Jewish state transforming into a military and economic anchor for an anti-Iranian regional alliance. Higher electric bills are a very small price to pay for Israel becoming a major regional energy supplier to as many allies as possible, as quickly as possible. In the Jordanian case, for example, such a role buttresses a relationship that helps stabilize the West Bank and maintain Jordan as a buffer to the east. With Greece, it helps solidify the interest of both nations to unite in their shared desire to counter an increasingly antagonistic Turkey.

And it hardly hurts that this new role also emphasizes to Washington—still Israel’s major source for both sophisticated military hardware and international backing—the Jewish state’s increasing indispensability in a region marked by the fragility of other allies and past arrangements.

It says a lot about the sheer novelty of Israel’s new status as a budding energy power that this part of the equation, which is both the most obvious and the most significant benefit Israel stands to gain from the gas finds, is largely missing in the national debate.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israeli economy, John Kerry, Natural Gas

As World Leaders Gather to Remember the Holocaust, They Should Ask How Anti-Semitism Differs from Ordinary Hatreds

Jan. 22 2020

Today, an international conference titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Anti-Semitism” opens in Jerusalem, attended by representatives from some 40 governments, including the presidents of France, Russia, and Italy and the vice-president of the United States. While ample attention will no doubt be paid to the anti-Semitism of the extreme right, Fiamma Nirenstein fears that less will be paid to that of the left, and still less to the Islamic variety. She also fears that those in attendance will give in to a related, and dangerous, temptation to subsume anti-Semitism into an amorphous “hatred”:

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Intersectionality, Radical Islam