In Its Search for Stable Allies, Israel Should Look Elsewhere Than the Persian Gulf

Much has been made of Jerusalem’s improving relations with the Persian Gulf states, but valuable as these diplomatic efforts may be, the countries involved have remained hesitant about the normalization of relations, are plagued by anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel, and have little to offer economically. Moreover, the stability of their regimes is questionable. Dmitri Shufutinsky argues that a more fruitful course can be found in expanding economic, diplomatic, and military ties with southeastern Europe, beginning with Greece and Cyprus. And fossil fuels provide a way to do so:

Israel can develop and connect its Leviathan gas fields to Cyprus’s Aphrodite fields. A gas pipeline could run through Cyprus to Greece and through the Balkans, up to Romania, and westward to Italy. If Egypt can overcome its differences with Israel and cooperate, it could attach its Zohr gas fields to the regional pipeline as well. Doing so would lift the Egyptian, Greek, and Cypriot economies out of poverty and massively benefit the Israeli economy.

In addition to natural gas, it is also possible for Israel to develop its oil supplies in the Negev, the Golan Heights, and near Jerusalem, and connect them to an additional pipeline.

Important military, economic, and diplomatic opportunities could result [as well]. . . . Southeastern Europe has blocked harmful anti-Israel EU resolutions and is more inclined to support Jerusalem than to support Ramallah. Making Europe more dependent on Israeli energy exports would deepen this relationship while prying Brussels loose from its dependency on Iranian and Arab oil. That alone would weaken the EU’s automatic pro-Palestinian stance.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Cyprus, Europe and Israel, Greece, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Natural Gas

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7