Israel’s Latest Energy Breakthrough with Greece and Cyprus

April 5 2021

Last month, Jerusalem, Athens, and Nicosia concluded an agreement to create what would be the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, which will allow electricity to flow among the three countries, and connect Cyprus and Israel with the European power grid. Oved Lobel comments on the deal’s significance:

[T]he project’s political and strategic ramifications are difficult to overstate. Israel’s burgeoning energy and security partnership with Greece and Cyprus, which has qualitatively blossomed since 2017, will further anchor Israel’s importance for Europe and the Middle East.

Alongside the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), the result of massive gas discoveries in the exclusive economic zones of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt over the past decade, Israel’s centrality as a security and energy partner is now assured, particularly if the [proposed] EastMed Pipeline . . . is built, enabling Israel to export natural gas to Europe and linking Cyprus to the EU’s natural-gas network.

[T]here are a range of energy and security partnerships now coalescing in the eastern Mediterranean and drawing in a broader range of outside powers. This has accelerated since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, including the United Arab Emirates—which acceded to the EMGF as an observer in late 2020—as well as the U.S., France, and now Saudi Arabia. Driving this expanding and deepening network of alliances and partnerships is Turkey, which has opted to threaten the key interests of virtually every country in the region and double down whenever challenged.

Read more at Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)

More about: Cyprus, Greece, Israel diplomacy, Israeli gas


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria