Israel’s Latest Energy Breakthrough with Greece and Cyprus

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

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