When It Comes to Fueling the Global Economy, the U.S. and Israel Can Work Together

This week leaders of over 100 countries are gathering in Glasgow to discuss how to slow the pace of climate change, and no doubt the carbon emissions from fossil fuels and other energy sources are on the agenda. Victoria Coates and Fred Zeidman, placing energy policy in a broader strategic perspective, explain how American and Israeli interests overlap:

As energy shortages convulse Europe and Asia, the U.S. and Israel find themselves in the enviable position of having not only sufficient energy production to support their domestic needs, but also excess to export in support of more stable global energy flows.

This represents a tectonic shift for the two historically energy-vulnerable nations and opens up previously unimaginable potential for them to partner together to their mutual benefit as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring the free passage of energy from the Persian Gulf to supply both America and fellow importers such as Israel has for decades been a key pillar of both [U.S.] Middle East and energy policies.

Both the United States and Israel can . . . take advantage of their radically new energy posture. Even with ample supply, both are still vulnerable to price spikes, but the answer to this problem is not increased imports from the Gulf. They don’t need to ask for help to do this when they can do it theirselves by boosting production and, most importantly, by encouraging exploration and development of new resources.

In addition, the U.S. can strongly support the proposed pipeline between Israel and Egypt for export via the facilities near Alexandria. It can revisit the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline that would give Europe a badly needed alternative to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. These prudent investments now will ensure the citizens of both countries enjoy the bountiful energy with which they have been blessed, even as they continue to explore further diversification of supply through renewables and alternatives such as hydrogen.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Coronavirus, Global Warming, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Oil, US-Israel relations


While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy