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

Why President Biden Needs Prime Minister Netanyahu as Much as Netanyahu Needs Biden

Sept. 28 2023

Last Wednesday, Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu met for the first time since the former’s inauguration. Since then, Haim Katz, Israel’s tourism minister, became the first Israeli cabinet member to visit Saudi Arabia publicly, and Washington announced that it will include the Jewish state in its visa-waiver program. Richard Kemp, writing shortly after last week’s meeting, comments:

Finally, a full nine months into Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest government, President Joe Biden deigned to allow him into his presence. Historically, American presidents have invited newly installed Israeli prime ministers to the White House shortly after taking office. Even this meeting on Wednesday, however, was not in Washington but in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Such pointed lack of respect is not the way to treat one of America’s most valuable allies, and perhaps the staunchest of them all. It is all about petty political point-scoring and interfering in Israel’s internal democratic processes. But despite his short-sighted rebuke to the state of Israel and its prime minister, Biden actually needs at least as much from Netanyahu as Netanyahu needs from him. With the 2024 election looming, Biden is desperate for a foreign-policy success among a sea of abject failures.

In his meeting with Netanyahu, Biden no doubt played the Palestinian issue up as some kind of Saudi red line and the White House has probably been pushing [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman] in that direction. But while the Saudis would no doubt want some kind of pro-forma undertaking by Israel for the sake of appearances, [a nuclear program and military support] are what they really want. The Saudis’ under-the-table backing for the original Abraham Accords in the face of stiff Palestinian rejection shows us where its priorities lie.

Israel remains alone in countering Iran’s nuclear threat, albeit with Saudi and other Arab countries cheering behind the scenes. This meeting won’t have changed that. We must hope, however, that Netanyahu has been able to persuade Biden of the electoral benefit to him of settling for a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia rather than holding out for the unobtainable jackpot of a two-state solution.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship