In 2020, Greece, Cyprus, and Israel concluded an agreement to build the EastMed pipeline, through which they could export their offshore natural-gas to Europe. Egypt, Italy, the U.S., and other countries were involved in the project, but shortly after President Biden came into office his administration withdrew its support—putting plans for construction on hold. Since Europe gets most of its gas from Russia, the lack of alternative sources of energy has suddenly become a very obvious strategic liability. Shoshana Bryen comments:
Amos Hochstein, now Biden’s senior advisor for energy security, was reported by the Jerusalem Post to have previously said he would be “extremely uncomfortable with the U.S. supporting” EastMed. “Why would we build a fossil-fuel pipeline between the EastMed and Europe when our entire policy is to support new technology . . . and new investments in going green and in going clean?”
Yet Hochstein seems less than consistent in this view:
Hochstein was recently in Lebanon and Israel, trying to resolve a long-standing maritime border dispute to enable Lebanon to take part in the natural-gas drilling and exploration revolution in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Yes, that would be the same Lebanon that is occupied by U.S.-designated terror organization and Iranian proxy Hizballah, and which has built an enormous and increasingly powerful military force aimed expressly at Israel.
To make matters worse, Hochstein has also gotten behind a plan to bring Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Syria, as bringing Lebanon gas from neighboring Israel is, of course, out the question. Bryen finds America’s stance “staggering.”
First, . . . that Hizballah would 100-percent rather rule a “failed state” than take gas from Israel is a given. That the U.S. government agrees with Hizballah about this is troublesome, to put it mildly. And, [what’s more], the U.S. will facilitate commerce through the criminal and sanctioned Assad regime, responsible for the deaths of an estimated half-million-plus people, including through the use of chemical weapons, rather than issue an ultimatum to Hizballah—gas from Israel or no gas at all.