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Natural gas

  • Netanyahu and Erdogan need each other more than ever

    It's no coincidence that a deal to normalize relations between Turkey and Israel was announced on the same day that Netanyahu pushed a natural gas deal through the Knesset. As usual, the Palestinians are the biggest losers — oh yeah, and the Greeks. Two years ago, when a major-but-ultimately-premature breakthrough in the frozen relations between Israel and Turkey was announced, I wrote a short and silly post explaining the development through the lyrics of Wu-Tang Clan mainstay Method Man: “Cash rules everything around me.” [tmwinpost] The Turkish energy minister declared at the time that his country was the only suitable…

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  • Netanyahu and Obama find a shared interest — screwing the Israeli people

    Despite the years of endless clashes of both personality and policy, this dramatic political saga really won't surprise you one bit. The rather lousy relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks as former Ambassador Michael Oren brought already ridiculous levels of behind-the-scenes speculation to new lows. Years of public clashes over settlement construction, peace talks, negotiations with Iran, and more, have provided endless fodder fueling public clashes between the two leaders. There is one area, however, where President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have suddenly, and perhaps…

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  • A Month in Photos: Global Pride, Ramadan and refugees

    LGBTQ people and allies celebrate pride while others protest 'pinkwashing'; tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank head into Jerusalem for prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, some climbing over walls to do so; African asylum seekers bring the theater to their detention center; migrants and refugees commemorate their dead in Europe; Israelis protest racism and the privatization of natural resources. Photo by: Oren Ziv, Anne Paq, Ahmad Al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu Rmeleh Photo editing: Anka Mirkin, Keren Manor

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  • In natural gas debacle, the Joint List just can’t win

    The slate of Palestinian parties in the Knesset, aligned with neither the coalition nor the opposition, is quickly — and at times clumsily — discovering its own power. Lessons from Israel's natural gas debacle. By Samah Salaime There’s an old joke about a tyrannical lion who abuses a monkey in the jungle. Every time the lion sees the monkey he gives him a hard, loud slap, and asks him, “why aren’t you wearing a hat?” After a few good, hard slaps, the monkey decides to fight back against these unprovoked injustices. He starts to organize, enlists some animal rights organizations,…

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  • 'The great gas robbery': A chronicle of civil resistance

    A photo chronicle of the past few years of protest against the Israeli government's handling of newly discovered offshore natural gas reserves. Social activists, and economists, believe that Israeli citizens — and the state — are getting an unfair deal from the private companies who own the drilling rights. Photos by Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man For the past few years a dedicated group of Israeli social activists have been protesting what they, some economists and even a number of members of Knesset have termed “the great gas robbery.” The protests came on the tail end of a wider…

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  • Gas exports: Is the government with us, or against us?

    The High Court of Justice views petroleum and natural gas as ‘limited, non-renewable, publicly-owned resources.’ So how is it that our own government violates the basic rules of public policy? By Ofer Sitbon (translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) In a 2011 ruling handed down by the High Court of Justice (Bagatz 3734/11), Justice Miriam Naor wrote: Petroleum and natural gas are limited, non-renewable, publicly-owned resources. It’s a short sentence that speaks volumes, and contains within it everything needed to understand the public interest regarding gas exports. The following is an in-depth analysis of the quote. A publicly owned resource…

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  • 'Bill Clinton tried to dismantle Israeli natural gas revenue committee'

    Former Israeli finance minister reveals how the former American president tried to influence Knesset legislation and committee hearings on behalf of U.S. energy corporations. Former Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed that former U.S. President Bill Clinton tried to have the Sheshinski Committee for natural gas revenues dismantled. According to Steinitz, Clinton, along with several members of congress whose names weren’t revealed, tried to stop the Israeli government’s attempt to increase the tax burden on American corporations. Yair Lapid replaced Mr. Steinitz at the Finance Ministry when the new Netanyahu government was formed. Several years ago, the unexpected discovery of huge…

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  • Israeli minister: Cut power supply to Gaza this summer

    Faced with a power shortage for Israelis, the environment minister offers to cut the life-saving power Israel is selling to Gaza strip. Israel's minister of environmental protection, Gilad Erdan (Likud), has demanded that the government stop supplying power to the Gaza Strip in order to prevent power failure in Israeli cities this summer. In an official letter addressed to all government ministers (below), Erdan notes that 4.5 percent of Israel's power supply is sold to Gaza. Erdan writes (emphasis in the original): The State of Israel is preparing itself for a power shortage during the summer of 2012. In order…

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  • Egypt terminates deal to supply Israel with natural gas

    Cancellation of the commercial deal between private Egyptian and Israeli entities has more to do with Egypt's own internal confrontation with corporate governance and transparency than with the peace treaty with Israel. According to several news reports, Egypt has terminated a deal to supply Israel with natural gas. Egyptian sources say that the deal was canceled over a legal dispute, as well as Israel's failure to pay for the gas over the past four months; Israeli government sources, meanwhile, insist they have paid all the money they owe. Several Israeli officials, including Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz and Finance Minister Yuval…

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  • Natural gas discovery: 2010's most underestimated story

    The New York Times reports good news for Israel: Exploratory drilling off Israel’s northern coast this week has confirmed the existence of a major natural gas field — one of the world’s largest offshore gas finds of the past decade… As I wrote in the past, this story has not garnered the attention it merits. The natural gas find could finance a huge improvement in public services, which have been seriously underfunded in recent years, with disastrous consequences. Alternatively, it could make the wealthiest people in Israel – already one of the Western world's most unequal nations – even richer.…

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  • Between the Lines (5 Oct): Yom Kippur war protocol revealed

    Headlines: It’s déjà-vu all over again >Top of the news: Israel under attack! All-out war! Egyptians cross the channel! No, wait a second… what? That was the 1973 Yom Kippur war, which is now back in the headlines. A declassified protocol reveals that the Israeli leadership was overwhelmed, and that the security minister at the time, Moshe Dayan, was panicking. Those who have learned the history will not be surprised, but three of Israel’s four dailies find it shocking, even 37 years later. And as to the loss of trust in leadership [Heb]: it has left Israelis ever more passive,…

  • Between the lines (3 October): beyond the settlement freeze

    Headlines: >The top story in most outlets is the Israeli response to pressures to renew the settlement freeze, which lapsed last week. Ha’aretz and Yisrael Hayom [Heb] present Netanyahu’s position as uncompromising: he will only agree to limit construction. The two other dailies, on the other hand, claim that Netanyahu is still considering Obama’s offer of American security guarantees in exchange for sixty more days of freeze, and might discuss it with some ministers during the week. According to Ma’ariv, the sweetener will be continuation of construction that begun during the interim period (and settlers are indeed gearing up [Heb]).…

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