Maritime Gas Deal Btwn Israel & Lebanon Should Be Nixed - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, January 27, 2023

Maritime Gas Deal Btwn Israel & Lebanon Should Be Nixed

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Tensions escalating in the Middle East is not exactly a new phenomenon, however , Israel is currently on heightened alert as they prepare for a possible conflict with Lebanon, now that the controversial maritime border and gas extraction agreement between Jerusalem and Beirut has apparently sputtered out.

An Israeli defense ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed the defense establishment to prepare for any scenario in which tensions increase in the northern arena, including defensive and offensive readiness.

Apparently, things went south when that Lebanon demanded further changes to a draft agreement of a maritime border deal, which would formally delineate the boundaries of Israeli and Lebanese waters, including prized offshore gas fields.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) accused the White House of pressuring Israel to give in almost totally to Lebanon on the parameters of the maritime boundaries between the two countries. He reacted in this manner following the statement from Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid who asserted that Jerusalem made major concessions to Hezbollah in maritime border talks with Lebanon.

It is noteworthy to mention, Hezbollah is a formal partner in the Lebanese government, although it is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel and other Western countries.

Despite the inherent inequities of the deal that was crafted, Israeli Prime Minister Lapid on Sunday praised the agreement at the weekly cabinet meeting as one that “will weaken Lebanon’s reliance on Iran, will restrain Hezbollah and will bring regional stability.” According to Lapid, the deal “protects all of Israel’s security and diplomatic interests.”

Lapid, however, had a major change of heart about the deal as they week progressed. It appears that he drew heavy criticism from the Israeli Right for agreeing to move the boundary farther to the south, yielding the entire Kana gas field to Lebanese control.

Several days as he came out as the chief cheerleader for the agreement, on Tuesday that Lapid instructed Israeli negotiators who are in touch with United States mediator and special energy envoy Amos Hochstein to oppose the additions to the deal.

A source said that Lapid made it clear that Israel will not compromise on its security and economic interests in any manner, even if that means that there will not be an agreement soon.

“Prime Minister Lapid made it clear that Israel will not compromise on its security and economic interests in any manner, even if that means that there will not be an agreement soon,” said the source,

The US pressure on Israel to makes huge territorial concessions has strictly to do with their own interests.  This agreement was not crafted to result in a positive outcome for peace in the Middle East

The US decision to come down hard on Israel and coerce them to accept the deal that would be of no benefit  to them had everything to do with giving millions in both Eastern and Western European  countries enough home heating oil for the winter and for their natural gas consumption.

After all, something has to be done, says the US about heating the homes, businesses and schools of millions of people in Europe. The US is trying to create new ways in which these bordering states can stop funding the Russian war on Ukraine, as has been done until now.

While Putin was generating a hefty income to support this brutal and barbaric war through monies paid to them for providing gas and oil to every day Europeans, others were searching of ways to craft alternatives.

This is precisely why this agreement is so important for the Biden camp. Israel is only a conduit. The real prize here is to ensure that Putin will be defeated as the US has poured in billions into Ukraine’s defense and has plans to throw in even more.

Israel is the real casualty here. They are the ones who will lose out.

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