The discovery of Egypt’s giant Zohr gas field in August 2015 was heralded as the solution to the country’s energy problems. So why did Egypt cut a deal this year to import natural gas from Israel, its former enemy?
Dolphinus Holdings, a private Egyptian company, agreed Feb. 19 to buy gas from Noble Energy and its partners from Israel’s two largest offshore fields, Leviathan and Tamar. The controversial accord is but the latest chapter in an Egyptian gas saga that has gone from triumph to tragedy to tentative renaissance.
…“President Trump has given Mr. Kushner the important task of overseeing the peace process, and this has been the primary subject of discussion between Mr. Kushner and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince,” the official said in a statement.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated this week that given the Trump administration’s blatantly pro-Israel policies, the United States cannot claim to be an impartial mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom Wednesday that Abbas is trying to put together a strategic response to the U.S.’s pro-Israel bias, saying that Ramallah’s position is now based on three resolute “refusals” with respect to international moves:
First, the Palestinian Authority plans to remain steadfast in its refusal to resume diplomatic relations with Washington, and Abbas will not meet with U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt or any other White House envoy.
Second, the Palestinian Authority refuses to accept the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan and will continue to leverage the Arab world’s objection to President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Even among Democrats and the young, Israel enjoys at least a two-to-one advantage over Palestinian Authority, Gallup finds.
In a study headlined “Americans remain staunchly in Israel’s corner,” the Gallup company published the findings of a major national poll that found backing for Israel among Americans remains extremely high, with some measures of support matching the highest previously recorded figures.
Fully 74 percent of American adults have a favorable view of Israel, while 23% have an unfavorable view. That’s the best showing for Israel in 27 years, since 1991’s 79% as Israel was battered by Iraqi missiles during the Gulf War.
Yet, the figures varied dramatically depending on political affiliation. Support for Israel is at 83% among Republicans, 72% among independents and 64% among Democrats.
Should the United States distance itself from Israel to become a neutral negotiator? According to a Wall Street Journal article, the Trump administration’s recent “moves have been seen as favoring Israel by Europeans, the Palestinians and their supporters.”
Lost in the discussion is whether America’s national security interests would be best served as a neutral intermediary, or, as Nikki Haley recently said, “There’s nothing wrong with showing favoritism towards an ally.”
Watch the Video: Khaled Abu Toameh is an Israeli Muslim Arab journalist, lecturer and documentary filmmaker. His lecture began with these words – “I am an Israeli Arab Muslim.” However, Toameh is not afraid to report the truth to the world. He often points out human rights abuses and injustices of the Palestinian Authority. He worked for NBC, BBC, and many mainstream media outlets. This puts him in a unique place to comment on media coverage in Israel.
AIPAC President Mort Fridman addressing participants at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2018. (AIPAC via JTA)
WASHINGTON (JTA) — On the second floor of the downtown convention center here, hundreds attending the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee packed a standing-room-only hall. A bouncer stood outside to control the overflow crowd.
It wasn’t a session on boycotts, Iran or the peace process. It was mincha, the Jewish afternoon prayer service. Outside, smaller groups of Orthodox men gathered to form their own prayer quorums. High school students in kippahs and long skirts sat against the walls chatting.
…Any Palestinian (Muslim) will end up acting the same towards Israel.
Why? Because the root problem is that no Muslim leader can sign a final peace agreement with the non-Muslim state of Israel and remain alive. He would be labeled a traitor because according to the Shari’a, once a land is conquered by Muslims, it must remain Muslim forever. Muslims conquered all of these lands in 637 CE…
By ELIZABETH TSURKOV As it becomes clear that Bashar al-Assad has stabilized his rule over the ruins of Syria, outside powers are stepping up their intervention in the country in an effort to shape an outcome that will secure their interests. Israel, which has remained relatively less involved than other actors, is now faced with regional rivals – Iran and its proxies – that have never been more powerful and emboldened. Israel is left to defend its interests with targeted airstrikes and by supporting ragtag rebel militias in southern Syria whose interests partially align with those of the Jewish state.
Interviews I have conducted with dozens of rebels, activists and civilians in southern Syria indicate growing Israeli involvement there. Israel’s increased entanglement stems from a growing realization that Russia and the United States are unwilling or unable to deal with Iran’s growing clout in Syria. However, this deeper involvement has created expectations among civilians and rebels in southern Syria of open-ended Israeli support, an expectation Israel is unlikely to meet. The predicament for Jerusalem illustrates the dangers of relying on American power to secure national interests in an era of U.S. retrenchment and disengagement from the global arena.
By: David P. GoldmanWashington would like Moscow to inform its Iranian partners they cannot count on Russian support if they use Syria as a base to threaten Israel, writes Spengler The Pentagon released a video, on February 13, of a Russian T-72 tank being destroyed by an American drone attack in Syria, the most recent in a series of wrist-slaps intended to persuade Moscow to distance itself from Iran’s ambitions in Syria.
This follows an engagement with a force reportedly composed of Russian nationals working as “contractors” for the Assad government – an engagement in which American special forces killed 200 combatants and injured many others. The Russian contractors and a Russian-built tank reportedly attacked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) armed and advised by the US, and a Pentagon spokesman said that the US acted in self-defense.