July 16, 2012
Israel's Oil WeaponBy Gene Schwimmer
Seemingly out of nowhere, geopolitics have been all but turned upside down in the Middle East, thanks to the discovery of massive energy resources in Israeli territory. As a nascent Oil Power, the Jewish State is only beginning to contemplate the new dynamics of influence available to it.
The world knows Vladimir Putin as President of Russia; however, to Putin's official title, allow me to suggest a second appellation, unofficial, but no less descriptive: Israel's New Best Friend. Until recently, one could characterize Russia's position vis-à-vis Israel as, at best ambivalent: cordial relations with Jerusalem on the one hand, while supplying weapons, nuclear technology and other assistance to her enemies on the other.
But Putin's late June visit to Israel signaled, and was meant to signal, a sea-change in Russia-Israel relations -- "sea" as in Mediterranean sea, where in 2009, 50 miles off the Israeli coast, geologists discovered "an estimated 8.3 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of highest-quality natural gas," to be surpassed just a year later with the discovery of a second field, named Leviathan, of an additional 16 tcf, "making it the world's biggest deep-water gas find in a decade" and causing Israel to go from "a gas famine to feast in a matter of months." Other estimates put the Leviathan reserves as high as 20 tcf.
Needless to say, these discoveries could not be more timely, coming at about the same time as the Muslim Brotherhood's ascension to power and acts of sabotage in Egypt jeopardize the reliability of natural gas supplies to Israel from that country. Who says that God does not retain a special place in his heart for His Chosen People? [Read more]