31 thoughts on “Erdogan to Betray Gaza for Israeli Gas – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Considering Kissinger used to brag about chasing away Arab diplomats with UN 242 the fact that 2 of the 3 concessions were won from Israel is a hopeful sign.

  2. It is natural gas, not oil. There are no significant oils finds – at least not yet. But big natural gas finds.

    It isn’t certain a pipe will be laid to Turkey. Lots of problems even with this normalization. One major problem is that the pipe will have to run in Lebanese or Syrian waters or alternatively via partitioned Cyprus (a whole can of worms, particularly since Cyprus is an EU member).

    My bet is that Turkey is more interested in arm deals and maintenance – more that the gas.

    Did you notice Abbas repeated the “poisoning of wells” claim on Thursday in front of the EU parliament? A day or two later he half retracted –

  3. “…much of the ISIS oil pumped in Iraq ends up purchased by Israel”

    Rubbbish. Your link say,
    “Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media.”

    Reliable medias, both.

    Oh, and BTW, it’s Turkey that buys and consumes ISIS oil, not Israel.

    “The freeze between the two countries cut off Israeli trade … ”


    1. @ Abby: That’s Globes, Israel’s leading business publication that you’re calling “rubbish.” I’d say given a choice between Globes & you, I’ll take Globes any day of the week. And as for which of these sources is “rubbish,” I think that’d be you.

      1. Globes does not publish it as a confirmed fact but as a report by “al-Araby al-Jadeed.” Huge difference!!

        Would you take the word of “al-Araby al-Jadeed” over something else any day of the week?

          1. You call yourself a journalist and you don’t know the difference???

            You are a joke!!!

      2. The Globe’s unnamed sources are rubbish. Israel buys Kurdish oil, not ISIS oil, which ISIS oil is being consumed by oil thirsty Turkey,

      3. This isn’t a Globes investigation but a report about an article on al-Araby al-Jadeed https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/features/2015/11/26/raqqas-rockefellers-how-islamic-state-oil-flows-to-israel . That article by itself is a joke based on some mysterious officials and colonels.

        To see just how anti-Israeli is the paper, it got a response from ISIS about this supposedly sales “The Islamic State group has told al-Araby that it did not intentionally sell oil to Israel, blaming agents along the route to international markets.”

        Richard, if you saw through the well-poisoning hoax, why can’t you see through this one?

        1. @ Eran: Here’s how a quality media publication works: they research their story and include credible media sources in their own report. A good media outlet doesn’t include fake or ridiculous sources because that would cause it to lose credibility. THat means that Globes, being a quality media outlet, didn’t quote a source it didn’t trust. So I trust Globes & I trust the story. So if you actually have real evidence to disprove the claim in the Globes report, offer it. If you don’t, take a hike.

          The fact that Al Araby quotes Islamist sources acknowledging it did sell oil to Israel proves Globes point & my point. It doesn’t as you claim, support your own.

          1. You really have no idea? Do you?

            It will be useless to try and break it down for you. Obviously, you don’t let facts confuse you. For example, you sentence “Islamist sources acknowledging it did sell oil to Israel” – is nothing less than a stupid lie. The ‘source’ blamed it on “agents along the route to international markets”. And at the end of article “”To be fair, the [IS] organisation sells oil from caliphate territories but does not aim to sell it to Israel or any other country,” he said. “It produces and sells it via mediators, then companies, who decide whom to sell it to.”

            Learn to read buddy!

          2. @ Eran: Read the comment rules carefully before publishing another comment. Do NOT repeat yourself in multiple comments. Also, keep your comments to no more than three per 24 hour period. And if you continue insulting me you’ll end up in the dustbin of commenter history here.

            If ISIS sells oil and it ends up in Israel I don’t care how it got there. It means that Israel bought ISIS produced oil. There are easy ways to oversee the purchase of oil. Israel could detect the origins of the oil it buys if it wished. But it doesn’t wish. Hypocrisy. And you’re defending hypocrisy.

          3. You mean if we have ping-pong conversation, I should not answer you if it is more than 3 times a day? Or if i’m involved in another thread? Seems like a way to shoot up readers you dislike.

            All the report has is he said/she said with no concrete evidence. Globes doesn’t publishes as a fact but as a report published somewhere. It isn’t a courtesy of crediting al-Araby al-Jadeed with breaking the story but rather saying, they have said that. Period!

            Funny how you want evidence to discredit the story when you have nothing what-so-ever to support it. OLAM HAFUCH

  4. a. The same OECD report you mention actually recommends immediately implementing the gas plan.

    b. Israel is not the poorest OECD country. It has the highest level of poverty which is something altogether different. Poverty has no objective definition. It is arbitrarily defined as earning half the average national income not including indirect government support. Comparing poverty in Mexico and Israel is just plain wrong.

    c. Half of poor families are either Haredi or arab-muslim with low work participation of men or woman or both. The reasons are more cultural/religious, not the result of discrimination. When you raise a large family and have limited working skills it obviously will be more difficult for you to reach the median income. This is especially true of the Bedouin population in which polygamy is common and girls are encouraged not to acquire higher education.

    d. Never the less there is plenty of good in Israeli economy compared to OECD: low unemployment (5.9% vs. 7.3) especially among young (10% vs. 15); high health level (average life span of 82.1 vs. 80.5; higher than average satisfaction level; relatively lower tax burden; less public debt.

    1. @ eli: Claiming “poverty has no objective definition” is a ridiculous claim. When you use an agreed standard to measure poverty throughout your report and apply it to all countries included in the survey, that’s by definition objective and not arbitrary. And I do enjoy your squirming to try to say that Israel having the highest level of poverty among OECD countries is somehow less alarming than being the poorest country in OECD.

      If I hear one more pro-Israel apologist like you try to blame the Israeli poor for their own poverty I will scream. Repeat after me: if there are massive numbers of poor in a country the rulers of the country are responsible. The poor are victims. They don’t cause their own poverty. So if Haredim and Palestinians are poor, it is the fault of Israeli society for not offering them to tools to escape poverty. And yes, institutional racism and discrimination is largely at fault for this, especially for Palestinians. If Israel does not acculturate Haredim and permits them to live in their own religious/educational ghettos that’s Israel’s fault. There are ways to draw religious minorities into the body politic. Israel refuses to do anything to address this problem. It permits Haredi schools to let students graduating knowing barely more than 2+2. That’s shameful.

      The U.S. had a War on Poverty in the 1960s. Israel has a war on the poor run by Milton Friedman’s favorite Israeli, Bibi Netanyahu. You withdrew the social safety net and Israelis became poor. That’s what happened. Not that the poor chose to be poor. I find this statement deeply offensive. So don’t make it again.

      1. I find it amusing that as a US citizen you now also critisize Israel’s inequality. I suggest you to take a nice walk around, say, downtown SF. Alternatively, you can stay indoors and simply look at the US and Israel Gini indexes.

    2. In your defence of Israeli levels of poverty and inequality, you could also have pointed out that Israel has a powerful and very influential “Occupy” movement, which is something that the likes of Mexico entirely lack.

  5. Aren’t between 12.5% to 20% of the profits generated by these gas fields taxable by the Israeli government? Any way you look at it, it’s a significant windfall for the average Israeli. Also, a significant percentage (I read 53%) is reserved for domestic consumption meaning energy prices are going down. Already several coal burning electric plants are being converted to run on soon to be abundant and cheap natural gas – meaning the price of electricity is also going to drop. Sure, some consultants and business interests are going to do quite well, but one can’t say that none of the benefits will make there way to the average Israeli. What am I missing here?

    1. @ pea: Where will these new tax revenues go? To end poverty? To integrate Palestinian citizens into Israeli society? No. They’ll go into the maw of the military machine. Or fund an MFA program to defeat delegitimization.

      As for where prices will go, don’t be so sure. Scores of countries have eagerly anticipated the wealth that would pour on their citizens and the free gas they would enjoy only to be supremely disappointed. In fact, natural resource “finds” like this often exacerbate social inequities because the wealthy ensure that they become wealthier. Their greed isn’t clever enough to understand that if they deny any benefit to the poor, they will eventually rise up against them. Israeli oligarchs are no different.

      1. What scores of countries? Also the tax revenues are going to be massive – there’s no way to limit their use to just anti-delegitimization programs or military expenditures, especially in an era where the military is in belt tightening mode and thousands of career officers are being let go. There is going to be a big financial windfall. The government knows it, the people know it, and the government knows that the people know it. I pity the cabinet that decides to squander this money to their own personal benefit. Sure, they do that now, but being so blatant about it would be political suicide. Already public pressure has forced the government to renegotiate the pre-existing and pre-approved deals with the energy companies. The Israeli people are demanding their share of the windfall and there is no indication, at least none that I have observed living in Israel, that the pols and the chazers are going to be able to grab the lion’s share of the tax revenues for themselves.

  6. The Turks might hope to get part in the construction of future seaport/airport island nonsense suggested by Israel. That must worth billions in contracts.

  7. So in return for dropping the demand to lift the siege of Gaza Turkey is allowed to assist in building a hospital and in the construction of a sewerage treatment plant. Big deal. More targets for the Israeli artillery and Air Force to destroy at the next onslaught.

    Was there ever such a colonial project in modern times? Not only that Israel has done nothing to promote the welfare of the occupied people it formally has responsibility for, it is actually sabotaging this where it can. Not only that it refuses to invest in projects that might serve the occupied people, it destroys the projects funded by others. This has led to a form of international embarrassment. The “Euro-Mediterranean Human rights Monitor” remarks in its most recent report on the matter:

    “Since 2012, information on damage to EU-funded projects has been inaccessible to both the media and human rights institutions, much less the general taxpaying public. Why? “It might represent an embarrassment to the EU for not protecting its funded facilities properly,” says Cécile Choquet, Researcher at the Euro-Med Monitor. Thus, most relevant data are classified.”

    This organization has been forced to take roundabout ways to compile its report “Squandered Aid – Israel’s repetitive destruction of EU-funded projects in Palestine “

    The fact that Israel gets away with this time and again makes nonsense of its frequent complaint that it is the target of international discrimination. The boot is on the other foot. No other country enjoys so much international protection in warding off the consequences of its evil deeds.

    We all know that in its last assault on Gaza Israel wilfully destroyed targets without military value, all in an attempt to make life impossible for the Gazans. I can only concur with Michael Neuman’s judgment where he says about Israeli policy that it

    “represents: a careful, deliberate rejection of peace, and a declaration of the fixed intention to dispossess the Palestinians until they have nothing left” and that it is among other things “ a vengeful, relentless, sadistically gradual expression of hatred for the defeated Arab enemy” and “an elaborate plan to seek out those who had fled the misery of previous confrontations, to make certain that their suffering would continue.”

    This humans rights monitor summarizes the havoc wrought in Gaza as follows:

    “The attack destroyed important infrastructure, including educational and health facilities, water and sanitation installations, and even entire neighborhoods, such as Shejaya and Khuza. EU-funded facilities that were damaged included UNRWA schools, wells, water networks, water reservoirs, hospitals and streets. Detailed Needs Assessment (DNA) and Recovery Framework for Gaza Reconstruction, made by Ministerial Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza on operation protective edge, documented a physical damage of $1.4 billion to structures, assets and contents of buildings and $1.7 billion in economic losses, which comprise lost revenue and unexpected operational costs due to the impact of the war.”

    It also notes that wilful Israeli destruction in Area C of occupied territory of the West Bank (directly administered by Israel) has increased in recent times:

    “2016: More demolitions than ever

    During the first three months of 2016, the number of demolitions was unprecedented. Israel has destroyed more houses and other types of infrastructure built with European assistance in the West Bank than during all of 2015. More than 120 buildings financed by EU donors have been demolished.

    Southern Hebron
    On 2 February, Israeli forces demolished more than 20 Palestinian buildings, including 10 EU-funded structures in Area C of the West Bank. The bulldozers arrived early that day in the villages of Jinba and Halawa, leaving some 110 people, including 60 children, homeless in one of the coldest months of the year and jeopardizing the future of thousands of others. The structures had been funded by the European Commission; others were co-financed by the governments of Denmark and the UK as part of UN programs.
    “Tuesday’s operation was the largest of its kind in a decade, “reported the Israeli NGO Breaking The Silence. Media described children digging in rubble for their toys after the incursions. “Measures were taken in accordance with the law,” COGAT claimed. An EU spokesperson told the French press agency AFP that, “the EU expects its investments in support of the Palestinian people to be protected from damage and destruction.” The villages date back to the 19th century, yet Israel designated the area as a military firing range in the 1970s and ordered the villagers to leave, triggering a long legal battle.

    West Bank farming project

    On 29 February, 2016, Israeli authorities dismantled a Dutch-funded farming project in Area C near the Jordan River. The agricultural project, in which the Netherlands had invested€10 million, taught Palestinians how to use the land to grow crops. All of the project’s infrastructure, including tools and sheds, was removed by Israel. Diplomatic sources argued the act was a form of revenge for the EU’s decision to label products from Israeli settlements.”

    Did the Dutch protest? If so they must have done it very quietly, all to avoid hurting the feelings of this nasty skinhead among the nations and its Dutch fellow travellers.

    Human rights report “Squandered Aid – Israel’s repetitive destruction Of EU-funded projects in Palestine “


  8. Though we hopped on unexpectedly quickly to another subject I would like to dwell a bit more on the topic of that important Turkish-Israeli deal.

    According to the English language Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News the Israel apology for the attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla is far from wholehearted:

    “In March 2013, through U.S. President Barack Obama’s mediation, Netanyahu called the then-prime minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and apologized for Israeli “operational mistakes” that resulted in the loss of Turkish lives aboard the ship leading the 2010 flotilla. However, Israel refuses to apologize for the act of stopping the ship, which it regards as a legitimate act of self-defense.”

    Also, has Turkey really given up on the demand that the blockade of Gaza should be lifted? According to the paper the Turkish minister of foreign affairs, Meviüt Cavusoglu, came with an enigmatic reaction:

    “Saying that Turkey has given up one of its two remaining conditions, which is lifting the embargo and blockade on Gaza, would mean humiliating the people’s intelligence. If Turkey had given up these [conditions], then relations would have been normalized by now,” said Çavuşoğlu.”

    The energy aspect of the deal is also played down:

    “An eventual deal would pave the way for multibillion-dollar natural gas contracts as Israel seeks to export fuel from its largest field and Turkey looks to reduce its reliance on Russian gas. However, the deal is not expected to outline such a particularity because the development of natural gas reserves require legal arrangements to be adopted by the Knesset – something that is likely to take three or four years.”



  9. The whole story here is about national interests trumping ideology. Israel and Turkey need each other, end of story. There’s no love affair. I know that for many of you ideology is all about self-righteous moral judgements, but the system of international relations has never worked that way and never will. Countries than repeatedly let ideology supercede interests fail. Get over it!
    BTW, the supposed opponents of the deal in the Israeli Cabinet (Lieberman+Bennett) only allow themselves to oppose it because they know the decision does not hinge on them, and they prefer to pander to local populist political interests to gain votes.
    Same with Herzog from Labor– the political motivation of his cynical statements opposing the deal is so transparent its a joke, and even his own party contradicts him.

  10. @Yehuda

    Except that it cannot by any stretch of the imagination deemed to be in either Turkey’s or Israel’s national interest for these Turkish projects in Gaza to be destroyed as Israel has destroyed so many others.

    1. @Arie
      I agree.
      So let’s hope that Hamas or other smaller extremist groups do not use Gaza as a staging platform for attacking Israel and provoke an attack on Gaza which endangers these projects.
      Perhaps Turkey can act as a moderating force on Hamas.

  11. @Yehuda

    What Hamas does or doesn’t do is pretty irrelevant as far as the Israeli political establishment’s need for solidarity cementing aggression is concerned.

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