Golan Heights And The Greater Israel Project

Israel and Palestine 1917 to Present

After the first ever cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech on April 17, 2016 that the territory “will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” This elicited admonitions from some of Israel’s greatest allies, the United States and Germany, and renewed attention on the issue.

IDF_GolanHeights-b

The Golan Heights were opportunistically occupied by Israel after its victory in the 1967 six-day-war. A United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has monitored the region since 1974, when Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement, and it has been considered an occupied territory of the UN and the international community. In violation of this ceasefire, Israel effectively annexed the territory in 1981 by extending its laws and governmental apparatus over it. Most of the native population has been displaced and over 30 settlements have been constructed to house Jewish settlers. These settlements, like those in the West Bank, are illegal under international law.

copelaes_GolanHeights-a

The current escalation is really about oil. Since 2013, the Netanyahu government has granted exclusive oil and gas exploration rights to the oil company Afek Energy in a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. Afek Energy is an Israeli subsidiary of the US firm, Genie Energy. Afek’s director is former Israeli Housing Minister Effie Eitam, who is an illegal settler in the Golan Heights himself and is responsible for the fatal beatings of numerous Palestinians. Genie Energy’s strategy-advisory board includes former US Vice President Dick Cheney, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers. Other prominent names include Jacob Lord Rothschild, former CIA director and neocon James Woolsey, and former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.

Vice President Joe Biden visit to Israel March 2016

Given the clout that these figures wield in US politics, it is unlikely that the US is serious about its admonishments to Israel. Germany’s Foreign Ministry has also criticized Israel´s move as being against international law, but both the US and Germany have declined to call for the Golan Heights to be returned to Syria, citing Syria’s internal situation as a justification. If the US is indeed frustrated with Israel’s behavior, as Vice President Biden recently said, it has a funny way of showing it: the Obama administration recently agreed to grant a $3.2 to $5 billion military-aid package to Israel, its largest ever. Germany is Israel’s next largest donor and military trading partner, which suggest that the indignation is mostly symbolic.

DavidPoe_GolanHeights_c

The ascent of Genie Energy, a small Newark-based company, to such geopolitical machinations goes back to the discovery of the Levant Basin (also known as the Leviathan Basin) off the Mediterranean coast in 2010, and the confirmation of first deposits of natural gas in the Golan Heights in 2011. The Levant Basin extends from the Northeastern coast of Egypt to the Northwestern coast of Syria and covers a vast area within the territorial waters of Egypt, Israel, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Shortly after this discovery and the announcement that Israel intended to begin exploration and drilling, the government of Lebanon objected to the unilateral move, given the fact that the deposits extend into Lebanese territory. In an interview, Israel’s Minister of National infrastructure said that Israel would “not hesitate to use our force and strength” to protect the drilling operations. The Israeli energy giant Delek Group partnered with the US company Noble Energy to develop the exploitation of the reserves, which, according to a 2010 US Geological Survey, amounted to “approximately 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with a current market value of $240 billion.”

IMFA_Netanyahu_Merkel

Shale gas deposits were also found in Shfela valley in July 2011, and the Israeli Energy Initiative, a subsidiary of Genie Energy, was granted the drilling rights. Three months later, US Senator Mary Landrieu led the first official US Energy Mission to Israel, whose goal was to “introduce US firms to Israel’s rapidly expanding oil and gas market and to assist US companies pursuing export opportunities in this sector,” according to the US Department of Commerce. In reality, Landrieu was lobbying on behalf of Noble and Genie. But local environmental activists, and a consequent Knesset bill halted the venture in the Shfela Valley. By the time the bill passed, most of the company’s employees had moved to its sister subsidiary, Afek Energy.

DonkeyHotey_MaryLandrieu

US Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, and Israeli Treasury Director General, Doron Cohen, hosted the US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) in Washington on October 24, 2012. After the meeting, the JEDG signed an agreement to extend US loan guarantees of $3.8 billion to Israel to 2016, in order to develop its natural gas industry. In essence, the Obama administration gave $3.8 billion of taxpayers’ money to Israel, so that they could use it to benefit the investments and interests of American and Israeli oil companies. Given this financial backing and success of her first mission, Landrieu sent a second delegation of 12 energy (gas and oil) company representatives to Israel. During a roundtable discussion hosted by Landrieu and the Chair of Israel’s oil and gas association, Uri Aldubi, “the delegation received presentations from Noble Energy, Zion Oil, and Genie Energy.” They also met with Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure.

IDF_GolanHeights-c

All the while, the US ambassador to Israel lobbied Israeli Members of Knesset (MKs) to support legislation that would favor the gas and oil industry, particularly after the botched project in the Shfela Valley. These efforts were largely successful and resulted in the 2013-14 US-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill, which is intended to foster cooperation between Israeli and American energy companies in the exploitation of these “strategic” reserves.

IrishDefenseForces_UNDOF

After the passage of the US-Israel Energy Cooperation bill and grant of rights in the area, Afek Energy continued its exploratory and drilling operations. In October 2015, Israel and Afek Energy announced the discovery of oil reserves of 10 times the global average and capable of ensuring Israel’s energy sufficiency for many years. The announcement did not garner much attention outside the industry, but its connection to the recent militarization of the area by Israel was not coincidental. During a Washington visit on November 9, Benjamin Netanyahu asked President Barack Obama to back a formal Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, citing the dysfunctional Syrian government, gripped by a foreign-backed civil war. He failed to mention that Israel was undermining the Assad regime and Hezbollah forces that were attempting to thwart ISIS in the region. Other political figures within Israel, such as Zvi Hauser, claimed that Israel should demand this annexation as a compensation for having tolerated the nuclear agreement with Iran.

IDF_GolanHeights-a

In the past year Israel has intensified its military presence in the region and contributed to the armed conflict by utilizing the region as a staging and support ground for anti-Assad Islamist groups. As far back as 2012, UNDOF reported that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were seen providing military and medical aid, on numerous occasions, to al-Nusra affiliated extremist groups engaged in hostilities against President Bashar al Assad in the South of Syria. In the week leading up to Netanyahu’s announcement of unilateral annexation, the Israeli military forces practiced a series of weeklong drills in the region, as well as along the border with Lebanon, in an apparent show of force. More recently, there have been reports of Israeli weapon shipments also being seized along Syria’s southern border, and intended for rebel groups in Syria. This suggests that the area is being used as a staging ground to destabilize the Assad regime even while this destabilization serves as a justification for the annexation.

DavidPoe_GolanHeights-a

Perhaps the IDF worries that the Syrian Arab Army, with the help of the Russian Aerospace Forces, is regaining territory formerly under rebel control and that, once this task is achieved, Assad might turn his eyes to the Golan Heights. Whatever the reason, a military escalation in the area coincides with the establishment of enormous economic interests, and these interests are linked to some of the most powerful individuals in the world. Political lobbying is taking place at the highest levels to ensure that the international community recognizes Israel’s claims of sovereignty over the region. For her services to the gas and oil industry, Ms. Landrieu has received tens of thousands of dollars of political contributions from both Genie and Noble Energy between 2010 and 2014. When this failed to get her reelected, she was quickly ensured a spot on Genie Energy’s Strategic Advisory Board, where she is still employed.


07-05-2016

By

Editor’s Notes: Photographs one, seven, and nine from IDF; two from copelaes; three from US Embassy in Tel Aviv; four and ten from David Poe; five from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; six from DonkeyHotey; and eight from Irish Defence Forces.

Source: News Junkie Post

Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!

Netaniahu

Share
RELATED POSTS
Clinton: Destroy Syria for Israel
A newly-released Hilary Clinton email confirmed that the Obama administration has deliberately provoked the civil war in Syria as the “best way to help Israel.” In an indication of her murderous and psychopathic nature, Clinton also wrote that it was the “right thing” to personally threaten Bashar Assad’s family with death. In the email, released by Wikileaks, then Secretary of State Clinton says that the “best way to help Israel” is to “use force” in Syria to overthrow the government. The document was one of many unclassified by the US Department of State under case number F-2014-20439, Doc No. C05794498, following the uproar ...
READ MORE
Totalitarian Rule In America
Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that ...
READ MORE
Targeting Key Individuals, Stifling Free Speech, Arbitrary Detention, Withdrawing Rights
The Conservative party released its plan to scrap the Human Rights Act if it won the General Election. Secretary of State Chris Grayling said they’d also be prepared to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, unless they were allowed to veto judgements from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They won and the plan is going ahead. Included in the Human Rights Act are fundamental rights and freedoms that all individuals within the UK have access to – such as the right to life, the freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to a fair ...
READ MORE
Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World
What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption? What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very same US and NATO officials investigate and condemn rival defense officials from Russia, China ...
READ MORE
Why the United States’ Use of Force Against Syria Violates International Law
The United States the use of force against the sovereign state of Syria is a prima facie violation of international law. It is an act of aggression against the UN Member State in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. It therefore gives Syria the right to react in self-defense or a legal justification for the use of force and it gives any other United Nations Member State the right to act in collective self-defense and to support Syrian action against the US This is the basic understanding of the international legal consequences of the United States use of ...
READ MORE
The 1878 San Stefano Treaty and the Albanians
After the Russian military victory over the Ottoman Empire in the 1877−1878 Russo-Ottoman War it was signed the San Stefano Treaty between these two states on March 3rd, 1878. According to the treaty, a Greater “San Stefano” Bulgaria, under the direct protection by Russia, had to be established within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. However, an idea of “San Stefano Bulgaria” directly affected three Balkan nations: the Serbs, Greeks and Albanians as some of their ethnic and historical territories had to become part of a Greater Bulgaria. The “San Stefano Bulgaria” was projected by the Russian authorities to cover ...
READ MORE
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy, Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form, and which was derived from the so-called Roman salute. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the ...
READ MORE
If This Haitian Was Superstitious Like The Clintons
“malè ou swete bèlmè, se manman ou li frape” – the evil you wish upon your mother-in-law strikes your mother, Haitian wisdom The other day, I saw a video excerpt of an October 2012 speech in which Bill Clinton was telling an audience in New-York how his wife, Hillary, possesses the extraordinary psychic ability to speak regularly with the dead, in particular, with the spirit of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.* Today, some U.S. citizens who are still stunned by the election of Donald Trump may be seeking extra insights to help answer many troubling questions. However, I doubt the dead are in any way equipped to help them understand what is  happening in the so-called “land of the free and home ...
READ MORE
Historical & Other Maps
Administrative division of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D. Europe in the early Middle Ages: The Carolingian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the Slavs Europe in 526: The Germanic kingdoms and the Byzantine Empire Ethnographic map of Europe about 900 Europe, North Africa and the Near East at the time of the First Crusade The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Kreve Union (1385) A time after the First Crusade German Central Europe about 1500 Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13-15th centuries The Balkans from 1815 to 1859: Political division between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy The Balkans in ...
READ MORE
Will Washington Kill Us All?
Did you know that Washington keeps 450 nuclear ICBMs on “hair-trigger alert”? Washington thinks that this makes us “safe.” The reasoning, if it can be called reason, is that by being able to launch in a few minutes, no one will try to attack the US with nuclear weapons. US missiles are able to get on their way before the enemy’s missiles can reach the US to destroy ours. If this makes you feel safe, you need to read Eric Schlosser’s book, Command and Control. The trouble with hair-triggers is that they make mistaken, accidental, and unauthorized launch more likely. Schlosser provides ...
READ MORE
The Quisling Of Belgrade
Tributes to Zoran Djindjic, the assassinated prime minister of Serbia, have been pouring in. President Bush led the way, praising his “strong leadership”, while the Canadian government’s spokesman extolled a “heralder of democracy” and Tony Blair spoke of the energy Djindjic had devoted to “reforming Serbia”. In western newspaper obituaries Djindjic has been almost universally acclaimed as an ex-student agititator who bravely led a popular uprising against a tyrannical dictator and endeavoured to steer his country into a new democratic era. But beyond the CNN version of world history, the career of Zoran Djindjic looks rather different. Those who rail against the ...
READ MORE
Winston Churchill: Britain’s “Greatest Briton” Left A Legacy Of Global Conflict And Crimes Against Humanity
Sunday January 24th 2016 marks the anniversary of the death of one of the most lionized leaders in the Western world: Sir Winston Churchill. The current British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has called Churchill “the greatest ever Prime Minister”, and Britons have recently voted him as the greatest Briton to have ever lived. The story that British schoolbooks tell children about Churchill is of a British Bulldog, with unprecedented moral bravery and patriotism. He, who defeated the Nazis during World War II and spread civilisation to indigenous people from all corners of the globe. Historically, nothing could be further from the truth. To ...
READ MORE
The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust
Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelić. Not many people know about the Ustaše and its leader, Ante Pavelić. Before 1941, the organization was a radical fascist terrorist group. But when Axis powers invaded, it was given control of Croatia by the Nazis. They shared Hitler’s goal of ethnic cleansing During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, Catholic priests and Muslim clerics were willing accomplices in the genocide of the nation’s Serbian, Jewish and Roma population. From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos ...
READ MORE
Demonizing Russian Media
One of the West’s top points in condemning Vladimir Putin’s “regime” since 2007 has been his alleged suppression of democratic institutions, including an assault on media freedom and imposition of government-directed propaganda. This week, the accusation was repeated in a resolution of the European Parliament calling for stronger counter-measures in defense of European values against “information warfare” from Moscow. The charges — that Russian media are only an instrument of state propaganda directed at the domestic population to keep Russian citizens in line and at foreign audiences to sow dissent among Russia’s neighbors and within the European Union — are taken ...
READ MORE
George Szamuely, “Bombs For Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War On Yugoslavia”, 2013
George Szamuely.  Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia.  Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013 (Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press).  Paper.  Pp. 611. In Bombs for Peace, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University, has produced a revealing and sharply argued analysis of Western intervention in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.  The primary focus of the book is on Western diplomatic and military interventions, which played a crucial role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the plunge into conflict.  Continued intervention fueled deeper conflict, as ...
READ MORE
The 2014 coup d’état and the Ukrainian crisis
The current Ukrainian crisis and in fact civil war which stared at the very end of 2013 are grounded in for decades lasting internal interethnic antagonisms primarily on the Ukrainian-Russian relations including above all the “Crimean Question” as an apple of discord from 1954 between Ukraine and Russia.[1] The crisis came from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius were in November 2013 an Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine had to be signed. Lithuania at that time (July 1st−December 31st, 2013) presided the European (Union) Council and formally had a full political responsibility for the breaking out of the crisis as being ...
READ MORE
Twenty Years Of Dictatorial Democracy
James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors The presidential campaign has mortified millions of Americans in part because the presidency has become far more dangerous in recent times.  Since 9/11, we have lived in a perpetual emergency which supposedly justifies trampling the law and Constitution.  And the illegalities will not end after Tuesday’s vote count.  Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have signaled that they will perpetuate power grabs in the next four years. For generations, politicians have touted voting as a magical process which almost automatically  protects the ...
READ MORE
Clinton: Destroy Syria for Israel
Totalitarian Rule In America
Targeting Key Individuals, Stifling Free Speech, Arbitrary Detention, Withdrawing Rights
Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World
Why the United States’ Use of Force Against Syria Violates International Law
The 1878 San Stefano Treaty and the Albanians
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
If This Haitian Was Superstitious Like The Clintons
Historical & Other Maps
Will Washington Kill Us All?
The Quisling Of Belgrade
Winston Churchill: Britain’s “Greatest Briton” Left A Legacy Of Global Conflict And Crimes Against Humanity
The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust
Demonizing Russian Media
George Szamuely, “Bombs For Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War On Yugoslavia”, 2013
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Honors In Kremlin Afghan Mujahedin Fighters – Photographs Of Evidence
Winston Churchill on the Palestinians
The 2014 coup d’état and the Ukrainian crisis
Lincoln Ordered The Greatest Mass Hanging In America’s History
Twenty Years Of Dictatorial Democracy

Subscribe, Share & Follow