Golan Heights and the Greater Israel Project

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Originally published on 2016-05-07

Author:

Source: News Junkie Post

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

Save

Save

Save

Save 

READ MORE!
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
Tens of thousands have been killed over 40 years of bloodletting between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and tragically there seems to be no end in sight. In May 2016, President Erdogan stated that military operations against the PKK will continue until “the very last rebel is killed.” What is alarming about Erdogan’s statement is that he still believes he can solve the conflict through brutal force. Erdogan does not understand that he cannot wish the Kurdish problem away—a problem that will continue to haunt him and the country for countless more decades unless a solution is ...
READ MORE
My Grandfather (Jonas Noreika) wasn’t a Nazi-Fighting War Hero — He was a Brutal Collaborator
Eighteen years ago, my dying mother asked me to continue working on a book about her father, Jonas Noreika, a famous Lithuanian World War II hero who fought the Communists. Once an opera singer, my mother had passionately devoted herself to this mission and had even gotten a PhD in literature to improve her literary skills. As a journalist, I agreed. I had no idea I was embarking on a project that would lead to a personal crisis, Holocaust denial and an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government. Growing up in Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood — the neighborhood that had the ...
READ MORE
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
What a fine race it has become! Both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are competing in it as a who is the ‘tougher guy/gal’ in what could be easily described as a 21st Century Tarantino-style (or Scorsese-style) political pulp fiction gore. What they both utter, may often sound like some staged bluff: “Are you talking to me? Hey, there’s nobody else here… Are you talking to me?” But just think for a moment what would really happen if one of them sticks to his or her ‘promises’ and ‘principles’, after getting elected! (The bullets would be flying, the nukes exploding, and millions ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: The Hidden Growth of Islamic Extremism
The recent arrest of 40 alleged Islamic radicals in Kosovo together with the arrest of one of the Kosovo Imams suspected of being an inspirer of jihad in the region brought serious questions about the radicalisation of Islam and terrorism in Kosovo, in the Balkans and in Europe. Even though the issue of Kosovo Albanian volunteers or mercenaries fighting alongside the anti-Bashar forces in Syria and supporting the radical leadership of the Islamic State (earlier the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been present in the public debate in Kosovo for at least a year, the debate itself was ...
READ MORE
Mainstream News and USA’s Heroics in Vietnam: Why the Silence about the 7 Million Dead?
The amount of bombs dropped by Americans on the innocent citizens of tiny French Indochina was more than twice the amount of bombs dropped in Europe, Africa and Asia during the Second World War, and this includes bombs  dropped on the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong by American hero Senator John McCain, who proudly ran for president on his military record in spite of Nuremberg Counsel for Prosecution General Telford Taylor having said he would have been proud to have prosecuted US flyers shot down while bombing in Vietnam.[3]  What mastery of fake news, blacked out news, selected news and outrageously ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO Drug Trail
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Accused of Running Human Organ, Drug Trafficking Cartel In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.” The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed. According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling ...
READ MORE
The Human Rights Disaster in America
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution style.” Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing. The United States has invaded, bombed ...
READ MORE
Why are We in Kosovo?
Once again, U.S. air and naval forces are preparing strikes on Serbia’s army and police for refusing to stand down in Kosovo. And, once again, Americans are deeply ambivalent about intervention.“Either we get in there with a NATO force, or we get the hell out,” said an exasperated Sen. John Warner after Yugoslav strong man Slobodan Milosevic showed two NATO generals the door.Warner advocates intervention. But Americans sense that, despite our disgust at the latest massacre and Milosevic’s thuggery, no vital U.S. interest exists there. The Serbs do not threaten NATO; they have not attacked Americans; they are fighting to ...
READ MORE
How Dumb is the CIA?
How Dumb is the CIA? With the hydrogen bomb test by North Korea, it should be recalled the CIA was dumb enough to be responsible for North Korea acquiring nukes.Reorganized Murder IncorporatedAccording to a Washington Post article, John Brennan has set out to restructure the CIA's longstanding model:"At issue is a basic structure that has been in place since the agency’s inception, with employees divided by function among four major directorates. The best known are the National Clandestine Service, which sends case officers overseas on spying missions and carries out covert operations, and the Directorate of Intelligence, which employs thousands ...
READ MORE
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day. Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center ...
READ MORE
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
On November 11, distinguished scholar, political economist, media analyst/critic, peace champion Ed Herman passed away at age 92. It was fittingly on the 99th anniversary of WW I’s end. Endless wars followed “the war to end all wars” – a legacy of mass slaughter and destruction Herman deplored, championing elusive world peace. Along with his friends and family, I mourn his passing, a valued friend and colleague, a contributor to my 2014 book, titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III.” He and other distinguished contributors made the book successful, published in Russia and France. Ed Herman’s writing ...
READ MORE
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
The refusal of the United Nations to qualify the recent US airstrike against Syria as an act of aggression makes the Organization irrelevant – something Russia has been trying to prevent. It has become vulnerable to scathing criticism after demonstrating its impotence and inability to act. The continued paralysis is an eloquent example of the UN’s disengagement and lack of political will to fulfill its duty. The Organization’s image has suffered great damage. It still has a chance to rectify it by launching an investigation into what really happened in Syria. Article One of the UN Charter states that one of the purposes is ...
READ MORE
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that “Al Qaeda” is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Courtesy of World Affairs, a journal based in New Delhi, WMR can bring you an important excerpt from an Apr.-Jun. 2004 article by Pierre-Henry Bunel, a former agent for French military intelligence. “I first heard about Al-Qaida while I was attending the Command and Staff course in Jordan. I was a French ...
READ MORE
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
Note: First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks. The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR. In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, ...
READ MORE
The Long History of Russophobia: Starting with its Religious Roots
The former editor of the Tribune de Genève, [Guy Mettan-RI] visited Moscow and presented his new book Russia and the West: A Thousand Year War, which reviews the phenomenon of Russophobia: its roots, historical evolution and modern incarnations. Izvestia had a chance to interview him. What inspired you to write about this? There are two reasons why I began this work. The first is a personal, family reason. In 1994, my wife and I adopted a Russian girl, who now is now 25. Her name is Oksana, and she is from the Vladimir region. After we adopted her, I became interested ...
READ MORE
The U.S. Pushed North Korea to Build Nukes?
Let’s say you know someone who wears funny blue suits and doesn’t share your views on politics. So you decide to stick this person in a cage and put him on a diet of bread and water until he agrees to change his wardrobe and adjust his thinking. And when he sits quietly on the cage-floor with his hands folded, you ignore him altogether and deal with other matters. But when he stomps his feet in anger or violently shakes the cage, you throw cold water on him or poke him in the back with a sharp stick. How long do ...
READ MORE
Seal in lobby at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, USA
“It is always difficult to play a double game: declaring a fight against terrorists and simultaneously trying to use some to place pieces on the Middle Eastern chess board to pursue their own interests … [but do the] so-called moderate bandits behead people moderately?” – Vladimir Putin (2015) Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS were shot down by Iraqi forces (Iraqi News 2015) were met with shock and denial in western countries. Yet few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria. A Yemeni AnsarAllah leader says ...
READ MORE
Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest. Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
READ MORE
NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia in 1999
Eighteen years ago in the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. “The operation was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker” according to Nebosja Malic. This article was first written in May 1999 at the height of the bombing of Yugoslavia. The causes and consequences of this war have been the object of a vast media disinformation campaign, which has sought to camouflage NATO and US war crimes. It is important to note that a large segment of the “Progressive Left” in Western Europe and  North America were part of this disinformation campaign, presenting ...
READ MORE
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
On October 20, 2011, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi was brutally murdered by a mob of NATO-backed ‘rebels’, after first being beaten and violated in the most barbaric fashion. History leaves no doubt that not only was the Libyan leader murdered on this day but Libya itself. The regime-change crew who dominate Western governments have a long indictment sheet against their names. Since 9/11 they have wrought havoc and human misery on a grand scale in their determination to reshape and own a world that has never been theirs to own. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya – Syria currently embroiled in a pitiless conflict for ...
READ MORE
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
My Grandfather (Jonas Noreika) wasn’t a Nazi-Fighting War Hero — He was a Brutal Collaborator
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
Kosovo: The Hidden Growth of Islamic Extremism
Mainstream News and USA’s Heroics in Vietnam: Why the Silence about the 7 Million Dead?
Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO Drug Trail
The Human Rights Disaster in America
Why are We in Kosovo?
How Dumb is the CIA?
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
UN Response to US Attack on Syria: Noble Words, Empty Deeds
Al Qaeda: The Data Base
Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
The Long History of Russophobia: Starting with its Religious Roots
The U.S. Pushed North Korea to Build Nukes?
The Dirty War on Syria: Washington Supports the Islamic State (ISIS)
Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech
NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia in 1999
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi

Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu