Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Fueling the Feud

Binyamin Rose

Like relatives who fight over a windfall inheritance, Israelis have been locked in a tussle over the newfound wealth from natural gas discoveries. How should the pot be divided between the exploration companies, the government, and the citizens?

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

According to the conventional wisdom, G-d gave oil to the Muslim nations and milk and honey to the Jews — but that truism was turned on its head with the 2010 discovery of two massive natural gas fields off Israel’s shimmering Mediterranean coast. The reserves at the Tamar and Leviathan fields, a mile under the ocean bed and 50 miles west of Haifa, are worth an estimated $500 billion at today’s market prices, and are sufficient to power the country for the next 100 years. With the discovery, Israelis indulged in sweet dreams of cheap electricity for the average citizen and a transformation from pariah to a major energy exporter on the international stage. Say goodbye to OPEC oil boycotts and say hello to the New Middle East, where Arab nations buy “blue and white,” importing Israeli gas to replace supplies from Egypt sabotaged during the Arab Spring. Of course, there were logistics to be dealt with. Two different Israeli commissions, which included international experts, advised an arrangement under which the government would receive 60% of the revenues from gas sales, with 40% going to the exploration companies. Another clause: 60% of the gas would be designated for domestic consumption and 40% for export. On that basis, the government signed export contracts withJordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority, while Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey waited in the wings.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without