Conference Tuesday February 15 at 7p.m. (French time)
We remember former Prime Minister Golda Meir joking with her German counterpart, complaining that « Moses took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the only spot in the Middle East that has no oil ». Today, after twelve years or so of gas discoveries on the Mediterranean, Israel has become a major gas producer, at a time when climate change forces more and more countries to give up on fossile fuels. While waiting for that development, which won’t be on the agenda during the next years, we chose to devote our next conference to the consequences of those discoveries. With the help of our guests, we will try to answer a number of questions in order to understand the new situation taking place in the region.
Will the announcement of the US withdrawal from the project “EastMed pipeline“ planning to supply Europe with the gas discovered mainly in the Israeli territorial waters lead Israel to give up its European dream and return to its regional market ?
Is the announcement of the sale to Lebanon, by Jordan and Egypt, of electricity derived largely from Israeli gas, transiting through Syria, a sign of that evolution ? Will the resumption of negotiations under the American aegis between Israel and Lebanon, to establish their maritime borders, allow them to settle their dispute and to allow the exploitation of gas fields discovered off their shores ?
Would President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statements announcing the holding of negotiations in order to invite to Turkey Isaac Herzog, his Israeli counterpart with whom he spoke thrice these last months, be the sign of a change in the relationships between Turkey and Israel ? Would that change be related to the prospects offered by Israel’s exploitation of its large gas deposits the reserves of which could guarantee him, according to some estimates, most of his energy independence for the next 40 or 50 years ?
Have the promises made to Israelis by his successive governments to benefit from cheap energy and to feed a sovereign wealth fund in order to provide for future generations been met ? Who are the real recipients of the gas exploitation ?
What about the prospects of exploitation by Palestinians of the gas deposit discovered off the Gaza shore ? And waiting for it to start, will the recent agreement of Qatar to finance power to the power plant of Gaza by Israeli gas be a guarantee for its inhabitants to have access to electricity for their needs ?
We might continue to reel off the issues raised by the consequences of these discoveries of gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. However we must note that they have led to changes in the relationships between the States of that region, opening new opportunities of cooperation between them, which might lead either to a stress relief in the region, or on the contrary, to an escalation of tension.
In order to answer to those questions, we organize together with La Paix Maintenant a conference that will take place on Tuesday, February 15th at 7 p.m. (French time).
We have invited 3 experts in the field :
David Amsellem, doctor in geopolitics from the University of Paris 8, specializing in energy issues in the Eastern Mediterranean
Nimrod Goren Dr. President and Founder of Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, a lecturer at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Faculty Affiliate at Syracuse University’s Program on the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration
Mossi Raz, Meretz deputy in the Knesset, member of the Committee of Interior and of Defence of the environment.
Registration required to participate in the videoconference by clicking HERE
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