Arnon Grunberg



On a maritime deal – Yossi Verter in Haaretz:

‘Prime Minister Yair Lapid and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu could agree on only one word regarding the deal to demarcate Israel’s maritime border with Lebanon – “historic.” The former termed it “a historic agreement.” The latter termed it “a historic capitulation.”’


‘The defense establishment supports the deal for two main reasons – the agreement reached on the “buoy line” that Israel unilaterally drew after its withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and the creation of a balance of mutual deterrence between the two natural gas fields, Karish and Kana, which neutralizes Nasrallah’s threats. Economically, Israel made compromises that went beyond what was on the table back when Netanyahu was prime minister (though nobody knows how much gas, if any, the field on the Lebanese side contains, so the compromise appears to be reasonable).’


‘Lapid, as of Tuesday, preferred the slow but certain route, since he has no Knesset majority. The rightist bloc, which over the past year has thwarted almost every government bill that would have benefited all Israelis (for instance, bills related to the Tel Aviv subway or a visa-free entry deal with the United States), will vote against the agreement.
Is it theoretically possible to muster a parliamentary majority by getting the Joint List to vote yes or abstain? Government sources said Tuesday evening that this option hasn’t been explored. So maybe it’s worth making a phone call to MK Ahmad Tibi. At many junctures in the past, the Joint List has behaved more responsibly than the bloc that calls itself “the national camp.”’

Read the article here.

It’s interesting that democratic disarray is almost always blamed on the politicians, not on the voters who helped these politicians secure a place in the limelight. Not that I want to pardon the politicians, the voters are not completely innocent.

As another article in Haaretz suggested, the exploitation of the gas fields – and this deal is about the gas fields – will help the corrupt ruling class in Lebanon.

The US might have been in a hurry to secure a deal, because the West is desperate for gas and oil that doesn’t belong to Putin. Venezuela, Lebanon, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s not Putin’s.

The exploitation of the gas fields won’t bring peace or anything that resembles it, nor will it bring prosperity to the Lebanese or the Israeli people.
But it might be an incentive to avoid another armed conflict for the time being. Business first, war later, that’s true for many people, even for those who are called fanatics. Alas, sometimes war is the better business opportunity, but thank God not always.

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