BDS Turkey: Turkish-Israeli energy cooperation is unacceptable!





 BDS Turkey[1]


Turkish-Israeli energy cooperation is unacceptable: Freedom for Palestine, Boycott against Israel

Israel, which has left Palestine without sources of energy while besieging its territory, has recently begun plans to cooperate with Turkey in selling gas to Europe even though the resource has been seized from the Palestinian people. Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has abandoned its demand that the siege against Gaza be lifted after moving to further economic relations as part of “normalization” with Israel, is now seeking to collaborate with the occupying Israel in selling the gas that the latter stole from Palestine. We must not become partners to an agreement that will fill the war chest of Israel, which promises only more military aggression, occupation and war against the peoples of the Middle East, particularly the Palestinians. We must say “no” to this dishonorable agreement and collaboration that will make Turkey a partner in Israel’s theft.

 Seeking to make Turkey a partner in Israel’s looting of Palestine

One of the results of the “normalization” between Turkey and Israel has been Ankara’s attempts to purchase the occupying Israeli state’s natural gas. The matter, however, is not restricted to this: The fact that Turkey is also set to become a conduit for the transfer of the gas to Europe effectively means that it is prepared to become a partner in crime with the Zionist regime.

There are three possible routes for Israel’s stolen gas to reach Europe. The first is a pipeline that would pass through Cyprus and then on to Greece. Israel, however, does not view the option favorably, as this route would both bypass its “customer” Turkey and be prohibitively expensive (approximately 7.15 billion dollars) due to technical issues. The second option would be to transfer the gas to Egypt, where it would be liquefied before being shipped to Europe by boat. This option, however, was suggested before Egypt discovered its own natural gas reserves, meaning it is unlikely to now come to fruition, especially as there is speculation that the liquification plants will be used for Egyptian gas. Furthermore, this option also presents little commercial benefit for the Zionist entity. Accordingly, the final alternative is a pipeline that passes through Turkey and which, at around 3.96 billion dollars, would be around half the cost of the proposed Cyprus-Greece route.

This notwithstanding, the factor that makes the third option most appealing is the Turkish government’s eagerness on the agreement. According to news reports, Turkey aims to purchase 10 billion cubic meters of gas from the occupier, while transferring the rest of the stolen gas to Europe.

Current stage of discussions

During the 23rd World Energy Summit in October 2016, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak staged a 90-minute meeting with Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz, the first ministerial meeting between the countries since the “normalization” in the wake of the 2010 Mavi Marmara Massacre. Steinitz subsequently said it was important to ship the natural gas reserves via Turkey, adding that they had decided to open a channel between the two governments to discuss the matter further.

At the beginning of November 2016, Istanbul played host to the first meeting as part of a “working group” that was formed to discuss the pipeline from the occupied territories to Turkey. This working group features civil servants and experts from the energy ministries of Turkey and the illegitimate state of Israel.

Gas reserves

The occupying Israeli state discovered significant natural gas reserves at the beginning of the 2000s in an area that it claimed in the eastern Mediterranean. The gas reserves in the Noa, Mari-B, Dalit, Tamar, Leviathan, Dolfin, Shimshon, Tanin and Karish blocs are believed to contain a potential of 800 billion cubic meters, an amount that could succeed in single-handedly fulfilling the needs of the Israeli economy for 50 years. The occupying state, however, is seeking to export a significant portion of this gas instead of allocating it to domestic consumption with the aim of easing the economy. Unsurprisingly, the expected revenue from such natural resources would be of great import to a small economy such as Israel, particularly in the wake of the 2008 worldwide economic crisis.

The ramifications of a richer Israel

The direct consequence of Israel coming into possession of such a resource will be to strengthen the economy of an occupying entity that was formed with the deportation and murder of 750,000 Palestinians with the support of imperialist countries, especially Britain, in 1948. An increase in strength for this entity, which is both an occupier of Palestinian land and a source of instability for all the countries in the region, will only benefit imperialists and collaborators while producing tremendously negative consequences for millions of people in the region, from Turkey to the Gulf and from Iran to Morocco. As it is, the occupying state’s current economic potential remains short of its regional political and military strength.

The wealth that Israel will acquire will increase instability in the region, particularly because the illegitimate Israeli state’s borders remain undefined and because it has ambitions of extending its sovereignty over a larger area. The most recent air strikes on Syrian soil are evidence that it is eager to pursue new adventures.

Naturally, the people that stand to lose the most from the occupying entity’s increased wealth are the Palestinians. A significant portion of the Palestinian people, who have maintained hopes since 1948 that they will be able to return to their lands, continue to live in refugee camps in regional countries. Another portion of the Palestinian people eke out an existence under the occupying state’s merciless siege in Gaza, as well as the open prison that has been created in the West Bank with control points and walls. The billions of dollars that will flow to the Zionist regime in natural gas exports will entail more apartheid walls against a people that are devoid of the most basic rights, more control points and more tyranny. Moreover, the occupying army, which shamelessly calls itself the “Israeli Defense Forces,” will purchase and produce more weapons thanks to the natural gas revenues.

Occupation, siege and natural gas

The use of natural resources by occupying states is open theft. The illegitimate Israeli state, meanwhile, has been occupying lands that has belonged to the Palestinian people since 1948. Accordingly, the seizure of natural gas resources belonging to the Palestinian people by the occupying entity must be viewed as theft. At the same time, Israel’s siege against Gaza also restricts Palestinian access to its natural gas deposits in Gaza’s special economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea. The natural gas deposits found off Gaza in the Gaza Marine bloc were some of the first to be found in the eastern Mediterranean, yet the Zionist entity has been blocking Palestinian access to them since 1999. Research has shown that if the Palestinians were able to use the natural resources in their territory based on the 1967 borders, they would benefit from a 2.5 billion-dollar windfall. In contrast, the Palestinians are currently obliged to allocate their limited funds to purchasing energy from the power that has occupied their land – a situation that seriously widens the trade deficit in what passes for the Palestinian economy with every passing year. But the illegitimate Israeli state has not only restricted Palestine’s access to natural gas resources but has also moved to perpetuate the dependency by, among other actions, destroying Gaza energy plants.

Turkish collaboration with Israel on natural gas projects is tantamount to participating in a multidimensional attack on the Palestinian people. Doing so will facilitate the looting of Palestine’s riches, tighten the siege on Gaza, strengthen Israel’s occupational and murderous apparatus and provide a lifeline to Israel, which is facing serious questions about its legitimacy in the international arena, including its economic ties. For all these reasons, attempts to foster collaboration between Turkey and Israel on energy must be exposed and boycotted.

Boycott calls: Don’t enrich an occupying state, don’t take part in this theft!

This report is designed to apply pressure on the Turkish government while issuing a call to stand against Ankara’s purchase and transfer of natural gas stolen by the occupying Israeli state. All bilateral relations with the illegitimate state must be severed in the interests of displaying solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, eschewing any partnership with Israeli aggression and avoiding replenishing the occupying Israeli state’s armory.

Boycott against Israel, freedom for Palestine!

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[1] In July 2005, a coalition of close to 170 Palestinian political parties, unions, groups and grassroots organizations issued a call on people of conscience everywhere to institute a boycott and isolation of Israel in a fashion similar to moves that were taken against apartheid South Africa. Emerging as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the initiative quickly spread to all continents, adopting the name of the BDS Movement as it began organizing in a number of countries. Responding to this call and as a result of organizational work by the BDS Movement in Turkey, close to 30 mass organizations, political initiatives, unions and other organizations issued a joint declaration in 2009 announcing the formation of the Initiative to Boycott Israel for Palestine, which later became BDS Turkey.

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