The Best of All Possibilities!

By: Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 6 April / Apr 2016. 09:03 PM
  • جمانة غنيمات

The best of all things possible for Jordan; in order to get Washington of its back in regards to signing the Israeli gas agreement, is the dismantling of the corporate coalition between American “Noble Energy” and Israeli “Delek Drilling”.

Notable in this discourse, is Noble Energy’s persistence on being exempt of local Israeli legislative amendments for a complete decade. Consequentially, should this condition not be met, pressures on Jordan to sign the agreement will alleviate; being one of the terms of qualifying for US aid and grants, in benefit of American cross-continental capital, among other agendas, of course.

Today, Jordan has a manoeuvring margin that has allowed for the suspension of negotiations with the Israeli side, until the American company reaches a resolution with the occupational government; according to Dr Ghaleb Maabreh’s statement, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, nearly a week ago. He said that Israeli gas negotiations have been suspended for the meantime, after the Israeli high court revoked natural gas drilling privileges in the Mediterranean Sea.

The decision, in summary, to revoke the agreement between the government and the Israeli-American corporate coalition was on the basis of it being controversial, meaning it is opposite to some internal Israeli directions and may not pass through the legislative channels. Plus, undergoing a judiciary process to amend the agreement will result in a lengthy procedure, estimated to extend to around a year.

Accordingly, no official Israeli comments have been made on the account of Jordanian statements, even though the agreement was to start importing Israeli gas to Jordan by 2018, for 15 years, totalling in value USD15 billion dollars.

Now the sealing of the agreement has been hindered, between the two companies and the Israeli government, and accordingly between the two governments of Israel and Jordan; this has yet another benefit.

For if Jordan was to be politically pressured into signing the Israeli gas agreement in the future; for the Americans’ sake not the Israelis’, then the coming duration, pending the conclusion of the agreement’s review by Israeli authorities, gives Jordanian negotiators the opportunity to revaluate the technical terms of the agreement; especially those of price and quantity in light of the global fall of oil prices, and anticipations of this decrease to endure the coming times; also releasing Jordan of yet another pressure, that is the previously high costs of importing oil.

Jordan does not seem excited to import Israeli gas, perhaps due to popular inclinations against it. Public opinion, in Jordan, still opposes naturalisation with Israel. With the international boycott movement (BDS) growing momentum, the opposition in Jordan also grows. And both are natural products of Israeli daily trespasses on sacred grounds in Jerusalem, let alone the consecutive, consistent crimes against our Palestinian brethren.

Evident of the government’s disinterest in the agreement, are official statements suggesting alternatives and options in terms of energy sources —gas particularly; starting from Egyptian gas, Risheh Field gas —especially after the development agreement with APG International was signed, to the importation of gas from global markets through the Aqaba port. As a result of these options made available, Israeli gas importation becomes the last resort among a growing variety of options.

The relief that accompanied the obstruction of the agreement, by Israeli factors, is only natural to a country like Jordan, receiving the largest portion of its annual aid from the US; estimated currently at around USD1.6 billion and expected to be increased to USD1.9 billion by the end of the current year. This is next to there being the necessity on the American’s behalf, to understand the Jordanian reality and its givens, wholly; and that relations with the US do not resemble at all Jordan relations to the Israeli occupier.