For now, environmental concerns have taken most of the shale gas potential off the table, keeping Europe dependent on imports. But Israel’s Mediterranean gas, combined with gas from Israel’s Mediterranean partner, Cyprus, have the potential to cost Russia its top-dog role as Europe’s chief source of natural gas.
Enter Gazprom Israel, a proposed subsidiary of Russian government-owned Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas company. According to reports in the Israeli and Eurasian media, the Israeli government has agreed to give the Russians a stake in the Mediterranean find, and also to increase the amount of gas allowed to be exported — until recently, the Israeli government had reserved a 25-year supply for itself, to protect against future energy boycotts. With this deal, Russia would be cutting itself into any sales of Mediterranean gas to Europe or, possibly better from Russia’s point of view, it could persuade Israel to instead sell Mediterranean gas to Asian markets — a live option even without the advent of Gazprom Israel. Either way, Russia would retain the dominant role in Europe that underpins its national pride.
As for Israel, the benefit of aligning itself with Russia’s economic interests would be immense. Over the last half-century, Russia and Russian arms have been a mainstay of Arab nations and Muslim terrorists that sought Israel’s destruction.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.