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‘Preposterous’ deal

Dec 04,2014 - Last updated at Dec 04,2014

In the article titled “Activists protest against projected gas deal with Israel” (The Jordan Times, December 1, 2014), the minister of energy asks those campaigning against the deal: “Where are the options they are talking about?” and proceeds to give the absurd rationale that Israeli gas is a “strategic option” for Jordan.

Is our official serious when he claims that there are no other competitive sources of natural gas?

If so, he might wish to refer to his own ministry’s statement, which appeared in a column published in Al Ghad newspaper on September 17, 2014, and which clearly outlines the alternatives to Israeli gas.

Furthermore, in view of the recent decline in oil prices and the fact that Israeli gas will not reach Jordan before 2018/2019, Israeli gas is not the short-term solution to NEPCO’s losses.

Liquified natural gas is readily available at competitive prices from a number of regional and international sources in the open market. The minister mentions the prohibitive costs associated with liquefied petroleum gas, but of course no one is raising LPG as an option and his mention of this is simply a diversion.

Despite these alternatives, the deal with Israel will put Jordanians in a position whereby they directly finance the Israeli military machine responsible for the Gaza massacres and the continued illegal occupation.

How could Israeli gas be a “strategic option” when it comes from a state that repeatedly acts outside international norms and laws?

Israel’s aggressive policies towards the Palestinian people and its stranglehold over the region are contrary to the wishes of Jordanian citizens. Moreover, Israel stands in violation of the Wadi Araba Peace Agreement, with recent events in Jerusalem and Al Aqsa testifying to that.

With this in mind, to consider Israel a “strategic option” is preposterous and an insult to the intelligence of the Jordanian people.

If this deal is allowed to pass, this government’s legacy will be that of having enabled Israel to gain unparallelled energy power, thus further condemning the region to extreme intimidation.

Jordanian citizens certainly will not allow this to be on their conscience and will continue fighting the deal until common sense prevails.

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh,

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