Israeli Navy Seeks $700 Million to Protect New Gas Fields

Will US Be Stuck Paying to Guard Israel's Gas Boom?

Israel has started production at the off-shore Tamar Field, a natural gas field that economists say could turn the nation into a net exporter of energy and politicians are seeing as a potential windfall of new tax revenue.

The Israeli Navy sees something else; they see an off-shore site ripe for attack, and they see a need to create another $700 million worth of warships to protect it from attack in future wars.

And while you’d figure that’s the sort of thing that would pay for itself, anyone familiar with international politics knows it doesn’t work that way. Israel’s government is balking at the price-tag, and if history is any indicator that means it is only a matter of time before the US Congress moves to subsidize the operation. That the field is operated by a large US energy company will likely add pressure to make such a move.

And when the US starts paying for something, they don’t stop. That’s how the annual aid to Israel has grown to billions of dollars, and as Israel moves to reap billions of dollars from the enterprise, it may wind up being another bill for American taxpayers.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.