Water, Gas and support at UN

August 24, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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Israel’s Minister for Infrastructure Uzi Landau has been on a visit to Australia which has taken him to Western Australia to view major gas projects, discuss water and has visited the Prime Minister in Canberra seeking support for Israel in next month’s UN vote to determine statehood for Palestine.

J-Wire attended a media lunch organised by Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

AIJAC’s Jeremy Jones told the meeting that Uzi Landau entered the Knesset in 1984. He is currently a member of the  Beiteinu party and is also a member of the Inner Security Cabinet and has a hands-on interest in the environment.

Uzi Landau Pic: Henry Benjamin

The Minister told the meeting it was his first trip to Australia and his gateway to the country was the Western Australian town of Karratha, His said his direct responsibilities within Israel are Waer Resources, energy and electricity.

The prime purpose of his visit is to understand how to manage the area of natural gas. Israel has made two significant gas finds recently which stand to make the country energy independent. He said Israel was running a little behind in its shaping its policy  and wanted to learn from Australia. He said Israel first struck a medium size field of natural gas about ten years ago. Egypt was supplying 40% of our needs  and between the two “we are OK for two years. But the Egyptian supply is now disrupted we have only supply until next year”.

He added that the new Tamar field found two years ago is good for 20-30 years but the new field is double that so we will be in a position to export gas. We are stepping up the supply from the Tamar field into Israel’s network because of the problem in Egypt. “We will need to keep our needs for the next 30 years but we still want to make it attractive for others to develop new finds.”

The Minister said that as far as competition is concerned, the country wanted a natural competitive market.

He highlighted the Palestinian Authority and the Jordanians as export targets based on their interest. The agreement with Egypt has been blown up as has the pipe.

He was asked about the future of Egypt. He replied by saying that there is not a strong single government and attributed the attack in Southern Israel in part to the lack of control of the security forces. He said once the rulers in countries where there is unrest are unseated…”what next”.  He added: “Our peace agreement with Egypt is a cornerstone for future stability in the Middle East.”

He said that the attack was orchestrated with sophisticated weapons and communications. He added: “The trouble from Gaza is starting again. We will have to take extra precautions to protect our population.” He said there had been increase of the smuggling of weapons through Sinai expedited by the Iranians who support more than four major terrorist organisations including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Landau said that Western Countries are concerned about the rise of radical Islam in countries which have no hesitancy in the use of terror.

In answer to a question relating to the September 20 move in the UN to declare a Palestinian State, Landau said that it could get across the line…and that the Palestinians would get a State without having to negotiate with Israel. He also pointed out that the Palestinians refuse to recognise that the Jewish people were entitled to a State of their own.

The Minister also discussed the social unrest in Israel.

In Canberra, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, Minister Landau met with acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson. He urged Australia to vote against the establishment of a Palestinian State in next month’s General Assembly of the United Nations. The report stated that Landau expressed disappointment with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s advice to abstain.



One Response to “Water, Gas and support at UN”
  1. hasbaracentral says:

    landau speaks misleading nonsense. How are australians, Indians, yemenis, Iranians, Iraqis, Ethiopians, Tunisians, Algerians, Morrocans, Italians, French, Ukranians, Russians, English,Americans, Canadians, Argentinians and South Africans entitled to a “natinal homeland” just because thry are Jewish. Is Landau suggesting that Australian Jews are not citizens ?

    And the ever expanding exclusive settlements and roads mean thta Israel has no intention of allowing an independent Palestine, likud’s platform incidentally, So the palestinians have no other waybut take their struggle to the Un and world fora.

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