(OPINION) As a kid in the 1970s and 1980s, I remember that the adults around me had a standard explanation for why so many countries around the world kept Israel at arms’ length.
It was, they explained, something called the “oil weapon.” The Arab countries were sitting upon lots of oil and could raise prices sharply and without warning if they were affronted by something that Israel said or did. They did exactly this in the fall of 1973, when Israel fought another war of survival against a combined Arab military force. During that conflict, the Arab exporting nations hiked the price of oil by 70% and cut back on production in a bid to wean those countries supportive of Israel away from the Jewish state.
From this episode, a narrative was born. Israel was a plucky new arrival on the international stage, equipped with a capable army and a highly educated, motivated population, but not much more. Meanwhile, its Arab adversaries were soaked in oil revenues and reaping the political as well as the economic benefits of this advantage.
So, while the 1973 war proved that Arab ambitions of wiping Israel from the map would not be easily realized, at the same time it underlined what many people believed would be a permanent situation: Arab wealth and the reliance of Western countries on Arab oil meant that Israel’s interests would be an afterthought as far as international diplomacy was concerned.
It’s very rare for any situation to be frozen in space and time, instead of evolving and changing. Nearly 50 years after the 1973 war, the Middle East’s resources of energy are still highly prized by outside consumers, but the advantage is no longer weighted entirely to the Arab side.
Last week, what the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen called a […]
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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