After concluding the flow testing phase, Afek Oil and Gas will now begin analyzing samples drawn from the Ness-2 drilling site, euphemistically dubbed “Deborah’s Well,” in the Israeli-occupied region of Syria known as the Golan Heights.
New Jersey-based Genie Energy, Ltd., Afek’s parent company, claims a dubious cadre of investors cum war profiteers, including Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney, Lord Jacob Rothschild, James Woolsey — as well as a number of current and former U.S. politicians.
Prior testing at a separate Afek site did not meet expectations, so the company sought other “sweet spots” in the area.
To understand U.S. involvement in the quagmire in Syria, Afek’s oil exploration is of critical import.
Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights region violates international law — thus, Israeli permits granting Afek the ostensible right to perform exploratory tests of a possible “large reservoir” of natural gas and light oil is also illegal.
But in a world where Big Oil remains powerful enough to drive foreign policy of the U.S. empire, this direct violation of the Geneva Convention might not even be worthy of a footnote — except to the people of Syria.
In fact, as The Free Thought Project’s Justin Gardner previously reported, the unsavory character heading Genie Oil is none other than Efraim “Effie” Eitam, an Israeli military commander and former Knesset member who once called for the expulsion of the “cancer” of Arabs from Israel.
“Expel most of the Judea and Samaria Arabs from here,” Eitam arrogantly asserted during a soldier’s memorial service in 2006.
“We cannot be with all these Arabs and we cannot give up the land, because we have already seen what they do there. Some of them may be able to stay under certain conditions, but most of them will have to go.”In addition to the eyebrow-raising cabal of Eitam, Murdoch, Cheney, and Rothschild, Genie Oil and Gas appointed new members to its Strategic Advisory Board last September, including:
However, even beyond the not-at-all-minor issue of legality, Afek’s drilling in the region has stirred another, perhaps more imperative, concern.
A large aquifer supplying the entire region’s drinking water is positioned uncomfortably close to the stores of fossil fuel — raising contamination concerns sufficiently serious that an Israeli high court issued a temporary restraining order in 2014, though it was quickly dismissed.
But none of this bothers Murdoch, Cheney, Rothschild, and the others, as the Golan Heights to Big Oil represents little more than an exploitative business opportunity.
Syria, in fact, has been systematically torn apart primarily because foreign powers and radical groups seek to protect their varied oil interests.
While the Afek ilk set their sights on Golan Heights oil and natural gas, Turkey, the U.S., Russia,Daesh, and a spate of others have been fighting over Syria’s geostrategic location for major oil pipelines under the cover of religious and civil strife.
And such insistent international meddling at the behest of corporate oil interests so destabilized the entire region, it led to the formation of Daesh (ISIS) and similar radical groups.
Of course, oil exploration certainly benefits the ongoing push by Israel to expand its occupation and settlements, since U.S.-backed Big Oil operates under the premise the manufactured nation’s encroachment on Syrian territory is perfectly legal.
Often, as is the case with Afek and Genie, the Golan Heights is dismissively referred to as “Northern Israel.”
Environmental and humanitarian groups vocally criticize Afek’s exploratory drilling, but despite growing international outcry, have not succeeded in halting ongoing tests.
Considering the notoriously powerful, monied warmongers backing Afek’s petroleum plans, outrage and violation of international law wouldn’t factor one iota in matters concerning the Golan Heights.