US Embassy silent on report it pressured MKs to vote for gas deal

Israeli media were flooded with reports on Tuesday that Ambassador Dan Shapiro pressured Israeli-Arab lawmakers from the Joint List to vote for the deal in the Knesset.

July 1, 2015 02:20
1 minute read.
Israel's natural gas

Israel's natural gas. (photo credit: MINISTRY OF NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The resolution of the contentious gas deal will reap Israel economic, security, and commercial benefits, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said in a statement released by the US Embassy on Tuesday.

The statement was released a day after an Israel Radio report that claimed Shapiro called Joint List MKs to lobby them to support a deal that would benefit American company Noble Energy.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“We hope that Israel will reach an arrangement that will allow development of its natural gas resources. We are proud of the contributions that American companies are making to bring cleaner and more efficient energy resources to Israel," Shapiro's statement said.

“We believe natural gas will further strengthen Israel’s economy and energy security in the coming years. It will allow Israel to meet its own energy needs and, as Israel exports gas to its neighbors, will bring regional security benefits as well.

“The specifics of any arrangement are, of course, a matter for the Israeli government and people to decide, but we have always been open with our Israeli friends about the economic, security, and commercial benefits we believe are within reach as Israel develops its natural gas.” According to Israel Radio's Yehudit Bodek, Shapiro telephoned three Joint List MKs: chairman Ayman Odeh (Hadash), Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al) and Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash). She reported that he told the MKS that not to vote against the gas deal that would benefit the Palestinian Authority and Jordan and the connection with them.

MK Haneen Zoabi's office told The Jerusalem Post that she was not contacted by the embassy on this matter and that in any case the Joint List, an alliance of four parties including Zoabi’s Balad party, was sticking to its rejection of the current proposal for the natural gas sector. Another Joint List MK didn’t respond to an inquiry from the Post.

Related Content

Rami Feinstein
August 18, 2018
Music from the heart