Operation Green

The fight against Islamic terrorism has entered a post-military stage, and Israel is at the forefront of revolutionary solutions.

solar plant 88 224 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
solar plant 88 224
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
In recent years, Western nations from nearly every continent have been the victim of Islamic terrorism, of one sort or another. These nations had virtually no historical analogy upon which to draw in formulating an effective response to this new type of war. Fortunately, there was one nation with just such a history; Israel. Israel's knowledge in counter-terrorism has provided these countries a comprehensive toolbox with which to help fight the Global War on Terror. While Israel is neither large, nor powerful enough to fight this war on behalf of the entire world, Israeli business, technology and policy can, and has guided the rest of the world in this fight. In this sense, Israel is the world's testing ground for the fight against terrorism. It has become clear that while important, military means alone will not defeat Islamic terrorism. The battle against international terrorism must strike at the heart of the problem, money. We must initiate a new strategy, fighting green with green. Like any organization, terrorist organizations are only viable if they have a consistent flow of money (green). The Gulf States, Saudi Arabia and Iran are the chief financial backers of Hizbullah, Hamas, al-Qaida, and numerous other terrorist organizations. In order to eliminate their ability to fund terrorism, alternatives to oil (green energy) must be found. This is another mission, one I call "Operation Green", which Israel can and should lead on behalf of the international community. Again, Israel's unique historical experience has provided this small nation with the required toolbox to help the international community end their oil addiction, and thereby the funds for Islamic terrorism. Within Israel, there are virtually no domestic fossil-energy sources, there is a perennial water shortage, and vast arid land. Israel has a proven record in the renewable energy field, beginning with Ben-Gurion's solar initiatives in the 1950s, and water preservation measures as old as the Nation itself. Israelis are known as a people of their land. This is best exemplified by the pioneering history and the cultivation of a once barren region to a flourishing land of plenty. Because the future of energy security will require a combination of innovative thinking and maximizing usage of scarce resources, it should be no surprise that Israel is historically and strategically situated to lead this charge. Today, Israel continues to combine its entrepreneurial spirit, and technological and scientific expertise to introduce groundbreaking solutions to world-wide energy problems. These solutions include solar, biofuels, water desalination and conservation, clean car engines, wind energy, and geothermal, among others. Not only does Israel produce transformative inventions in renewable energy, it makes the inventions a profitable venture; a key requirement for any renewable energy or related technology to be viable on a scale large enough to impact oil dependency. The Eilat International Renewable Energy Conference, now taking place in southern Israel, is a prime example of Israel's international leadership in the future of energy. The conference brings together politicians, world-renowned scientists, investors, and industry leaders from Israel, the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, and many other countries. This mix is critical because it addresses at the international level each aspect of the renewable energy ecosystem; business, technology and policy. The fight against Islamic terrorism has entered a post-military stage, and like the military stage, Israel is at the forefront of revolutionary solutions that will benefit the international community as a whole (both strategically and environmentally). Although Israel does not have the ability to produce renewable energy on a global scale, it has already proven itself as the "Silicon Valley" for the renewable energy field. As a catalyst to transforming the way we understand and approach future energy challenges, Israel is truly a green light unto the nations. Dr. Issac Berzin is the Head of the Institute for Renewable Energy Policy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya.