Israel: The Economic Nexus of the 21st Century?
Recently there's been a lot of concern raise in the media about the possible closing of the Strait of Hormuz to shipping if hostilities broke out between Iran and America. About 25% of the world's oil supplies (75% of Japan's) flows through the straits.
Below is an article that summarizes some of these issues.
OPLAN 1019 Arabian Gauntlet
There are few alternatives for getting the oil out of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States if the Strait of Hormuz is closed to shipping. For Saudi Arabia, the only alternative is the East-West Pipeline that carries limited amounts of oil from the Saudi oil fields in the east of the country to the Red Sea ports. The only other potentially viable pipeline is the disused Trans Arabian Pipeline that could potentially be repaired and reopened. However, this pipeline, which once carried oil overland to the Mediterranean ports of Palestine, fell into disuse when Israel became an independent nation and is now virtually useless without major repairs and upgrades.
A similar condition exists for Iraq, which has pipelines that carry limited amounts of oil to the Mediterranean via Turkey and Syria. Iraq, too, has a disused pipeline that once carried oil overland to Palestinian ports, but it too fell into disuse when Israel became an independent nation.
As the great 21st Century East/West, Shiia/Sunni, Persian/Arab divide continues to widen, the Sunni Arabs of Arabia and Mesopotamia will most likely re-think their long-held animosity toward Israel that, for more than half a decade, has denied them access to valuable Mediterranean ports for the export of their oil. If Iran can threaten the Strait of Hormuz, and if America becomes unwilling or unable to counter the Iranian threat, the Arabs may find it expedient, if not palatable, to make nice with Israel.
Another development that has been in the works for several years is a potential partnership between Israel and Russia in the oil trans-shipment dance. Specifically, Israel has an oil pipeline that runs from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, which Russia could use to trans-ship oil from tankers coming from the Black Sea to Asian markets These markets are currently dominated by Saudi Arabia because of its strategic proximity to Indian Ocean shipping lanes.
A shortcut for Russian oil to Asia
"A recent agreement between Russia and Israel will soon allow Russia to supply the Asian markets with crude oil through the Trans-Israel Pipeline (TIPline), a 150-mile pipeline running straight through Israel, thus breaking for the short term the Saudi near-monopoly on oil sales to East Asia, the world's fastest growing energy market."
The article can be read at:
Looks like Israel could become a major strategic player in the oil trans-shipment business, which may make for Israel's peace not only with the Arabs, but with the Russians.
Here is another article (somewhat dated) about movement toward rapprochement between Israel and other regional powers in the interest of economics.
Turkey, Israel make undersea connections
"Leaders in Israel and Turkey envision a network of four underwater pipelines for transporting Russian oil and natural gas, with feeder lines to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon.
"The joint Turkish-Israeli development plan holds the promise of accelerating economic growth in the Middle East. A $50 million feasibility study is financed by the Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank, officials from Turkey and Israel say.
"India is a main backer of the proposed network of pipelines because of the energy needs of its fast-growing economy."
The article also notes that pipelines for shipping fresh water could be laid. In the 21st Century, many experts predict that water will be as valuable a resource in the Middle East as oil.
It seems that Israel may become the key to economic expansion and prosperity for the Middle East, Russia, Asia and Europe. Israel is now the eye of the religious, political and cultural storm that gathers over the world. Soon it will be the critical nexus of much of the world's economy.
I have thought for some time that Jerusalem, as the center of apostate Judaism, could well be the Great Whore of Revelation 17. It seems that it may also become the capital of the 'economic Babylon' of Revelation 18.
Revelation 18 (NIV)
"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' 19They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!
In one hour she has been brought to ruin!' "
Below is a map showing how Israel is located in the right spot at the right time: