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Jordan & Israel
Pay Attention to this Gas Deal

Israel is shaping up to be an unexpectedly important energy player in the Middle East, providing the promise of collaboration and economic growth in a part of the world in which both are in very short supply.

Published on: September 16, 2014
Rachel Bronson is senior fellow for Global Energy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She tweets at @rachelbronson1.
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  • wigwag

    “Still Israel’s growth rate was not so different from many in its neighborhood including Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even the West Bank.” (Rachel Bronson)

    This is a silly sentence in a sophisticated essay. Israel’s per-capita GDP is only ten percent greater than that of Saudi Arabia (thanks to Saudi hydrocarbon wealth) but its more than double the per-capita GDP of Turkey. Israel’s per-capita GDP is more than five times that of Jordan and eighteen times that of the West Bank.

    For Israel’s economy to grow at 4 percent is a major accomplishment unmatched by most of the OECD nations who are its economic peers. Growth rates of 4 percent for Turkey, Jordan and the West Bank represent economic failure. To put it colloquially, 4 percent of bupkis is bupkis.


    When a wealthy economy like Israel is growing at 4 percent it means that a wealthy economy is growing wealthier. If economies of the scale of Jordan, Turkey and the West Bank grow at four percent, it means that it will take generations for these economies to register as anything other than economic “also-rans.”

    • Ernst Bloefeld

      She was speaking to growth, not per capita GDP. Two entirely different things.

  • PKCasimir

    Oil reserves of 11.5 million barrels puts Israel in the same league as that energy power house Lithuania. What is significant and what has changed Israel’s energy outlook is the discovery of 10.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. That makes Israel an exporter rather than an importer of natural gas.

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