buchholz8_MENAHEM KAHANAAFP via Getty Images_israelgaspipeline Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

More Pipes, Less Putin

In 2020, Greeks, Egyptians, Palestinians, and Israelis put aside ancient barbs and modern grudges to agree on a new pipeline that would send natural gas from newly-discovered fields in the Mediterranean to Europe. Following Russia's savage invasion of Ukraine, it's time for US President Joe Biden's administration to get on board.

SAN DIEGO – Greeks, Egyptians, Palestinians, and Israelis rarely agree on anything, except perhaps hummus. When they do concur on other issues, we should take their views seriously. In 2020, their leaders put aside ancient barbs and modern grudges to agree on a new pipeline that would send natural gas from newly-discovered fields in the Mediterranean to Europe.

Those Greeks, Egyptians, Palestinians, and Israelis were prescient. They did not know that prices would quadruple or that Vladimir Putin would turn Russian gas into a weapon of war and commerce. Unfortunately, as soon as US President Joe Biden entered the White House in 2021, he sent out emissaries to quash the plans in a haze of fuzzy talk about the environment. 

I describe the Biden administration’s directive this way because US State Department officials leaked it in a background briefing, or “non-paper.” No surprise, Biden’s fingerprints were not on the non-paper: In 2014, then-Vice President Biden lauded the plans as a potential “win-win.” Putin’s savage attack on Ukraine, literally fueled by Russia’s own natural-gas reserves, makes it clear that the Biden team should immediately pivot and support the EastMed pipeline.

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