Palestine campaigners oppose Israeli takeover of North Sea oil

As multi-million-pound deal is struck in the North Sea, Palestine groups question morality of Israeli-Aberdeen deal

PRO-PALESTINIAN campaigners have responded angrily to the recent takeover of Ithica Energy, a major stakeholder in North Sea oil, by an Israeli firm with connections to Israel’s Government.

Delek, founded in 1951 by the Israeli Government, announced an agreed takeover of Ithaca Energy, headquartered in Scotland which operates a 55% stake in the Stella, North Sea oil field.

It follows the bombing, two weeks ago, of Gaza by Israel’s air defence forces and controversy over BDS campaigns that seek to divest from commercial entities connected to the Israeli state.

“When Palestinians are facing incremental genocide everyone should try and prevent such takeovers and the inevitable consequences.” Mike Napier

Responding to the takeover Mike Napier, national committee spokesperson for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) told CommonSpace: “Obama’s parting gift of 38bn in military and technical subsidies is just one example of how the Israeli state is the ability to buy up small and large companies around the world.

“The profits from such companies feed the state campaigns of Israeli and enable what Amnesty itself has described as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“When Palestinians are facing incremental genocide everyone should try and prevent such takeovers and the inevitable consequences.”

The deal resulted in Delek acquiring Ithaca’s equity at a price of $646m and gives the company and market value of $1.24bn. 

Delek has also bought a 13.18 per cent stake in Faroe Petroleum another North Sea operator, for £43m pounds in December of last year.

“Israeli companies have made a substantial contribution to the drive in world economic growth from both conventional and renewable energy technologies.” Israeli Embassy

When contacted about the deal and the prospect of divestment and action by campaigners, Delek refused to grant any comment. A statement from chief executive Asaf Bartfeld did say “for us this deal is a significant step which, will firmly establish Delek Group as a truly global company.”

The Delek group is owned by Yitzhak Tshuva who is an example of the close relationship between Israeli business and the defence of the state. After being in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Tshuva worked in construction for the civil engineering department of the Israeli Defence Ministry. Before taking up the helm at Delek he was responsible for financing and construction of many of Israel’s defence projects and bases such as the Bar Lev Line near the Suez Canal.

Delek Group, valued at $4.5bn, also deals with petrol, natural gas, insurance, biochemistry and armoured vehicles.

Benjamin Netanyahu has already come out in response to BDS campaigns by damning them as inherently ‘anti-semitic’ and counterproductive to the peace process. However, campaigners who wish to show solidarity with the Palestinian people cite the increased expansion of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Delek Group, valued at $4.5bn, also deals with petrol, natural gas, insurance, biochemistry and armoured vehicles.

A spokesperson from the Israeli embassy in London told CommonSpace: “Israeli companies have made a substantial contribution to the drive in world economic growth from both conventional and renewable energy technologies.” 

However, it would not be drawn on the SPSC's insistence that prevention of takeovers from companies supported and connected to the Israeli state is vital to rebalancing the politics of the Middle East.

On behalf the Scottish Government, a spokesperson said the government would not comment on specific deals apart from reiterating the government’s position that foreign direct investment is seen as a “positive”.

The Scottish Government has been recently investing and encouraging training in ensure oil workers retrain in renewable industries. Its procurement policy, however, “strongly discourages trade and investment from illegal settlements”, including the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Picture courtesy of snapper

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Comments

Arthur Blue's picture

Arthur Blue

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 20:55

Didn't know that an Israeli firm was moving into North Sea oil. so this is interesting. Often wondered, though, where Israel gets its oil from, as it must use a fair amount. A deal with Saudi Arabia ?

Norman

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 13:39

The reality is that there is no Palestinian genocide. Palestinian population data shows that the number of Palestinians has grown by 400% since 1948. Yet this disgusting myth continues to be promoted. The reality is that for the Anti-Israel Brigade, Israel can never do the right thing and it should be erased from the face of the earth. And it is the genocide of the Jewish Israelis that the ProPalestinians call for when they chant "From the river to the sea Palestine will be FREE!!!" Why Commonspace would want to promote such appaling antisemitism beggars belief!

Norman Millyard

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 10:37

The term Genocide have never meant wiping out an entire ethic group or race. The death toll remains and the fact that hundreds of tons of bombs as well as white phosphorus has been used on a civilian population, continued terror, murder, incarceration, and mistreatment of civilians by the IDF, women and children included, based on their race by the occupying power, which began with the wholesale looting of a nation in '48 and the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians by the Jewish militia, destroying close to 500 towns and villages, leaving them and their families no right of return, despite having keys and deeds to property and land in many cases (all the while Jewish people from all over the world with no immediate connection to the land are encouraged to come and take their places, literally and gain a duel citizenship in many cases) still carries on to this day. The only people who support this are the HASBARA troll agents, many sponsored, that scour the Internet defending the apartheid state as soon as key words pop up in discussion, and use the same predictable arguments (and if all else fail resort to the 'antisemitic' or even 'nazi' hater cards) and ruthlessly attack, insults and attempt to demoralise, as well as a large group of god-fearing, misinformed Americans. I don't think Israel should be wiped of the face of the earth although I disagree with the disgusting treatment anyone, but Jews in the area receive- but I would disagree equally as much if this treatment extended to the poor, brainwashed, Jewish masses of Israel! When people disagree with the actions and policies of the IDF and of the Israeli government, this is not ANTI-SEMITIC, because, as we are constantly reminded by both of these groups, Israel, and it's occupying military (IDF) isn't exclusively Jewish!

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