By Yosef I. Abramowitz/JNS.org
Click photo to download. Caption: A photovoltaic array at the National Solar Energy Center, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, in the Negev Desert of Israel. Credit: David Shankbone.
JERUSALEM—The perpetuation of a world powered by oil is one of the most
anti-Jewish actions imaginable. A world that resists transitioning quickly from
oil to renewables is a world that feeds the Iranian nuclear program, promotes
radical whabbiism in Saudi Arabia and around the world, accelerates extreme
climate change, pollutes our air, distorts world policy against Israel, and
sends American and other troops off to bloody and expensive wars in Iraq and
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has challenged us all to imagine a
world without oil and has set up within his office a special bureau investing
in oil substitute strategies.
Theodor Herzl imagined the future state of the Jews running on renewables, through an ambitious hydroelectric program linking the Mediterranean and Dead seas.
David Ben Gurion, recognizing the power of the sun, envisioned that all hot
water and electricity in Israel were going to be produced by solar power.
With 60 percent of the country’s land consisting of desert, Israel could be the
first major economy to be powered by the sun. Research funds should be invested
into battery storage technologies to accelerate the adoption of grid-scale storage
of green power for nighttime use.
Thomas Friedman writes convincingly that the new natural gas finds in the
United States should be viewed as a transitional phase in our economy, bridging
the era of coal and oil to that of solar and other renewables. This is also
true for Israel, an energy island. Israel’s offshore natural gas finds, if used
properly, can provide the windfall necessary to build a national renewable
Let’s face it: There is only one reason to attempt to justify drilling on
Israel’s historic lands, pumping chemicals into the ground above a water aquifer,
heating it up to 350 degrees Celsius for three years (at a huge energy expense)
and pumping dirty shale oil out. That reason is greed, pure and simple.
Advocates of fracking will try to mask their greed with arguments for energy
independence. But Israel is blessed with enough clean natural resources that we
don’t need oil. Energy independence is possible and supremely preferable
without fracking. And with nearly every automaker coming out with electric
vehicles, even our transportation can be driven by renewables.
For Israel to take part in perpetuating the world’s oil-based economy is a
betrayal of our values and ultimately threatens our existence as a country and
of the world. Our founding fathers understood that God has granted us a land
blessed with clean natural resources that can promote energy independence while
providing a model to the rest of the world to kick their addiction to oil.
As we approach the High Holidays, we need to realize that fracking in Israel is
a sin fueled by greed. The sun could power the country by day, and the natural
gas finds by night. Green energy …read more