Sunday, June 24, 2018

Israel's "Tracks for Regional Peace"

No drama, no media attention. No one is noticing yesterday’s announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Standing with his Transportation Minister Netanyahu announced a new rail initiative that will connect Europe with the Jordan and Saudi Arabia, through Israel. Take note of the fact that the government of Jordan-- a Palestinian state, incidentally-- recently needed a bailout from Saudi Arabia. How do you think that this might influence the Jordanian attitude in the next Palestinian peace talks?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Israel Katz agreed this week to begin promoting their “Tracks for Regional Peace” initiative that will create a trade route connecting Europe with the Persian Gulf and Israel, Hadashot news reported Saturday evening.

“Tracks for Regional Peace” is based on the planned extension of railway tracks in northern Israel, which would link Haifa’s seaport to Jordan’s rail network, which in turn will be linked with that of Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states.

The network is envisioned as creating a regional transportation system to enhance trade relations and promote peaceful coexistence.

We have made a habit of keeping watch on developments in the Middle East. We are heartened by Saudi liberalization and by the prospect of improved trade relations between regional powers. For those who have wanted to make Israel the theatre for a grand Marxist drama this is not very good news.

Introduced in a new PR video from Netanyahu and Katz’s offices, the initiative will see the eastward extension of the Haifa-Beit She’an rail line to the Jordanian border and will also include a stop in Jenin, connecting the Palestinians to the broader plan.

Goods would be shipped from Europe to Haifa, allowing them to bypass civil war-torn Syria.

“There are two central components at the heart of this initiative,” Katz explained when discussing the plan back in April. “Israel as a land bridge between Europe and the Mediterranean and Jordan; and Jordan as a regional transportation hub, which will be connected to a railroad system to Israel and the Mediterranean in the West; to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Iraq in the East and southeast; and to the Red Sea, through Aqaba and Eilat, in the south.”

Some good news for today.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

The Palis will now have an express train to the end of their world. Perhaps they will learn from this? My Magic 8-Ball tells me, Not Gonna Happen.