In an effort to smooth over an unusually rocky period in diplomatic relations between the two countries and to put an unusual public rift to rest and invigorate peace talks with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama in Washington.
Netanyahu has already made clear that Iran’s nuclear programme, which Israel fears masks a weapons drive and there is a major disagreement between the United States administration and the Israeli government about where the red line is on the Iranian nuclear programme. While Israel is considering launching a preventive strike, the United States, consider that it would be “premature” to launch military action against Iran.
The United States is not alone in wanting to rein in Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East. British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said it would not be “wise” for Israel to take military action against Iran, echoing earlier comments by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In 1981, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on the unfinished Osirak reactor outside Baghdad, leaving US officials stunned and earning it a sharp rebuke from its American ally. For now, Israel says it is keeping all options open for dealing with Iran’s nuclear programme, which much of the international community fears masks a weapons drive, despite Tehran’s denials.
The main driver of the Middle East economy [oil] has been declining for the past two decades and is now undergoing spectacular falls in production as the world adjusts to the reality of peak oil. Following years of peace disruption and a global race to avert catastrophe, viable alternatives for humanity’s energy needs have become a realistic prospect.
Algae bio-fuel is now leading the way; solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy have also borne fruit. With nanotechnology being applied to panels, solar energy has seen exponential uptake; electric cars are becoming widespread, accounting for more than half of new vehicles. No longer funded by the West’s limitless demand for oil, the Middle East is collapsing into a largely poverty-ridden, internally feuding region.
A “brain drain” ensues, as the Middle East falls back into relative insignificance and much of Israel following a series of devastating conflicts including the use of nuclear weapons, still lies in ruins.