Oil dependency emerges as priority for organized Jewish community
One of the obstacles for many of us in the Jewish community concerned with our dependency on oil is that when we explain why this is a Jewish issue, we are greeted with disbelief that this is truly a specific concern to the Jewish community, or even if it is, not one that need be a priority. It isn’t that Jewish an issue.
But it is.Â Because of the disproportionate power oil rich Middle Eastern countries have on geopolitical considerations, and the lack of oil in the Jewish state, this is a Jewish issueÂ whichÂ affects realpolitik considerations.Â Â
And now it is finally being recognized as such.Â Thanks to the Prime Minister of Israel.
The Forward reports,
A plug from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given new life to congressional legislation granting Israel $120 million over five years for energy research and development, Jewish organizational officials said.
The breakthrough on Capitol Hill is being credited to Olmert’s May 24 speech to a joint session of Congress, during which he mentioned American-Israeli cooperation in developing alternative energy sources[…] Communal leaders say that the prime minister’s remarks have energized the efforts of Jewish organizations to push the legislation.
“Olmert’s speech really gave our efforts momentum both on Capitol Hill and within the Jewish community,” said Hadar Susskind, Washington director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs[…] Although Jewish groups have been deeply involved in attempts to shape America’s energy policy, they have not aggressively mobilized to support or oppose specific energy legislation in recent years. This bill, Jewish activists said, could provide a focus and a cause for the Jewish community on the issue.
“This bill is a small part of a larger effort to get more involved in energy policy,” said Neil Goldstein, executive director of the American Jewish Congress. […] “We believe that what is needed is a project on the scale of a Manhattan Project or an Apollo Project,” Goldstein said. “We believe that this is of such grave consequence for the U.S. and the Western world that it really deserves that kind of attention. Our bill is a very small piece of that.”
This is the best news I have heard in a long time.Â It used to be that the Prime Minister of Israel would come to the U.S. merely to collect money.
Now it seems he also comes to give the Jewish community a much needed kick in the ass.
The Prime Minister hath spoken. And U.S. Jewish organizations concur.
Alternative energy is a Jewish issue. And must be a priority.