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Israeli Energy Minister Believes Normalization with Neighbors is Linked to Iran Threat

Israel’s newly appointed energy minister, Eli Cohen, has expressed his belief in the possibility of normalized relations between Israel and its neighboring countries. Cohen, a member of the Likud party, is eyeing a potential Saudi normalization deal with Israel following the conclusion of the recent Gaza war. While opposition to Palestinian statehood remains a key element of his political stance, Cohen is optimistic about the potential for regional peace.

Cohen’s new role as energy minister places him at the heart of the issue, as he aims to build bridges for Israel through regional and European energy projects. He emphasizes that the key factor behind the likelihood of normalized relations is the common threat posed by Iran. Cohen’s office prominently features a symbol from the US-based organization “United Against Nuclear Iran,” highlighting the importance of countering this threat.

The international community often focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the possibility of a two-state resolution. However, Cohen argues that the true enemy is Iran and its proxy groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. He points out that in the event of a war with Hezbollah, Israel would effectively be fighting Iran. Cohen also notes that the Lebanese government itself does not desire war with Israel, but Hezbollah acts under Iranian influence.

The belief that Iran is the primary funder of terror groups increases the significance Saudi Arabia places on a potential deal with Israel. Before the Gaza war, a plan was in place for a security pact between the US and Saudi Arabia, which would be accompanied by a normalization agreement with Israel. However, the war interrupted these negotiations.

Cohen maintains that a two-state solution or the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza cannot be pursued immediately after the war, due to the brutality of the recent attacks and the continuing threat of terrorism. He refers to the previous Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which ultimately resulted in the territory falling under the control of Hamas and becoming a breeding ground for terrorism.

Cohen also highlights the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s policy of providing financial support to terrorists and their families, based on the severity of their crimes. He sees this as a major obstacle to any potential agreement. In light of these factors, Cohen asserts that a majority of Israelis, regardless of their political affiliation, are currently opposed to a two-state solution.

In summary, Eli Cohen’s appointment as energy minister has placed him in a strategic position to pursue regional peace through energy projects. His belief in the potential for normalized relations is rooted in the shared threat posed by Iran. While acknowledging the importance of addressing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Cohen argues that focusing on countering Iranian aggression should take precedence.

FAQ Section:
1. Who is Eli Cohen?
Eli Cohen is Israel’s newly appointed energy minister and a member of the Likud party.

2. What does Eli Cohen believe in?
Cohen believes in the possibility of normalized relations between Israel and its neighboring countries.

3. What is Cohen’s key focus as energy minister?
Cohen aims to build bridges for Israel through regional and European energy projects.

4. What is the key factor behind the likelihood of normalized relations according to Cohen?
Cohen believes that the common threat posed by Iran is the key factor behind the likelihood of normalized relations.

5. Who does Cohen see as the true enemy?
Cohen argues that the true enemy is Iran and its proxy groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah.

6. Why does Saudi Arabia place significance on a potential deal with Israel?
The belief that Iran is the primary funder of terror groups increases the significance Saudi Arabia places on a potential deal with Israel.

7. Why does Cohen oppose pursuing a two-state solution immediately after the war?
Cohen believes that due to the severity of recent attacks and the continuing threat of terrorism, pursuing a two-state solution or the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza cannot be done immediately after the war.

8. What does Cohen consider a major obstacle to any potential agreement?
Cohen highlights the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s policy of providing financial support to terrorists and their families, based on the severity of their crimes, as a major obstacle to any potential agreement.

Key Terms and Jargon:
1. Likud party: A right-wing political party in Israel.

2. Normalized relations: The establishment of diplomatic, economic, and cultural cooperation between countries.

3. Hamas: A Palestinian militant group controlling the Gaza Strip.

4. Islamic Jihad: A Palestinian Islamist group also operating in the Gaza Strip.

5. Hezbollah: A Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group.

Suggested Related Links:
1. United Against Nuclear Iran – The US-based organization whose symbol is prominently featured in Cohen’s office.

By Alan Caldwell

Alan Caldwell is a respected authority and prolific writer on the subject of urban renewable energy systems in American cities. His expertise lies in exploring the implementation and impact of green energy solutions, such as solar and wind power, in urban landscapes. Caldwell's work often highlights the challenges and successes of integrating renewable energy into city grids, advocating for environmentally sustainable and economically viable energy strategies. His insightful analyses and recommendations have been influential in shaping how cities approach their transition to cleaner energy sources, contributing significantly to the discourse on sustainable urban development.