Egypt wants gas,
Israel, Jordan building a bridge
FOR YEARS ISRAEL has been telling its neighbors: Have peaceful relations with us and we all gain.
Egypt listened and, although there have been some tensions, the Sadat-Begin peace has held. (I list Anwar Sadat first since he came to Jerusalem to meet with Menachem Begin - two old warriors who knew all too well the price of war.)
Egypt now is first in line for Israeli gas from the Med. It has plans to use some and make a profit on the rest that it buys from its neighbor.
Jordan, which came to the table late, now is planning a new bridge over the river to connect industrial districts in each country.
There already are three crossings between Israel and Jordan:
Allenby/King Hussein bridge
Sheikh Hussein crossing /North Border
Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border,
According to the WorldTribune,
Israel and Jordan plan to boost economic and trade ties with the development of a joint industrial zone on both banks of the Jordan River.
“This is an important milestone between the two countries in promoting a large-scale economic project, which will provide employment and welfare to Israeli and Jordanian citizens and the entire region,” said Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara, who heads the project.
Jordan and Israel, in this scrivener's opinion, should be working together to develop a common international airport near the Red Sea.
The bridge is not the only thing Israel and Jordan are working on together.
Also in the works is a joint effort to build a waterway between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. This little enterprise is expected to cost the neighbors roughly US$800 million according to a Jerusalem Post article.
There is a long history of quiet cooperation between the two countries. Those "quiet" conversations failed to prevent war, but perhaps laid the groundwork for the current peace agreement with the Hashemite kingdom.
With Egypt the issues are security in general and Gaza (Hamas) in particular.
But peace, even a shaky peace, is proving beneficial for all three countries. If only some others in the region would recognize the value of peace with Israel, even if it is "unofficial."