Rupert Murdoch and the Israeli Genie
Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild are major shareholders in and members of the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Energy. Israel has granted Genie oil exploration in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Genie plans to drill 10 exploratory wells over three years there, even though the drilling of new wells – let alone fracking – by an occupying power is illegal.
Rupert Murdoch and the Israeli Genie
By Michael Dickinson / counterpunch.org

“It’s libel to say I use my newspapers to support other business interests. The fact is, I haven’t got any other business interests.”

– Rupert Murdoch

Sorry, Roops, old sport? What about your interests in Genie Oil and Gas, Inc., which consists of American Shale Oil Corporation and an 89% interest in Israel Energy Initiatives, Ltd. in Israel?

Don’t you want people to learn that you are part-owner of an Israeli-American company which has landed a shale oil exploration and production license covering 238 square miles in the Judean Hills and on occupied Syrian land, even though this is plainly illegal under international law?

Should not FOX News and Murdoch-owned news outlets disclose this hot story to their millions of viewers and readers? Should they not be made aware that the Murdoch-owned news outlets which generally support U.S. military action against Syria, do not inform their viewers and readers that the bossman has a vested interest in war and the overthrow of the Assad government in Damascus in order to further Genie’s oil exploration efforts in occupied Syria?

Yes, Rupert Murdoch and his longtime pal Lord Jacob Rothschild are major shareholders in, (a joint 5.5 percent stake worth $11 million), and members of the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Energy, – a spin-off company from telecoms group IDT Corp. (US ex- Vice President Dick Cheney is also a board member.)

Israel has granted Genie oil exploration in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, captured and annexed from Syria in the 1967 war. Genie plans to drill 10 exploratory wells over three years there, at a cost of $25-$30 million, even though the drilling of new wells – let alone fracking – by an occupying power is illegal.

According to Amiram Barkat of Israeli business publication Globes, “The company (Genie) believes that its shale oil cracking technology can free the world from dependence on Arab oil and turn Israel into an energy powerhouse able to produce 300 billion barrels of non-conventional oil at a cost of up to $40 per barrel.”

Claude Pupkin, CEO of Genie Oil and Gas, commented, “Genie’s success will ultimately depend, in part, on access to the expertise of the oil and gas industry and to the financial markets. Lord Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch are extremely well regarded by and connected to leaders in these sectors. Their guidance and participation will prove invaluable.”

(Not to mention political connections. For instance, Murdoch’s close relationship with PM Tony Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies became an issue in Britain.)

Lord Rothschild said. “Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner. Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”

IDT’s Chairman and CEO, Howard Jonas said: “Rupert Murdoch is the greatest and most well informed media magnate of our generation. His decision to invest in our shale initiatives and serve on Genie’s Strategic Advisory Board is very gratifying and we look forward to benefiting from his input.”

“Covering and distributing news has been my life’s work,” responded Murdoch, whose holdings include Fox Entertainment, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, HarperCollins and significant other media assets on six continents .

“If Genie’s effort to develop shale oil is successful, as I believe it will be, then the news we’ll report in the coming decades will reflect a more prosperous, more democratic, and more secure world.”

As far as Israel goes, you could find no greater fan than self-confessed Zionist, Rupert. A close friend of former PM Ariel Sharon, in 2009, when awarded the National Human Relations Award by the American Jewish Committee, Murdoch said:

“In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace … who reject freedom … and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb, and the human shield.”

And in a speech for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in 2013 he said:

“Israel is the greatest ally of democracy, in a region beset with turmoil and radicalism. This beleaguered nation and its people are beacons of hope and justice. Their enemies are our enemies, glorifiers of death, seeking to impose their bloody doctrine through violence.”

(I think he’s talking about the Zionist Apartheid regime established in Palestine where they kill innocent children regularly and try to starve people to death?)

Rupert Murdoch is quoted as saying: “My ventures in media are not as important to me as spreading my personal political beliefs,” and: “For better or for worse, The News Corporation is a reflection of my thinking, my character, and my values.”

Hmmm. Does this not suggest that it is Murdoch who manipulates the journalism that he sells? Its standards are his standards. Anyone in a responsible position in his media empire is under considerable pressure to be favourable towards Israel if they want to keep their job.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Rochwarger, Vice Chairman of Genie, and head of operations in Israel, said: “If we can prove the resource, we believe that this becomes a project of national significance, and that the government will do what it can to protect its rights to this resource.”

There may be trouble ahead though for Genie, as areas of the shale oil formation allotted may spill over into the West Bank; the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank runs adjacent to the believed oil-containing lands.

That problem would be simply solved, if the Chairman of Genie Israel Holdings, Ltd, Efraim “Effie” Eitam had his way. In an interview withHa’aretz in 2002, the Brigadier General (reserves) in the Israeli army who served as Minister of Housing and Construction under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, referred to Palestinian citizens of Israel as a “ticking bomb” and a “cancer.” In 2004, he called them “dark forces” and told The New Yorker, “We will have to kill them all.”

Nice company, Mr. Murdoch! But then, what else would one expect from (according to the editor of Newsweek International), “the man whose name is synonymous with unethical newspapers” – one who scorns the most fundamental rule of journalism – to try to tell the truth.

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Rupert Murdoch and the Israeli Genie