On behalf of Israel’s Civic Action Forum I welcome you and wish you a pleasant and productive stay in our country.
Israel’s Civic Action Forum promotes a just and equitable distribution of profits from our country’s natural resources. As you have probably been briefed by now, the open public campaign most recently initiated by the forum, aims to increase significantly the public’s share in profits from the natural gas found near Israel’s shores.
For decades, our country’s leaders have repeatedly claimed that the inadequate investment in education, health, housing and social welfare systems – was due to increased security needs and the lack of rich natural resources like those of the Gulf or North Sea countries. Indeed, it is precisely for this reason, that the recent discoveries of natural gas - to which your company has contributed greatly, present an historical opportunity for the future of Israeli society.
Our objective is to achieve a long overdue, sweeping social reform, providing the highest quality of life for all of Israel’s citizens - as envisioned by the founders of our state.
However, transforming this opportunity into reality depends on our ability to ensure that most of the profits from these significant discoveries belong to the state - and will be invested in a significant upgrading of our educational, health, welfare and public infrastructure systems. This is the essence of our public campaign.
Unfortunately, Noble Energy, together with its Israeli partners, has taken a different approach and I sincerely hope that these differences can be bridged in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect.
I fully understand the cultural and philosophical differences between your corporate world and our public mission. However, attempts to divert public attention from the very weighty issues at hand will not succeed. The recent threats made by certain corporate managers, lawyers and lobbyists - some of which are truly absurd and outright deceptive - shall deter neither us nor our growing efforts.
Our campaign is based on very solid moral and legal foundations. Underlying our efforts is the wellbeing of all Israeli citizens. At the same time, it is clear that the companies investing in these discoveries must be compensated for risks taken and be granted a fare share of profits – exactly as is done in most western free-market democracies.
In conclusion, this public campaign should in no way be perceived of or pronounced as a threat to the close relationship between Israel and the United States. Any attempt to do so would be cynical and misguided since it does not pertain to the legitimate dispute between private companies and the Israeli public. However, if such baseless claims are made again, they will be addressed swiftly and forcefully.
In the coming months, Israel’s Civic Action Forum will lead an open and entirely transparent public campaign. In this context, it was important for us to briefly present our case to you in this letter.
We are sincerely grateful for your company’s well recognized contribution in exploring Israel’s Natural Gas resources and we hope that both the interests of Noble Energy and its partners - as well as those of Israeli society – will be well accommodated, in a proper and just manner, as exercised all over the free world.