The US has not renewed a historic agreement under which it guaranteed a supply of oil to Israel in emergencies, that is, instances in which Israel might be cut off from its regular commercial sources of oil because of war or closure of sea lanes. The agreement expired in November 2014, and since then the US administration has done nothing to renew it, Washington sources told “Globes”.
The sources said that it was not clear whether this was a deliberate step by the administration, stemming perhaps from renewed friction between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the White House, or a matter of bureaucratic inertia in Washington.
The agreement was first signed in 1975 during the Ford administration, two years after the Yom Kippur War and following the second disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt in September 1975, under which Israel agreed to withdraw from the Egyptian oil fields in Sinai. The agreement by the US to guarantee Israel’s oil supply in emergencies was one of the most important of the incentives that motivated Israel to give up the oil fields.
Now, apparently after a push by the pro-Israel lobby in Washington AIPAC, a group of Democratic and Republican senators has written to Secretary of State John Kerry calling on the administration to renew the historic agreement. The letter is signed by Lisa Murkowski, who is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Mark Warner, the senior Democratic member of the committee, and four other senators.