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Netanyahu in Washington on March 3
Netanyahu in Washington on March 3
Dominique Moïsi

-OpEd-

PARIS — With just days to go before the Israeli election, it becomes increasingly difficult to predict who will win the race. The latest polls show the center-left Zionist Union candidates Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni leading over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ruling Likud party. Of course, the country's proportional system means there will always be a coalition government. But will the new coalition lean to the left, as a poll by a Tel Aviv school renowned for its accurate predictions suggests?

Despite — or perhaps because of — Netanyahu's intervention in the U.S. Congress at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, his run for reelection might very well prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

What would happen if power in Israel changed hands? As far as the Hebrew state's image is concerned, the consequences would undoubtedly be positive. But would it have a real impact on the region as a whole? Could we then conclude that Israel's "shift to the right" is not an inevitable fact, the fruit of demographics and of the growing importance of religious officials and Russian immigrants?

The center-left's potential victory, if it materializes, would certainly not be the result of its leaders' charisma. Quite simply, it would be a rejection of Netanyahu. In Israel, as in most democratic countries in the world, people vote first and foremost against somebody.

A negative vote would, as always, be explained in terms of domestic policy rather than foreign policy. We'd like to think that, by potentially sanctioning Netanyahu in the polls, Israelis would mostly want to punish a man who has contributed more than others to Israel's growing isolation, a man who has taken inconsiderate risks, militarily as well as ethically and diplomatically.

Was the invasion of Gaza a success? Has the political risk been minimized, not to mention the casualties, which Amnesty International denounced in its latest report? Is it also reasonable to widen the existing gap between Washington and Jerusalem simply for political reasons?

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Economy

The Bogus Concept Of "Carbon-Neutral" Oil

The Colombian president recently said that the country had exported one million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset oil. But in an unregulated carbon market, such a claim is pure greenwashing.

People walk in the streets of Bogotá

María Mónica Monsalve Sánchez

-OpEd-

BOGOTÁ - In March this year, various national and corporate leaders met in Houston, Texas, for CERAWeek, an annual conference to discuss the world's energy challenges. Colombia's President Iván Duque took the opportunity to remind participants that his country produced just 0.6% of the world's carbon emissions even as it had raised crude production to one million barrels a day.

He said oil should not be seen as an enemy, since the fight was really against greenhouse gas emissions. He also revealed at the event that the country's national oil firm, Ecopetrol, had sold the Asian market its first million barrels of carbon-neutral or offset crude, consisting of the entire extraction, production and exportation chain.

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