Israel Plans Artificial Islands
Militaristic expansion towards the rich gas fields of the Eastern Mediterranean
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Old Ideas; New Twists
Artificial islands are not a new idea. Probably, the best known one is the international airport of Hong Kong; also the parallel structure in Seoul was built on landfilled sea. Airport islands are rather humble in size; the record in this category belongs to the Dutch, who probably are the world-leaders in land-shaping. They have done that for centuries, and beyond a very impressive network of state-of-the-art dams, they also feature the largest artificial island in the world. Flevopolder is a landfill which was finished in 1968, and has a total area of 970 km2 (375 sq mi). This is one hundred times larger than the abovementioned airports.
The Dutch experience is important in two aspects related to this article. First, it shows that large islands are feasible. An island the size of Flevopolder in front of Israel will enlarge the country significantly; easily creating space for many military installations and at least an additional one million residents. This is a game changer. Second, the Dutch are construction masters, and they have cozy relations with Israel. The Marganit Building—the Ministry of Defense (see long image in this page)—was built by the Dutch since Israel lacks the required technologies. The Northern Command of the IDF—a bunker reaching a depth of 200m below Tzfat—was also built by a Dutch company. Israel trusted them with its deepest secrets. It is safe to assume that Dutch expertise would be used in the construction of the islands.
Netanyahu allotted one year for the feasibility study. If everything goes as planned, the map of the Middle East may change dramatically by the end of this decade, and will do so in a fashion that favors more wars.
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