BBC resurrects old spy speculations

Israel’s Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom recently led a delegation to a conference on renewable energy in the UAE. The Jerusalem Post informs us that:

“Shalom will attend the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Fourth Assembly, held at the St. Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island from January 18 to 19, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

He follows in the footsteps of then-energy and water minister Uzi Landau, who traveled to a similar Abu Dhabi conference on January 16, 2010, and became the first minister to visit the United Arab Emirates. Israeli is one of 123 member-states of IRENA, an intergovernmental organization focused on renewable energy development that is based in Abu Dhabi. […]

The delegation is to include Hevel Eilot Regional Council Chairman Udi Gat, who will deliver a presentation, the spokesman said.

Gat, whose southern Arava Desert region has become a hub for renewable energy, said he plans to speak about “how from an idea you create a project” – how to integrate all of the complicated aspects of government and business that go into forging forward with renewable energy plans. In addition, he told the Post, he intends to explain how you can transform a municipality or a region through renewable energy projects.

“I think it will be interesting and I hope to meet people from all over the world,” he said. “I want to brand the [Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy] Conference that we have this December.” “

But if one presumed that the subject of Israelis sharing their extensive knowledge and experience of renewable energy with other countries in the region and further afield would be of interest to the BBC or that it might use the opportunity to inform audiences about the renewable energy sector in Israel, one would be mistaken.

Instead, two-thirds of the word-count of the article which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on January 16th under the headline “Israel in first UAE visit since murder of Hamas al-Mabhouh” is dedicated to the resurrection of an unproven story from 2010 with links to re-runs of speculative old BBC articles.  

Silvan Shalom UAE visit

The BBC’s claim that “[t]he visit could mark an improvement in ties between Israel and the Gulf states which share unease over Iran’s rising power in the region” appears to be a no less premature speculation.

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