When you hear “Israeli oil” you think of something to keep the menorah burning or a nice dipping sauce for a toasty pita, not the icky, sticky stuff that runs the globe and showered an ecstatic James Dean in Giant, right? Last time I heard about the far-fetched legend of bubblin’ crude in the Holy Land it was from an article profiling evangelical Christian-backed Zion Oil & Gas, who rely on the Bible as their drilling guide.
But apparently petroleum is an actual legitimate business for one Kibbutz Shefayim, who as the Alon Israel Oil Company, Ltd. claims a healthy chunk of the local petroleum market after acquiring 1,700 gas stations, an oil refinery and a U.S. pipeline.
Altogether, Alon-Dor has over 350 operating stations of various kinds around Israel, giving it a 20% share of the local petroleum market. The company also has major retail holdings in food and convenience stores, many of them located in Alon’s gas stations and real-estate centers by the stations.
The kibbutz also runs a luxurious resort near Tel Aviv, and has several more enterprises in the works.
So the Armageddon-mongers are digging around for liquid treasure in the dry sands of the Sinai, Israelis generate fortunes with American-imported oil and we’re still fighting an asinine war over Iraq’s reserves. This is a very strange world, indeed.