Podcast on Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border

Podcast that is very negative on the maritime border deal (Lebanon got 100% of its claim, but has to revenue share 45% of oil profits with Israel). Essentially claimed that the whole zeigeist of the deal is a foolish idea to prop up the Lebanese state after the financial crisis. But in practice it only benefits Hizballah because there is no effective independent Lebanese state. Negotiations also just embolden Hizballah to ask for more and more.

My take is the view is too pessimistic. Israel clearly doesn't get much out of the deal. And maybe it would be good to save the deal as a chip in some larger negotiation over normalization (which isn't on the horizon).

On the other hand, if Lebanon has a stake in natural gas exploitation in the Mediterranean that does create a symmetry that makes it less likely for Lebanon/Hizballah to disrupt Israeli oil fields. And I think that dynamic is true regardless of how powerful Hizballah is relative to the Lebanese state/other factions.

I doubt the 840 square kilometers means much to Israel security wise. And as long as the area was disputed Israel couldn't make money off of it anyways.

Also worth noting that if you look at the actual lines Lebanon's claim seems reasonable enough.

(1) Lebanon and Cyprus setup a maritime border based on "line 1" which runs Northwest from the Lebanon-Israel border to Cyprus (2) Israel claimed line 1 as its maritime border with Lebanon. But Lebanon claimed line 1 is only valid in negotaitions with Cyprus. And vis-a-vis Israel "line 23" is valid. The total area is about 860 square kiliometers (bigger or smaller than the sf bay depending on how you measure it) (3) The US tried to push the "hof line" which gave Lebanon 55% of its claim, Israel 45% of its claim. (4) Negotiations broke down (5) Financial crisis in Lebanon + gas find in Israeli waters creates new urgency for a deal. State department pushes Israel to reopen negotiations (6) Israel bulks. Biden has phone call with Israel saying a deal is a top priority