The Brussels Energy Club (BREC) would like to express its sincerest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of its Advisory Board Member, Joseph Paritzky, who passed away on October 5, 2021.
Joseph Paritzky was a great friend and supporter of the Club, having been a guest speaker at two separate BREC meetings, in 2015 and 2017 respectively. He became a member of the Club"s Advisory Board upon its foundation in 2020.
Beyond his affiliation to BREC, Joseph Paritzky is far better known internationally as the former-Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of Israel in the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in the early-to-mid 2000s. He was also a prominent Israeli politician, having been elected to the Knesset on two occasions — in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
Paritzky championed many initiatives in the sphere of energy and water while he was Minister, engaging a number of Israel"s important neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Turkey. He was a vocal advocate of development of Israel"s gas sector, which evolved substantially both during Paritzky"s time in government and in the ensuing years.
Paritzky showed vision with a view to elevating the importance of regional energy markets to a higher priority than the political turbulence in which his region was often engulfed. He was not standoffish in exposing himself politically while engaging Israel"s Arab neighbours in the promotion of regional cooperation. He saw the gas sector as an equalizer capable of creating economic interdependence and symbiosis both for Israel and the states of its neighbourhood.
His advocacy of gas continued following his departure from the political limelight, when he championed the idea of Israel becoming an LNG bunkering hub in the East Med region. He believed in Israel"s potential as a gas producer and educated numerous audiences with his knowledge of this subject at many an international meeting. He regularly travelled to Brussels, promoting Israel"s natural gas potential during the latter years of his life and building bridges between Israel and multiple stakeholders in Europe and the United States.
He was likewise an advocate of Israel"s closer relations with energy frameworks such as the Energy Charter Treaty, a trade and investment agreement comprised of 56 countries. He also shared his knowledge and experience with the younger generations, providing lectures and training programs to university students and young professionals from the energy industry.
Joseph Paritzky"s mind worked overtime whilst frequently being in a state of overdrive when it came to energy. In fact, his own enthusiasm and passion for the energy sector was almost on the scale of Israel"s newly discovered gas deposits — behemoth findings enabling potential for the country"s evolution from a gas importing to exporting state. As a very measured, although at times high octane personality, he continued to support various initiatives, people and projects in the energy sector. Perhaps two of his ideas not yet realized might be taken up by his friends and successors: the establishment of a Tel Aviv Energy Club and the acceleration of closer energy-economic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in light of last year"s Abraham Accords.
Joseph Paritzky was only 66 years old at the time of his passing. He will be sorely missed, but will always be remembered as "our Joe". Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences are expressed to his wife, children and grandchildren.
Some information links to his memory are enclosed below:
- https://www.energycharter.org/what-we-do/knowledge-centre/training-programmes/training-programme-visegrad-session-17-20-may-2016/ (click on video)