It is implausible that Israel believed it could lead international opinion on Kurdish independence; more likely, Israel aimed its statements at the U.S. When the 80,000-ton SCF Altai docked in Ashkelon, it remained in port for more than two and a half days—a moderately protracted stay for a tanker of that size unloading a shipment. Did Israel face U.S. pressure not to receive the Kurdish crude, with the tanker idling in port? It is one plausible explanation. If so, the dual Peres-Netanyahu statements constitute a sharp riposte. Israel proclaimed its support for a longtime covert friend. With so few reliable friends remaining, it seems to have publicly challenged the U.S. to do the same.