water and palestine
September 14, 2009 § Leave a comment
A few days ago, someone from the BBC called me to ask me if I could talk about water as a source of conflict in the Middle East, especially between Israelis and Arabs. I told them that the idea is ludicrous, because:
1. There is already a war going on between Israel and the Arab people, including the Palestinians, Lebanese, and others. The cause of the war is not water, and it doesn’t look like it is ending soon.
2. There is no water issue: Israel takes what it wants and refuses to subscribe to international ruling. Arab regimes watch powerlessly and sometimes offer a helping hand. Where are the seeds of the conflict here?
3. Does anyone really believe that the current Arab regimes will go to war with Israel over water? I mean how silly can one be?
i thought this post was interesting but i disagree with his conclusion that water is not a major issue in the israeli/palestinian conflict. i mean obviously, the israeli occupation did not begin because of water issues. but i do believe that it is not a coincidence that the places in the west bank that have strong water sources are the places that also have strongly israeli-defended israeli settlements. and i talked with the palestinian government water official for the hebron district and he informed me that hebron buys its water from israeli settlements in the hebron district. stop just think about that for a second. the hebron govt has to buy water from the israeli settlements that stole the water from hebron in the first place. fuck. and when you hear of israel dismantling one or two settlements, they are never talking about a settlement that is on a major water source.
Under an agreement signed a decade ago as part of the Oslo accord, four-fifths of the West Bank’s water is allocated to Israel, though the aquifers that supply it are largely replenished by water falling onto Palestinian territory.
what i cannot speak on is other arab nations’ relationships with israel. i mean. i dont see the conflict between most arab nations with israel to actually be about palestine. i see a lot of arab leaders using the palestinian cause as a punch line in their speeches but its all or mostly rhetoric.
there is though an inherent conflict between palestinians and israelis in terms of water access. and yes i do think that it may lead to a more hot conflict. lack of water will do that to a population. you cant live without water. you just cant.