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[op-ed] Israelis, stop swimming in our shit

A new report by Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network details the damage that consecutive Israeli military assaults have caused to Gaza’s water systems, whereby 95 percent of the water consumed in the Strip for decades has been unfit for human consumption.

By Sam Bahour

Tel Aviv beach (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Tel Aviv beach (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinians in Gaza are starting to wake up from the shell-shock of Israel’s 51-day Ramadan Massacre, which left over 2,131 Palestinians killed (of which more than 500 were children), over 10,000 injured (more than half of whom are estimated to be permanently handicapped), and scores of homes and businesses demolished. Reality is bleaker than ever before. Nothing of the underlying reasons why Gaza exploded into a bloodbath has changed; Israeli and Egyptian closures of Gaza’s borders remain in place. However, one product is making its way freely across the border into Israel. Actually, this product flows undetected by the almighty Israeli military and rolls right up on to the shores of Tel Aviv. The product is Palestinian shit, or more accurately, to maintain the media bias of the times, Palestinian terrorist shit.

We Palestinians have no love affair with the Israelis relaxing on the shores of Tel Aviv. Many of these Israelis have no problem being high-tech professionals in the morning, throwing on their military uniform and participating in turning Gaza into a living hell on earth in the afternoon, then going for a relaxing swim with the family on the shores of Tel Aviv in the evening. However, we would advise Israelis, and all tourists to Israel for that matter, to please stop swimming in our shit. This practice is not only unhealthy for you and your children, but it is killing us, literally and figuratively.

In a new policy brief titled, “Drying Palestine: Israel’s Systemic Water War,” issued by Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, Muna Dajani writes from Jerusalem of the damage that consecutive Israeli military aggressions have caused to Gaza’s water systems:

Ninety-five percent of the water that Palestinians in Gaza have been consuming for decades has been proven unfit for human consumption. Electricity shortages that have lasted for almost a decade have limited water treatment capacity and thus the availability of water to households, as well as increased the discharge of untreated wastewater into the sea. Even before the summer assault on Gaza, 90 million liters of untreated or partially treated wastewater were being dumped and continue to be dumped into the [Mediterranean] sea each day due to insufficient treatment facilities.

While the Israeli government continues to maintain a total closure on the Gaza Strip, there is no chance the electricity needed to run the water and wastewater networks will be operational anytime soon.

In her policy brief, Ms. Dajani also depicts the water war being waged in the West Bank. She notes:

According to the Palestine-based coalition, Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Palestine (EWASH), between 2009 and 2011, 173 different pieces of water, sanitation or hygiene infrastructure were demolished, including the confiscation of water tankers, which are used as an emergency measure when access to water is prohibited. Beyond the Israeli military’s systematic targeting of infrastructure in Area C [62 percent of the West Bank], residents of the illegal Jewish-only settlements have also been carrying out acts of vandalism and destruction that specifically target Palestinian water sources and frequently taking over natural springs for their own recreational use. Settlers can be seen as acting within a clear Israeli policy that sees such targeting of water resources as an acceptable method of warfare.

A sewage pipe empties directly into the sea near the refugee camp of Deir al Balah, Gaza, May 12, 2012. Along with other sewage depositories, up to 90 million liters of raw and partially-treated sewage is dumped into the Gaza sea every day. Polluted water in the Gaza Strip greatly affects peoples health. According to a UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) report from 2010, diseases associated with water account for around 26% of diseases in Gaza. The UN says only a quarter of Gaza waste water is treated. The rest, including raw sewage, goes into the Mediterranean Sea. The whole underground coastal aquifer, could become unusable by 2016, with the damage irreversible by 2020. (photo: Activestills)

A sewage pipe empties directly into the sea near the refugee camp of Deir al Balah, Gaza, May 12, 2012. (photo: Activestills)

The damage being done has long-term effects, as Ms. Dajani goes on to write:

Many [Palestinian] communities depend on basic water sources such as wells, springs and cisterns to meet domestic needs; oftentimes this infrastructure was built decades, if not millennia, earlier and is badly in need of repair. Hundreds of such communities in the West Bank suffer from deliberate damage and destruction of their water sources. Rainwater cisterns, wells, irrigation systems, and water networks built in the pre-Roman period have been targets of Israeli military forces. The effects of destroying the water infrastructure are not limited to disease, absence of basic life necessities, loss of income, or development opportunities. Over the long term, Israel’s targeting of water infrastructure also deeply influences the relationship that Palestinians have with their land. By depriving farmers of water, they drive them off their land. Denying herders access to age-old cisterns cuts off traditional livelihoods and depletes resource-rich villages of jobs, families and traditions.

Given the Palestinian economy today is a donor-driven economy, Ms. Dajani is correct in her below statement to point to donors in an attempt to stop this Israeli aggression on our water system. Until donor funds reverse their political tendency from acquiescence to the Israeli occupation and assume the indigenous populations’ legal rights as part of their intervention mandate, nothing will change.

Donor intervention in the water field must go from providing temporary solutions to putting active political pressure on Israel so that its military forces cease their strategic destruction of water infrastructure. Money could then be invested in long-term development of infrastructure that would politically empower Palestinian communities at the grassroots, ensure access to clean water, and allow for the economic development of both the industrial and agricultural sectors. If Palestinians and the donor community could be assured that infrastructure was immune from Israeli attacks, the tides would turn on a policy that has left Palestinians high and dry.

The mass majority of Jewish Israelis prefer to just ignore anything Palestinian; to them we are invisible. Ever since the founding of the state of Israel, the policy has been clear: Uproot the Palestinian population using all means possible, legal and illegal, destroy Palestinian villages in an attempt to erase the crime, and rebrand anything left, like city and street names, in a policy the Israel government has long ago identified as ‘Judaization of the country.

Sadly, this conflict will not end soon. In the meantime, Israelis, please inform your kids not to swallow the seawater.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He blogs at ePalestine.com.

Related:
‘Israel wants us to be dependent on aid’: Gaza’s economy under siege
Visualizing Occupation: Distribution of Water
PHOTOS: 13 days without water in East Jerusalem

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    1. Danny

      Sam, Israelis have no problem swimming in shit, and have been doing so for decades. Not sure if you’ve ever visited an Israeli beach, but let me tell you from personal experience that the ability to withstand heavy stenches is a definite requirement. Also, Israeli beaches are filthy, over-crowded and frequently infested with tennis-playing arsim. Not an experience for the faint-hearted.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        But your shit does not stink Danny? Give us a break you two bit little antiSemite.

        Now go on and tell us that you are an ex Israeli Jew who saw the light and expect us to believe you.

        Reply to Comment
        • Shlomo

          Here’s the deal:

          Every time “antisemite” is used to smear someone who notes Israel’s crimes, the world gets to depict the Tribe as “Jesus-killers.”

          Mkay?

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            Threatening a Zionist with an anti-Semitic world is like threatening a fish with water.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Here’s the deal:

            Every time “antisemite” is used to smear someone who notes Israel’s crimes, the world gets to depict the Tribe as “Jesus-killers.”

            Mkay?”

            Please yourself, Shlomo (an Israeli name). I call em’ as I sees them. This Danny Boy sounds like a hater. Every post of his oozes hate towards Israelis AND Jews in general.

            At best, if on the off chance that he is actually telling the truth that he is a disillusioned ex Israeli, even then he is obnoxious. In fact, he is even more obnoxious then because he makes himself out to be holier than thou AND he outdoes even some antiSemites with his hate speech towards us. It is as if he is trying to whitewash himself by smearing the rest of us. He seems to think that the more he smears us, the cleaner he himself looks.

            I wonder whether he has done something terrible himself for which he is desperately trying to atone.

            As for your own threat, Shlomo, to brand us as Christ Killers, what’s in it for you huh? By the way, you don’t have to try all that hard with some people. If you scratch too hard, amongst the more hateful posters here, I bet such an attitude actually drives them.

            Reply to Comment
      • Whiplash

        What you fail to mention is that Israelis clean up their own shit and do not leave it to others to do. Israel not only cleans up their waste waters but they recycle the waters for use in agriculture freeing up fresh water resources for human consumption.

        Now here is something remarkable. Israelis actually make plans and act on those plans. They have built 5 large desalination plants to meet Israeli needs. They treat and recycle their sewage.

        The Israelis have made the desert bloom while the Palestinians are busy turning good land into desert.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          If you can build terror tunnels and rockets, you can build sewer treatment plants.

          It’s really a question of will.

          Reply to Comment
    2. bor

      What a tendentious pool of bullshit.

      Here you go:

      http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/truth-behind-palestinian-water-libels/

      This is from Prof. Haim Gvirtzman who is a professor of hydrology at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University and a member of the Israel Water Authority Council. He is also a long-time advisor of the Israel-PA Joint Water Committee. He authored the BESA Center’s groundbreaking 2012 study on Israel-Palestinian water issues.

      BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 238

      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel’s water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people’s water shortages, but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.

      A significant public debate has been sparked by the assertion of European Parliament President Martin Schulz that the amount of water available to the average Israeli unfairly overwhelms the amount of water available to the average Palestinian. The main issue that should be discussed – and has not been sufficiently analyzed – is: What are the causes of Palestinian water supply problems?

      The discussion must be informed by the following basic facts:

      1. The Oslo agreements grant the Palestinians the right to draw 70 million cubic meters from the Eastern Mountain Aquifer (ground water reservoir). Yet this water resource is not currently being capitalized on by the Palestinians; the waters spill untapped underground into the Dead Sea. As per the Israeli-Palestinian agreement, some 40 sites were identified for drilling into this aquifer in the eastern Hebron hills region, and permits were granted to the Palestinians by the Israel-PA Joint Water Committee. Nevertheless, over the past 20 years, the Palestinians have drilled at just one-third of these sites, despite the fact that the international community has offered to finance the drilling of all sites. If the Palestinians were to drill and develop all these wells, they could have completely solved the existing water shortage in the Hebron hills region. But the Palestinians have preferred to drill wells on the Western Mountain Aquifer, the basin that provides groundwater to the State of Israel. Instead of solving the problem they have chosen to squabble with Israel.

      2. The Palestinians do not bother fixing water leaks in city pipes. Up to 33 percent of water in Palestinian cities is wasted through leakage. Upkeep on the Palestinians’ urban water infrastructure has been completely neglected. By comparison, leakage from Israeli municipal water pipes amount to only 10 percent of water usage.

      3. The Palestinians refuse to build water treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so under the Oslo agreement. Sewage flows out of Palestinian towns and villages directly into local streams, thereby polluting the environments and the aquifer and causing the spread of disease. Despite the fact that donor countries are willing to fully fund the building of treatment plants, the Palestinians have managed to avoid their obligations to build such facilities. (Only over the past two years has Israeli pressure moved the PA forward a bit on this matter.)

      4. The Palestinians absolutely refuse to irrigate their agricultural fields with treated sewage effluents. By comparison, more than half the agricultural fields in Israel are irrigated with treated waste water. Irrigating Palestinian agricultural fields with recycled water instead of fresh water would free up large amounts of water for home usage. This would greatly reduce the water shortage in many places.

      5. Some Palestinian farmers irrigate their fields by flooding, rather than with drip irrigation technology. Drip irrigation, as practiced in Israel, brings water directly to the root of each plant, thereby reducing water consumption by more than 50 percent. Flooding fields causes huge water evaporation and leads to great waste.

      6. The international community has offered to build a desalination plant for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians have refused this gift. A desalination plant could completely solve the Gaza Strip’s water shortages. The Palestinians refuse to build this plant because they claim they have the right to access the fresh groundwater reservoir in Judea and Samaria, and they are prepared to suffer until they realize this dream. In the meanwhile, Gaza residents suffer from severe shortages of water.

      These basic, undeniable facts are extremely important because they have wide-ranging consequences.

      Today, the Palestinians consume some 200 million cubic meters of water per annum in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinians could easily raise that amount by at least 50 percent, without any additional assistance or allocation from the State of Israel. This would require several simple actions:

      If the Palestinians were to begin drilling the Eastern Mountain Aquifer, at the sites already approved for drilling, they very quickly would secure an additional 50 million cubic meters of water per year.

      If the Palestinians were to reduce urban water waste from 33 percent to 20 percent by fixing the main leaks in their urban water pipes (something that can be done without great effort), they would immediately benefit from 10 million additional cubic meters of water per annum.

      If the Palestinians were to collect and treat their urban waste water, they would gain at least 30 million cubic meters of water a year. This would free up 30 million cubic meters (per annum) of fresh water, currently used for agriculture, for home usage. This would allow them both to improve their urban water supply and to expand agricultural lands.

      If the Palestinians were to adopt drip irrigation technology, they would save 10 million cubic meters a year. This would allow them to expand their irrigated lands.

      In the Gaza Strip, too, the Palestinians could easily double the amount of water available, without additional assistance from the State of Israel. If the Palestinians agreed to build a desalination plant on the Gaza coast (funded entirely by the international community), they would increase the amount of water available by 60 to 100 million cubic meters a year. If they fix leakages, treat and recycle sewage, and adopt drip irrigation, they would double their water allocation, as well.

      Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority’s deleterious policies – as evidenced in the six facts listed above – are a function of the Palestinian water war against Israel. There is no real Palestinian desire to solve water problems; they prefer to perpetuate the water problems in order to besmirch the State of Israel. They view water as a tool with which to bash Israel.

      The warlike strategy adopted by the Palestinian Authority regarding water explains several additional realities.

      Illegal drilling of wells: As of 2010, the Palestinians had drilled about 250 unauthorized wells into the Western and Northern Aquifers, in violation of the Oslo agreements. Since 2010 the number of unauthorized wells being dug has continued to rise at an alarming pace. This has caused a reduction in the natural discharge of water in the Beit Shean and Harod valleys, forcing Israeli farmers to reduce their agricultural plantings. Ultimately, the State of Israel has been forced to reduce its pumping at the Mountain aquifer from 500 million cubic meters per annum in 1967 to about 400 million cubic meters per annum today.

      The Palestinians also steal water by pirate tapping into pipes belonging to Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. As a result, Mekorot’s ability to supply water to Israelis and Palestinians alike has been compromised. The stolen water is used mainly for agriculture, not for home usage.

      Sustainable development: The PA purposefully flaunts the principle of “sustainable development” – a core standard of effective and modern economic management – in every way. Authorities that do not fix water leaks, do not collect and treat sewage, refuse to conserve water used for agriculture, and do not collect payment for water usage are in flagrant violation of this principle.

      Which brings us to another dirty little secret about the Palestinians: most West Bank and Gaza residents and businesses do not pay the PA for the water they use, in either their homes or fields. There are simply no water meters on pumping wells and no water meters at the entry to most homes, so it is impossible for the PA to measure the amount of money owed by individual consumers. This, of course, leads to widespread water waste. People who don’t pay for their water usage have no motivation to conserve.

      Reliance on Israel: The Palestinians purchase about 50 million cubic meters of water from Israel’s Mekorot water company each year, but the Palestinian Authority does not pay for this water directly. Rather, the State of Israel pays Mekorot, and then deducts the costs of the water from the customs and tax monies that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority at Israeli ports. However, it must be noted that the Palestinian Authority pays Mekorot for just 80 percent of the actual cost of the water it consumes. Negotiations to raise water prices have dragged on for more than 10 years, and Israel has given up many times.

      Because the water market is administered in an opaque fashion, the Israeli consumer effectively subsidizes the Palestinian consumer. The average Israeli pays approximately 10 shekels per cubic meter of water. About 0.2 shekels of that fee goes to subsidize the water provided to the Palestinians below cost.

      The sum total of the situation described above is that the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is more interested in reducing the amount of water available to Israel, polluting natural reservoirs, harming Israeli farmers, and sullying Israel’s reputation around the world than truly solving water problems for the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are not interested in practical solutions to address shortages; rather, they seek to perpetuate the shortages, and to blame the State of Israel.

      Unfortunately, President Schulz’s Knesset address, with its seemingly-straightforward but baseless accusations against Israel, suggests that the PA is succeeding in this effort to befuddle international observers and besmirch Israel.

      Beyond the conclusion reached above, it is worthwhile to consider a broader perspective on the water situation in the Middle East. The Palestinians live in the shadow of the State of Israel, a world superpower in terms of water technologies. Consequently, the Palestinians enjoy a relative Garden of Eden. Only in Israel, in the West Bank, and in Gulf States does sufficient, safe, drinkable tap water exist in 96 percent of households. Residents in almost every other country in the region suffer from terrible water shortages.

      In Amman, the Jordanian capital, water is supplied to private homes just once every two weeks. In Syria, agricultural fields in the Euphrates Valley are drying up due to the upstream diversion of water by the Turks. In recent years (before the “Arab Spring” began), about three million farmers migrated from the Euphrates Valley to the outskirts of Damascus because their lands had dried up. In Damascus, too, the water running in the river beds, which used for drinking, is mixed with sewage. In Iraq, agricultural fields are drying up because waters upstream on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are being diverted by the Turks. There too, millions of farmers lost their lands. In Egypt, enormous amounts of water are lost due to flood irrigation. The Nile provides 30 times more water than Israel’s annual usage and Egypt’s population is just 10 times greater than Israel. Therefore, we would expect to see a water surplus. Nevertheless, Egypt suffers from severe hunger and thirst due to severe wastage of water. In North Africa too, there are insufferable water shortages.

      By contrast, the State of Israel creates artificial water (desalinated seawater and recycled sewage) and behaves frugally and effectively, and as a result there is no shortage of water, despite having experienced many years of drought. Furthermore, the State of Israel is a net exporter of water! Israel supplies 55 million cubic meters of water each year to Jordan, and sells 50 million cubic meters to the Palestinians.

      In the future, if and when peace is achieved, and cooperation is truly desired by the Palestinians – which they do not currently seek – the State of Israel will be ready and able to assist its neighbors in overcoming their water shortages.

      Reply to Comment
      • Erica

        BESA is run by right wingers and publishes totally right-wing Israeli/Anti-Palestinian shit.

        Reply to Comment
        • Whiplash

          Erica, why do you not point out what is wrong in the report? Because you cannot. If the Palestinians had invested in the equivalent of the Israeli Sorek Desalination plant, it would be producing water for 1.5 million people, almost for everyone in Gaza. There would be an abundance of water and the freshwater resource would not be on the verge of collapse. The money which Hamas has spent on arms, weapons and tunnels would have easily paid for this plant.

          Please note that Israeli technology is to build a plant in California which will produce 50 million gallons of potable water per day. Why have the Palestinians failed to build. Israeli technology also built China’s largest desalination plant.

          Israel even had offered to build a desalination plant at Hadera for Palestinian water but the Palestinians turned it down because it would be built by Israelis. Israel has now built 5 large desalination plants, the Palestinians none.

          In addition, the Palestinians waste the water they have. The Palestinian water authority itself says that it loses more than one third of its fresh water supplies due to leaky pipes. One third. Wouldn’t it be responsible practice if the Palestinians repaired at least two thirds of these pipes. This wastage is mind blowing stupid. Even more mind blowing stupid is the use of flood irrigation of Palestinian crops. What mismanagement of their share of the water supplies.

          Then look at the West Bank where the Palestinians only treat 4% of their sewage, discharging the rest into the environment. This is insane. EU money was offered to pay for treatment plants but Palestinians refuse to build them in the areas originally selected. Others they will not let Israel build because Jewish communities would be also be connected.

          Not only is sewage not treated but there is no recycling of the grey water for agriculture production which would free up substantial quantities of fresh water for human consumption when some Palestinians are deprived of sufficient quantities of fresh water by their own Palestinian government.

          Reply to Comment
        • bor

          No Erica, you’re confused, it’s 972mag which publishes totally anti Israeli/pro-Palestinian shit.

          Now, tell us what is wrong in Gvirtzman’s presentation. Go ahead.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Shlomo Krol

      Those who are in charge in Gaza cannot fix the sewage but they built a whole system of tunnels, bunkers and underground rocket launchers. This is probably the matter of priorities. As for the unhelpful Israeli policies, well, Hamas in Gaza doesn’t help Israel either. It is easier to complain and blame external villains than to fix sewage.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Israelis are the world’s least self-critical people, yet they are forever demanding Palestinians be MORE self-critical and forgiving of Israel’s antics.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          “Israelis are the world’s least self-critical people, yet they are forever demanding Palestinians be MORE self-critical and forgiving of Israel’s antics.”

          No shit, Ray, we are even less self critical than Palestinian Arabs?

          Let’s see: have they got a publication like Haaretz? Or + 972? Or so many self haters who never stop trying to out Arab the Arabs when they talk about Israel?

          Heck, just look at this thread. There are at least two such creatures who make themselves appear to be Israelis.

          And I won’t even talk about the articles written in this publication. Every once in a blue moon they manage to put one article which vaguely could be called as representing a defense of Israel. But on the whole, most articles tell us how evil we are and how noble the Arabs are. Are you surprised we don’t make such an attitude our own? Would any other people be different? I doubt it very much.

          Reply to Comment
      • Frank

        If Palestinian villages had not been ravished by Zionist gangs, Palestine would still be there. If Gaza had an airport they would need no tunnels. If they had a seaport they would need not tunnels. If they did not shit, they could go without sewage treatment. If they received no shit from the Jews, they would not have to dump it into the sea.

        When Jews learn to live with people of other faiths in a cooperative life on our planet, they will not have a need to take other people’s land and claim that God gave it to them. Historically, no people on Earth have lived longer in a Diaspora than Jews or more often. Jews would not be Jewish if they could not claim to be victims of someone.

        Now that they have their own state, they are they are victims of their own ignorance and inability to assimilate with other decent human beings on this planet. This is to paraphrase what Abba Eban said in his book some years ago.
        Jews do come to my block party in my multicultural community in USA; so do Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Ba’hais. So do Unitarians and some atheists. Excuse me. I have to wash my hands after all the shit I have been handed by Jews about a Promised Land, all the shit I have been handed about a Holy Land, and all the shit I have been handed about an Islamist State in Palestine. Now, back to God who will judge us all in the end. God is Truth.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          There are so many straw men that you built in your post, Frank, that I don ‘t know where to begin knocking your BS down.

          So let me just pick on one. Your assertion that we only claim Israel because it is our holy land.

          That too, but not only because of that Frank. It is because Jews are the only surviving indigenous people who lived in that land. Irrefutable archeological evidence exists to back up that claim. Go the the Egyption museum which has a stone dating back over 1000BC which talks about how one of their Pharaos defeated Israel. Go gack to Rome and look at the Roman artifact which brags how they defeated Judea and enslaved the Jewish defenders of Jerusalem around 70AD.

          You are against us Jews returning to the land of our forefathers? I guess you deny Native American indigenous rights too. Now go and wash your hand Frank. Because I sure as hell feel I need to wash my hand after even posting to someone like you.

          Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          I love this bit of your BS too, Frank –

          “When Jews learn to live with people of other faiths in a cooperative life on our planet, they will … BS … and more BS ……”

          What next Frank? That’s why people like you hate us so much?

          Then answer this –
          How many Arab citizens have we got? Could it be over a million? Could it be 20% of our population? And they are entitled by law to all the same things which Jews are entitled to except immigration rights. Have you heard of affirmative action? That is the purpose of that only “so called discriminatory law”. To ensure one place on this world where we can stay a majority. That of course hurts people like you so much because you would rather see us in our traditional minority role where you can scape goat us with impunity for all the ills of the world. You were comfy with that eh, Frank? I tell you what though, we were not so much.

          And answer this –
          How many Jews live in Arab lands? Try nearly zilch.

          But yes, we are the ones who can’t live with others. And no, the Muslim Arabs don’t persecute even other minorities like the Christians and the Yazidis. Oh, the Arab people are the epitomes of tolerance towards others. You and your BS sicken me Frank!

          Reply to Comment
    4. Anne Roberts

      In the early 80’s I worked w Catholic Relief. Israel had complete control and ter for Gaza. We brought a sewage specialist from the US who designed a system for Gaza where even then the sewage ran down the streets., and offers to fund it. The chief Israeli officer said they cd not “afford” to release the water it wd take to move the sewage through the system. This was of course Palestinian water. He later told us after refusing project after project that we had to understand they were not there to make Palestinans happy, but to make them so miserable that they would leave.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Anne Roberts

      In the early 80’s I was working w Catholic Relief who brought in a sewage engineer from the US to develop a plan for Gaza where the sewage was already running down the streets. We also offered to fund it. The Israeli Civil Administrator who had complete control over Gaza said Israel cd not afford to release the water needed to push the sewage through. He finally said to us that Israel was not in Gaza to make people happy, but to make them so miserable they would leave.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kiwi

        Nice story. How does one know you haven’t left out some important details which would put a completely different slant on this story even if it has a grain of truth?

        I love these little anecdotes. I think pro Israelis should start doing the same about how Hamas and their supporters behave. What happened to their much talked about Hasbara?

        Any non biased person knows that it takes two to tango. Oh yea but I forgot. The Palestinians hate is justified but Israelis are just racists. Go tell that to those who believe in black and white stories. The war between the Jews and Palestinians is a century old. There is hatred on both sides.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Bruce Gould

      The article says “While the Israeli government continues to maintain a total closure on the Gaza Strip, there is no chance the electricity needed to run the water and wastewater networks will be operational anytime soon.” Personal story that might shed some light on the situation – I have no documentation for this, you can beleive it or not, your choice: a friend of mine has an MBA from an Ivy league shcool and she’s always worked in light manufacturing. She’s a stickler for accuracy – when I told her once that the IDF shoots unarmed rock throwing Palestinian teenagers she gives me a sober look and corrects me: “they were armed with rocks”. So she goes over to the West Bank about 20 years ago on a fact finding mission, comes back, and tells me that the Israelis are turning the electricity to Palestinian factories on and off randomly. But if you have an I.Q. north of 100 it shouldn’t be hard to contact an Israeli who has contacts with the W.B. folks and find out for yourself if this sort of thing goes on.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Pedro X

      BS Bruce. Only nutjobs like yourself with an IQ of 80 could come up with such nonsense. Israel Electric Corp sold electricity to JDEC and Palestinian municipalities who distributed the electricity to its customers. Any shortages to customers would be the work of the Palestinians themselves, but I highly doubt that even the Palestinians were capable of randomly able to cut power to their industrial base. Power distribution is not random.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Pedro X

      Bruce, you appear to be having difficulty understanding the difference between the generation of electricity for sale and its delivery to the end consumer. Israel Electric Corp generates electricity and provides it to Palestinian Power authority, or in the past JDEC and Palestinian municipalities, who then distribute the power to the end consumer, whether that be an individual, a business or a public building.

      When Israel supplies the power, it is up to the Palestinians to get the power to the end consumer. If the end consumer does not receive it, it is because the Palestinian energy authority or municipality has not delivered it. There is nothing random about this.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Pedro X

      Bruce, re “under the scorching sun”

      This is an utter joke, right. JDEC and the Palestinians wanted the Jewish communities to be disconnected from the same power grid as the Palestinians were on. Israel granted the Palestinians their wish and took over as the sole distributor of power to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. This meant the Palestinians were the sole providers of power to Palestinians in their communities. It is sad Palestinians do not take care of their own people.

      This is just like the water issue in the Hebron Hills. The Palestinians have permission to drill holes in the Eastern Aquifer if drilled would end the water shortage in the Hebron Hills. But Palestinians have not drilled the wells because they would rather whine and blame Israel than do something constructive.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        http://afsc.org/friends/occupation-violent-and-unpredictable

        Is there some string of legal documents that ‘proves’ that the Palestinians are responsible for their fates? You bet. As soon as you talk to live human beings who have spent time in the occupied territories a different story emerges. It’s not hard to contact groups with boots on the ground.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Pedro X

      Should Israelis be quaking in their boots because of criticism from some morally challenged Quakers? Lets listen to their whines:

      1. Palestinians need open borders so they can marry Israelis and no check points so they can move freely;

      Israel will not let Palestinians through marriage immigrate to Israel because in the past those who did became a source of or enabled terrorism inside of Israel.

      Israel has checkpoints because Palestinians are always attempting to smuggle terrorists, money, guns, rockets and explosives into Palestinian areas to carry out lethal attacks on Israeli citizens.

      2. Israel carries out defensive operations in Palestinian cities.

      They do, often with the coordination of the PA security services. Without the IDF presence in the West Bank the PA would have suffered the same coup as their cohorts in Gaza suffered in 2007. The resulting war between Hamas and Israel in the West Bank would make the 1948 Naqba seem like a picnic.

      3. The Israelis control imports and exports.

      The people in the West Bank and Gaza can import anything which does not have a dual military purpose. There are no export restrictions on what the West Bank can export. Gaza has little but terrorism which it continues to export to Israel.

      4. Palestinians complain Israelis have too much water and Palestinians too little.

      The Palestinians receive more than they are entitled under the interim Oslo Accord agreements with respect to water. They are receiving all the water including future allocations. The Palestinians have squandered, polluted, mismanaged, wrongly drilled, not drilled, stolen and failed to fairly distribute their water resources. The Palestinians have not conserved their water, they do not recycle gray water, they let more than one third of their freshwater supplies in municipalities to flow into the ground because of leaky pipes which they fail to fix. In the West Bank Palestinians do not treat their waste water. Palestinians have not built large desalination plants. Palestinians use a majority of their fresh water in agriculture and waste much of this water through using flood irrigation procedures of the 19th century. Palestinians have a shortage because they have not worked to provide the necessary infrastructure for Palestinians to be water secure.

      The opposite of Israel is true. Israel treats its sewage, it recycles gray water in agriculture, it has conservation programs, it has a highly specialized drip irrigation controlled by computers. to save water, it charges it citizens for water, and it has built 5 large desalination plants assuring Israelis of a water supply.

      Palestinians in Gaza control the coastal Aquifer and have so totally polluted it that it may be damaged beyond repair. They have failed to build the large desalination plants needed to make Gaza water secure. The same applies in the West Bank. In addition in the West Bank the Palestinians have not drilled the Eastern Aquifer of 70 mcm which would prevent any water shortage in the Hebron Hills.

      Israelis have the right to use their water as they see fit even if the Quakers are choking on their oatmeal trying to understand the correlation between planning, building, managing,recycling and Israelis having abundant water supplies.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        It’s really peculiar the difference in narratives between people who have actually lived in the West Bank and those who haven’t. A few years ago I heard a young American Jew who decided to get back to his roots, experience some authentic Judaism and so forth. So he moved to one of the settlements and lived there for a few months…until the settlers started playing “cowboys and indians” (his phrase) with the locals at the base of the hill, and that’s when he started to have second thoughts. All I recommend to people is that they pick up the phone and talk to a live human being who’s been there. The Americans who go on the official Israeli tours come back singing kumbaya, and the ones who visit the Palestinian communities come back…freaked out.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Pedro X

      Maybe you should listen to some of the news which never makes the news.

      Here is a story you likely never heard.

      While members of the Fogel Family were sitting Shiva in Neve Tzuf for the five members of their family murdered in their sleep by their Palestinian neighbors, a Palestinian taxi raced towards the entrance of the community. Was it another terrorist attack? No Palestinians had brought a Palestinian woman in labor who along with her baby were in risk of dieing and they had come to the Israel community for help. The baby was partially born and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. He was still alive but not for long without help. Despite the fact that the Fogel children, including a baby had been stabbed to death in their beds and Palestinians in neighboring communities had been setting off fireworks in jubilation of the murders, the paramedics in the Israeli community in Judea and Samaria along with the IDF raced into action and saved the lives of both mother and child.

      This is hardly an isolated happening of Jews helping Palestinians. You just never hear about them. Tell me did you hear of the Kibbutz which built a diary farm for Palestinians? Did you hear about the Jews who took sick with cancer Palestinian children skiing on Mount Hermon? Did you read about the IDF helping Palestinians with a cucumber crop? Have you heard about courses run by the ministry of agriculture to help Palestinian farmers? Have you heard about the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals?

      Reply to Comment
    12. mcohen

      does anyone know what happened to the owl that was injured in the gaza war.it had a head injury from shrapnel but survived

      Reply to Comment
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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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