28 January 2012

The Water Libel

We all know about this one, don't we? Israel is accused of depriving the Palestinians of their due as regards clean water supplies. Indeed, there are those who claim that there will be "water wars" in the region, whatever the political outcome regarding two states or whatever.

However, Petra Marquardt-Bigman, on her JPost blog, isn't one of them. Following a French claim that Israel is depriving the Palestinians of their just (water) desserts - with friends like these… (her report cites an official French report that "blames Israeli “apartheid” water policies for Palestinian water problems" which "was angrily rejected by Israel"), Petra M-B goes on to note the Israeli refutation of these claims (and similar ones by Amnesty International - who else would one go to for unbiased and impartial reports on Israel?) "By now, there is also a new study by Professor Haim Gvirtzman, a hydrologist at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University, who highlighted how ridiculous the charge of “apartheid” was by pointing out that since 1967, Israel had connected more than 700 Palestinian villages to running water. Or, to quote the statement by Israel’s Water Authority:

Before the Six Day War in 1967, only about 10% of Palestinian households in the West Bank were connected to a central water system, while today more than 90% receive regular supply of water.
My apologies for such a long quote, but it's important to know who one's real friends are, particularly just after Holocaust memorial Day. Anyway, she goes on to note that this whole issue echoes the medieval libels about Jews poisoning (presumably only Christian) wells, and also brings in the "now disgraced British columnist Johann Hari [who wrote a similar libel] to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary in 2008." Never did trust the guy: some of his comments were suspect long before his fall from grace for plagiarism.

Anyway, read the whole article by the admirable Petra here.

By Brian Goldfarb.