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I am of late given, I concede, to noting things in Israeli and Palestinian papers and discussing them and inviting you to do the same.  It's easy to miss important things which are happening and being discussed by the two favorite groups of IP readers if one doesn't do that. For whatever reason, there's a lot of that to take note of and think on just now, both good and bad. One of the interesting things about this collection is the number which come not from Ha'aretz, the liberalish paper, but from JPost, definitely not the same.

1.  Water. This article concerning the financial difficulties of a particular wastewater treatment plant, recently appeared, and the bottom lines are first, that there are several areas of water treatment, personal sewage and industrial waste, which are in this part of the Israeli water supply, and second, that unless the financial disputes about the plant are resolved, it is going to close in about two weeks, and all of the wastewater will go out untreated and probably into the Jordan river.  The article was accompanied by a photo of circles of people wearing white and up to their necks in what was presumably the Jordan river - it looked like a religious gathering to me.  There has been a problem with both pollution and water diversion in the Jordan for some time, but raw sewage has IIRC thusfar not been it. I wondered, but do not know precisely, how much water is drawn for use in both WB and Jordan from the Jordan River, but now that water is two weeks away from being unusable if the financial deal is not resolved.

This also recalled to me a comment by Ramara which appeared in a diary thread I read attached to a recent diary of mine, about the standard Gaza water which is basically nearly undrinkable because of its brackishness, which she knew because she had gone there and couldn't drink the stuff,  and whose state of brackisness or want thereof is affected by the Israelis cutting off electricity to water filtration plants in Gaza.

The underlying concern for me is that whoever ends up living in any of these areas is going to have to deal with the circumstance that there is very little water, and drought is recent even for that area, and whoever is living there has to think about how much water times x number of people require in order to do so. Tel Aviv has long had terrible water pollution problems, and there are also reports of sewage flowing from some places in Israel to pipes which simply flow out, raw, into locations in WB, given  that water flows downhill. Damaging land which either you intend to take or intend to make uninhabitable for your enemies is a self defeating notion, since in some manner this same land has to be made to support all those Is and all those Ps, and it's not like more land or more potable water is suddently going to appear. There was also a note in an ICJ decision about the security fence that one of its characteristics had been that its precise placement in some areas was such as to make sure that the Israeli side controlled material parts of water sources, mostly in the north.

Lest we forget, the Kingdom of Jordan also uses the river and has even less water for its millions refugees and citizens than either I or P and this affects them as well.  And don't forget the, ahem, tourist business of religious pilgrims, of whom the photo included with the article is presumably meant to remind us. Christian pilgrims in particular often come to be baptised or have their baptisms refreshed by dips in the Jordan, also roughly the place where the Hill Youth tried to set up their outpost. Wouldn't do for tourists paying all that money to do that to get sick or draped in yuuck when they do.

This underlines both the fact that water has to be part of any resolution of peace terms, and that if a whole lotta somebodies don't start thinking about the condition of that water soon, there is no way the place is going to be able to support the number of people all of those peace plans and border maps contemplate.  This is simply not a matter which should be determined by whether the funders and owners of a particular plant should by a private financial deal be able to adversely affect long term water quality in a river which a lot more people than they are thinking about in their dispute will be affected. It's the sort of thing that gives rise to "You broke it, you own it, and have instead to give other land you didn't destroy first."

2. This article concerning a report of the UN Rapporteur concerning freedom of the press, don't be misled by the title because it's broader than that,  discusses in some detail a number of subjects respecting communications by both sides. Worth a look, in view of the apparent fate of Israeli Channel 10 and apparently another channel, which is also now going on, or off, as the case may be.

3.Germany: Israel Plans for West Bank Homes Devastating to Peace.  Angela Merkel, PM of Germany has blasted the Israeli government for its most recent annoucment soliciting bids for the building of new Israeli homes in the WB, in scathing terms. Although some here agreed with her before she said it, Germany has until now been one of those countries fighting against the PA bid for UN recognition. It does appear that she is now concerned that holding out for a particualr formulation of negotiations may not be as worthwhile as she thought, because she says this may destroy the opportunity for making any peace deal.

4. First Time Since Hamas Took Power; Haniyeh to Tour Middle East. This concerns a number of diplomatic calls to governments outside IP by a high representative of Hamas, apparently part of a program breaking the relative isolation of that group, at the diplomatic level. Hmmmm.

5. Women's Rights in Israel.
This issue has exploded here because of The Troubadour's diary about an article about a woman who ran into problems with a Haridi man on a Jerusalem bus. The newspapers have exploded on this one.

Discrimination against women to be seen as crime.

Metzger: Haredim have no right to force segregation on bus.  "Metzger" is this headline is the Chief Ashkenazi rabbi in Israel. When he speaks, a lotta people of religious orientation listen.

Katz order to explain gender separation decision. Katz is the Israeli minister of transportation and the one doing the ordering was the Israeli high court. There had been prior recommendations on eliminating segregation in public transportation about which he apparently did nothing, and is now being called to explain.

Segregated buses: What would Rosa Parks have done. This one is included because prior discussion in various threads have included discussion of the appropriateness or inappriopriateness of comparing this conflict to the US Civil Rights conflict in the fifties. Over there, they are.

Israeli Leaders Are to Blame for the Religious Segregation They Decry. This article goes a bit more into the past decisions of I governments which brought the present situation in the matter of buses and other things into being.

 Friends Don't Let Friends Violate Democracy. A discussion about why it is that Israel is getting justifiable heat, as a claimed modern democracy, about this and other issues, from its friends, the question being whether friends should do that or friends should not, given the state of Israeli this and that.

6. Public attacks against racism - soccer. Kick Racism Out of Beitar Jerusalem Soccer Team. One form of the fight against rights leads to others. Nice to see. Every group has to start somewhere

7. In Arabic and In Hebrew, a name is more than just a name..This article concerns changing place names in Israel and Jerusalem, a process which in some places is apolitical and in some places is not. In these cases the question arises as to whether part of the purpose of the name changes is to obliterate the past history of place names so as to also erase the past history of those places, a way of denying history, or not. Eliminating one of the names of Jerusalem on street signs, Al Quds, is definitely not a neutral act.

8.Revisiting the Rules of War in Israel and Palestine. This is a discussion about the Rules of War, what is or is not permitted as to civilians when military actions are going on, and discussions or proposals from some Israeli participants as to whether the rules should be changed and how, because they find them too difficult to deal with. This is definitely an item which should not be slipped under the radar, given a certain tendency of Israel at times tto be a bit cavalier about what international law requires in various contexts. It needs to be looked at because there is always in this a chance that Israeli pols or military groups will take the position that they have already unilaterally altered those rules as to their military and, say Gaza civilians who do have a tendency to be found incidentally dead or wounded, one bright day, because of some rationalization of their own making.

In case anyone wonders, I consider these developments in section 5, good things about the place in which they are happening, but consider that the issues and the manner of their resolution may well not match the ones used in the US, because we are a state which separates Church and State, and Israel just plain is not, so the method of resolution of this now explosive issue, and others which have the same origin, are simply not going to be the same or run on the same timetable. As to 6, I am not good on sports, except soccer. I loooove soccer.

- - - - -

Comments are invited under my usual rules. NO OT, and threads carping at other posters are OT,  no personal attacks on other posters, no violations of Godwin's rule as expanded.If you want to complain about a post that is antisemitic, do it to management directly.  If you want to argue facts, you must also provide links to evidence those facts. Extraordiary claims require extraordinary proof, but all factual claims require some. No profanity or obscenity, period. I will report those who go off into personal attack threads, or the like, as I do not like writing diaries where I get 130 responses, but only thirty are on the subject or a reasonable related subject, and the rest are snit wars between individual posters, waving prior comments and such. It's a waste of time for me and for all readers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There are alot of links to follow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WattleBreakfast

    I'll be checking them out later tonight.

    Thanks for all of the hard work it took to put this together for us, Christy!

    Celtic Merlin
    Carlinist

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 05:09:17 PM PST

  •  On the Jordan water and Jordan's use of it, most (0+ / 0-)

    of the Israeli usage comes from Lake Kinneret (via the National Water Carrier) and Jordan's usage comes from its headwaters under agreement with Israel.

    Mekorot (Israel's national water company) supplies settlements in the Jordan Valley and the Jericho municipality to an extent.  Palestinians in the Jordan Valley outside Jericho are left to fend with the withering Jordan River, shallow, existing wells, and cisterns (rainwater collection) as their principle supplies.

    Israel allows no new wells for Palestinians, routinely destroys cisterns, and now, apparently, doesn't give a hoot about the cleanliness of the River.  None of which affects Jordanian or Israeli water concerns in the narrow context of the Jordan River water.  That affects only Palestinians, so it seems to be OK.

    On Gaza water and sewage in general, distilling or reverse osmosis-ing [sp] the brackish water supply for 1.5M people is incredibly expensive, electricity or not.  It's not doable.  And Gaza raw sewage release from bombing or electricity loss, or whatever, goes right into the Med.  In summer the Med currents sweep it out of Gaza waters, and up along the coast of Israel.  Poetic justice, I guess, but otherwise a really bad deal for the Med as a whole.  Wholly avoidable, in any case.

    Thanks for the diary.  A lot of info.

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