Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Israel accused of denying Palestinians access to water.

The 450,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank consume as much as, or more, water than the 2.3 million Palestinians who live there, according to Amnesty International.

The Palestinians often consume a mere 70 litres of water per day compared with the WHO recommended level of 100 litres and the Israeli consumption of 300.

This is another reason why people like myself get so angry when it comes to the subject of Israel's settlers. It's not simply the land grab which upsets me, it's the unfair way in which all of the land's natural resources are tilted to favour the settler community which reeks of unfairness.

Palestinians struggle to find enough water to survive whilst settlers enjoy irrigated land and swimming pools.

The report adds that between 180,000 and 200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities – especially in the Israeli controlled "Area C" which comprises 60 per cent of the West Bank – have no access to running water. According to Amnesty, the Israeli military "often" prevents them from accessing rainwater – for example by destroying water-harvesting cisterns or even confiscating water tankers.

In Gaza, the report says 90-95 per cent of the water from the coastal aquifer which has traditionally supplied it, is now unfit for human consumption. It adds that Israel's refusal to allow water to be exported from the West Bank to Gaza, now compounded by the embargo on materials for infrastructure development and repair, have brought Gaza's water and sewage system to "crisis point."

And this is all occurring at a time when Netanyahu refuses to agree to a freeze in settlement building so that peace talks can take place.

Obama really needs to come down hard on Netanyahu. This crap should be stopped.
Donatella Rovera, author of the Amnesty report, called for an end to the restrictions and added that Palestinians were allowed "only a fraction" of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the West Bank, while "the unlawful Israeli settlements receive virtually unlimited supplies".
The Israelis have, of course, stated that the report is "biased and incorrect". Is there any report ever published anywhere these days concerning Israel which they do not claim is "biased and incorrect"?

Goldstone's report into war crimes is biased, and now this report on the distribution of water is also biased.

Indeed, even the lobbying group J Street are now being attacked for their "duplicity in trying to masquerade as a Jewish mainstream 'pro-Israel' organisation while consistently campaigning against the Jewish state."

Apparently, if one does not share the Likud party line, and if one is rash enough to think that the pursuance of peace is a good idea, then one is instantly unable to define oneself as pro-Israeli.

Indeed, if one does not share the viewpoint of the Likud right wing then you are "biased" and, by displaying such "bias", you are almost immediately labelled "anti-Israeli".

It really is the boy who cried wolf. Thankfully, not all Israeli politicians accept this Likud logic.

Obama has called for a two state solution and dinosaurs like Netanyahu will do everything in their power to stop this from being achieved. They are on the wrong side of history, claiming that every criticism of them is "biased and incorrect".

Obama needs to push on, despite the inevitable name calling, and establish a two state solution.

Click here for full article.

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