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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Jordan River’

Official Winter Forecast Indicates Kinneret May Reach Flood Level

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Israel will enjoy average rainfall this winter, according to the Israel Meteorological Service, and there is a good chance that the dam  at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) will have to be opened up before summer because of the increasing use of desalinated water from the Mediterranean Sea.

The Meteorological Service said its annual winter forecast has a margin of error of up to 25 percent but generally does not miss the mark more than 10 percent in either direction.

The sea has replaced the Kinneret as Israel’s largest source of water, not including the underground aquifer system that is being replenished thanks to the use of more desalinated water.

The Kinneret rose approximately 2.5 meters (8 feet) last winter, which brought average or slightly more than average rainfall in most regions.

As of Monday morning, the Kinneret was exactly 2.5 meters below the level at which the dams would have to be opened to prevent flooding in the beachside city of Tiberias and neighboring farms and tourist parks. If the forecast turns out to be accurate, the Kinneret will rise to near flood level this year.

Opening the dams would dump more water into the Jordan River, which feeds the Dead Sea that is in desperate need of more water.

In Israel, the prayer that cites God as the “rainmaker” began on Shemini Azereth-Simchat Torah, the day after Sukkot. The actually request for rain began two weeks ago, on the seventh day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan in Israel. The prayer is not said until December 4 outside of Israel.

If rain does not fall within 30 days of the request, special prayers and fast days are held. From a climactic standpoint, Israel received its first rains a month ago during the Sukkot holiday, when a measurable amount of rain, although only 1 millimeter, was recorded in most of the country.

Most of the rain and snow in Israel usually falls in the months of December, January and February.

Despite Calls to End Peace, Israel Increases Water Flow to Jordan

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Here’s some good news to those of you who’ve been following the vote in the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday, to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

That treaty, signed back in 1994 on the White House lawn, by his Majesty, the late King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister, the late Yitzhak Rabin, with U.S. President Bill Clinton watching – that treaty regulates the use of regional water by both countries. It’s all in Article 6 of the treaty, which is bigger than all the rest of the 30 articles put together.

The reason is simple: much of the water—just about all of it, really—alongside the border between the two countries happens to be in Israeli territory. Without that water, Jordan goes back to being the proud desert country it’s always been, which is fine if you’re Bedouin, but not so great if you’re a farmer.

Here’s what can happen, should Jordan decide to scrap its peace treaty with Israel: it would have to do without the following items:

Israel accepted responsibility for operating, supplying and maintaining systems on Israeli territory that supply Jordan with water.

In the summer, May 15 to October 15 of each year, Israel agreed to transfer 20 million cubic meters from the Jordan River directly upstream from Deganya gates.

In the winter, October 16 to May 14 of each year, Jordan is entitled to a minimum average of 20 million cubic meters of the floods in the Jordan River south of the Yarmouk. Unusable excess floods that would otherwise be unused, including pumped storage, can also be taken by Jordan.

In addition, Israel agreed to share the Yarmouk River with Jordan. Anything above 12 million cubic meters in the summer and 13 million in winter goes to Jordan.

When you hear about the Kinneret water going below all kinds of red lines? It’s because they’re being diverted north of the lake, at a rate of up to 50 million cubic meters a year.

OK, that was the deal, we wanted a peace treaty and that’s what we had to pay for it. The fact is that Israel’s relations with Jordan are a whole lot warmer than with Egypt—until the Arab Spring thing hits Amman, of course.

But now the Jordanian parliament—which is largely Palestinian, incidentally—has reacted to the fact that Israel, in an unprecedented display of courage, decided to detain the Jerusalem Mufti for his blatant preaching of violence against the Jews. If the Israelis don’t let our holy guy preach murder, we’re scrapping the treaty.

The treaty that’s the life blood of Jordan’s economy—in addition to supplying Jordan with much of its water, much of Jordan’s industry is owned by Israeli tycoons, who relocated factories from Israel, where organized Jewish workers used to burden them with demands for benefits and realistic wages—to Jordan, where a working man gets a pitta and a couple of onions which he shares with his family of 15.

Now, what did Israel just do, following the Jordanian parliament’s threat to call it quits?

Amb. Oded Eran

Amb. Oded Eran

Oded Eran, Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, was interviewed on Reshet Bet Thursday morning, and he said that Israel has increased the amount of water it diverts to the Hashamite kingdom, in order to accommodate the numerous refugees flooding Jordan from Syria.

Talk about doing the decent Christian thing…

Or treasonous. Potato-potato.

Ambassador Eran also said Israel also allows Jordan to export its goods to the West through the port of Haifa.

The benefits of peace.

So the host, Ya’akov Achi-Meir, asked him how that sits with the recommendation of the Jordanian parliament to kick him out of the country, and the ambassador answered that once the peace process with the Palestinians is on its way, things in Jordan would calm down.

According to Ambassador Eran, the Jordanian government is on very friendly terms with Israel, it’s only the vast population that wants all of us dead.

Now, here’s the zinger: according to Reshet Bet, Israeli sources have said that Israel has increased the amount of water it transfers to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority recently regardless of the increase in the number of refugees from Syria in Jordan.

Two Cities Rife with Tension, as Protesters Clash with Police

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Jerusalem and Ramallah have erected massive security presence ahead of Obama’s visit. At any given time there will be 5,000 Israeli police and security officers on the streets of Jerusalem, where many areas will be cordoned off and watched over by police helicopters escorting the presidential convoy.

According to the Palestinian security forces, some 3,000 Arab policemen will be deployed in Area A, which is under complete PA control, where protests have been on the rise in recent weeks.

Palestinian Authority police on Tuesday encountered dozens of anti-Obama protesters, Reuters reported. A very large number of officers and plainclothes policemen blocked the angry crowd from arriving at the offices of PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in a large scale shoving match that did not result in serious injuries.

Palestinians are not expecting much from Obama’s visit, especially after U.S. officials have labored in recent weeks to lower expectations about the revival of peace talks with Israel.

“It’s a slap in the face. People are angry and disappointed that this far into his presidency, Obama has done nothing, and aid to Israel’s occupation continues to flow,” demonstrator Huwaida Arraf told Reuters.

You see? Everybody in the Middle East resents Obama, not just right-wing Jews.

During his three-day visit, the U.S. president will hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and President Abbas in Ramallah.

On Friday, Obama will visit Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the birthplace of a major Christian figure of Jewish birth. Then the presidential convoy will ride across the Jordan River into the State of Jordan.

On Monday, in what could be coined road rage in effigy, a dozen Bethlehemites drove their cars over a banner with Obama’s face and painted a swastika on his forehead.

Shoulda’ done that last November…

According to Reuters, Palestinian singer Alaa Shaham and fellow artists recorded a satirical video clip in which Obama is shown waiting at an Israeli checkpoint and driving through a refugee camp in his shiny BMW.

I’ve searched for that supposed video, which, according to Reuters, since being uploaded to YouTube on Monday night has been viewed more than 10,000 times—didn’t find it. Would be very grateful if a reader posted a link in the comments section.

“We’re trying to send him a message. We welcome him, it’s an important visit of course. But US policy has frustrated Palestinians – it disregards their cause,” Shaham told Reuters.

Well, if you continue to post video messages no one can find – expect to be disregarded…

Confronting the Unpleasant Truth about Two States

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Sometimes the truth is more than just ‘inconvenient’. Sometimes it is downright unpleasant, even ugly. But nevertheless, it is what is and we need to deal with what is, not what we would like it to be.

Martin Sherman sees the unpleasant truth and, unlike so many others, draws the logical conclusions. He has written a series of articles in the Jerusalem Post in which he has exposed the sheer insanity of the Left’s two-state solution (TSS), as well as the failure of the Right to propose real alternatives.

Now Sherman has taken up the challenge to provide a practical alternative. In his most recent article — which I urge you to read in its entirety, since I can’t do justice to it with a few snippets — he writes,

To survive as the permanent nation-state of the Jewish people Israel must address two fundamental imperatives:

• The geographic imperative • The demographic imperative

It is self-evident that if either of these is inadequately addressed, Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people will be gravely jeopardized, eventually becoming unsustainable.

The mainstream discourse invariably – and deceptively – presents Israel’s only choice as being between accepting the TSS – which would make Israel untenable geographically, or the OSS (one-state solution) – which would make it untenable demographically.

Neither comprises an acceptable policy-paradigm for anyone whose point of departure is the continued existence of Israel as the permanent nation-state of the Jews.

This, as we will see, compels us to the inexorable conclusion that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there can – and eventually will – prevail either exclusive Jewish or exclusive Arab sovereignty…

While addressing the geographic imperative requires Israel to maintain control of all Judea and Samaria (or at least of sufficiently large segments to make the TSS unviable), addressing the demographic imperative means that the Arab population of these areas cannot be permanently incorporated into the population of Israel…

We are left to confront a brutally simple choice: Either forgo the Jewish nation-state or address the need to significantly diminish the scale of the Palestinian-Arab population.

Whether one relates to this stark dilemma with a sense of moral outrage or equanimity will not affect the inexorable logic that led to its deduction, or the necessity to acknowledge its inevitability. Trying to evade the bleak nature of this inescapable choice by reformulating it in less forbidding terms would be no more than an exercise in hypocrisy or self-delusion…

So, for those who find the prospect of forgoing the Jewish nation-state unacceptable, the grim decision is whether to address the problem of diminishing the Palestinian-Arab population by coercive or by non-coercive means.

Right now the screaming about racism, transfer, ethnic cleansing, etc. begins. I won’t discuss why this automatically follows any discussion of Arabs moving but not Jews, nor the numerous Palestinian expressions of their intention to have a Jew-free state if the TSS is implemented. I’ll only emphasize that the alternative is no Jewish state at all.

If your idea of morality is such that yet another Jewish diaspora — undoubtedly accompanied by a bloody war — is preferable to some Arabs living between the river and the sea moving to one of the 22 Arab Muslim states in the region, then you have chosen sides and I don’t have anything to say to you.

Sherman believes, and promises details in a forthcoming article, that a non-coercive population transfer — yes, I am using that word because that is what it is — is the morally preferred option and that it can be made practical.

I have my doubts about the practicality of such a solution. But I am convinced that Sherman is right and that survival of a Jewish state requires both geographical and demographic domination of the area between the river and the sea. I remain to be convinced that this can be accomplished peacefully.

Originally published at FresnoZionism.org.

Go Jump in the Jordan River

Monday, August 13th, 2012

When you read about the Jordan River in the Bible you easily imagine a massive body of water that crossing it takes a bridge or a miracle (Joshua 3). But when you look at today’s Jordan River, even way up north near its source, you have to conclude that this river had to a have shrunk tremendously, or folks back in biblical times were terrified of water.

The current gets pretty strong in places, though, so you do need to know how to swim.

Perfect solution for the heat on a mid-August day.

Crossing the Jordan River

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

IDF ground forces practice river crossing. The drill included soldiers from combat engineering, tanks, artillery and infantry units.

Was Gingrich Right about Palestine?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Contrary to political correctness, Palestinian Arabs have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial; no Palestinian state ever existed, no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land and there is no basis for the Palestinian “claim of return.”

Most Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Muslim migrants who came to the area between 1845 to 1947 from the Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan and Balochistan.

Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British Mandate (which defeated the Ottomans in 1917) for infrastructure projects: The port of Haifa, the Haifa-Qantara, Haifa-Edrei, Haifa-Nablus and Jerusalem-Jaffa railroads, military installations, roads, quarries, reclamation of wetlands, etc. Illegal Arab laborers were also attracted by the relative economic boom in British Mandate Palestine, stimulated by Jewish immigration.

According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12), “The increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas, affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.”

As a result of the substantial Arab immigration between 1880 and 1947– and despite Arab emigration caused by domestic chaos and intra-Arab violence – the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17-, 12- and five-fold, respectively.

The conquest by Egypt’s Mohammed Ali between the years of 1831 and 1840 was solidified by a flow of Egyptian migrants settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tulkarem up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. The British traveler, H.B. Tristram, identified, in his 1865 “The Land of Israel: A journal of travels in Palestine” (p. 495), Egyptian migrants in the Beit Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.

The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented that Egyptian neighborhoods proliferated in the Jaffa area: Saknet el-Mussariya, Abu Kebir, Abu Derwish, Sumeil, Sheikh Muwanis, Salame’, Fejja, etc. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 ethnic groups, including Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Balochis. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.

Many of the Arabs who fled in 1948 reunited with their families in Egypt and other neighboring countries.

“30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants (Huranis) entered Palestine during the last few months alone,” reported La Syrie daily on August 12, 1934. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the role model for Hamas’ terrorism, which plagued Jews as early as in the time of British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as were Said el-A’az, a leader of the 1936-38 anti-Jewish pogroms and Kaukji, the commander-in-chief of the Arab mercenaries who terrorized Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Muslims from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.

Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad (American Publishing Company, 1969): “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.” Analyzing Mark Twain’s book, John Haynes Holmes, the pacifist Unitarian priest, cofounder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the author of “Palestine Today and Tomorrow – a Gentile’s Survey of Zionism” (McMillan, 1929) wrote: “This is the country to which the Jews have come to rebuild their ancient homeland…. On all the surface of this earth there is no home for the Jew save in the mountains and the well-springs of his ancient kingdom…. Everywhere else the Jew is in exile…. But, Palestine is his…. Scratch Palestine anywhere and you’ll find Israel…. [There exists] not a road, a spring, a mountain, a village, which does not awaken the name of some great [Jewish] king, or echo with the voice of some great [Jewish] prophet…. [The Jew] has a higher, nobler motive in Palestine than the economic…. This mission is to restore Zion; and Zion is Palestine.”

The Arab attempt to gain the moral high ground and to delegitimize the Jewish State – by employing the immoral reinvention of history and recreation of identity – was exposed by Arieh Avneri’s “The Claim of Dispossession” (Herzl Press, 1982) and Joan Peters’ “From Time Immemorial” (Harper & Row, 1986), which provide the aforementioned – and much more – data.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/was-gingrich-right-about-palestine/2011/12/14/

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