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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘water’

Abbas Trots Out Medieval Blood … uh… Water Libel For Speech to EU

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas hauled out the tattered old myth about Jews poisoning the wells on Thursday and tried to feed it to his audience at the European Union Parliament.

Adapting the medieval anti-Semitic water blood libel for local use, the claim originated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which said a prominent rabbi had issued a religious decree “allowing Israeli settlers in the West Bank to poison Palestinian water sources in Palestinian towns.”

Abbas went further, saying in his speech to European lawmakers that it was a special Israeli rabbinical council in Judea and Samaria who had issued the decree.

The lie had already been immediately picked up and passed along by many international media, among them The Independent according to the Israellycool website, which caught the British website’s screaming headline over the horrifying Ramadan holiday disaster.

And now here was the leader that the international community is down Israel’s throat as a “peace partner” spewing out that latest version of a medieval blood libel. Jews were falsely accused in the 14th century of causing disease by poisoning the water across Europe as a plague swept the continent; the blood of countless numbers of Jews ran through the streets as their communities were massacred in response.

It’s not so different from the libelous Al Aqsa Mosque “destruction” lies with which the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and Gaza’s Hamas terrorist group incessantly attempt to ignite violence against Israel among the Arab population.

And since in “honor” of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan Israel has opened its borders to allow Muslims to pray in Jerusalem at Al Aqsa with far fewer restrictions, Abbas instead was forced to seek a new libel.

“Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians,” Abbas claimed from the EU Parliament podium. “Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?” He gave no source for the claim. Yet Haaretz reports that Abbas received a standing ovation from the EU lawmakers after his speech.

Quotes from an alleged “Rabbi Mlmad” on the website of the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry supposedly calling for Jews to poison wells, and citing a ‘Council of Rabbis in the West Bank’ were similarly found by international news outlets such as Reuters and others to be impossible to trace.

Haaretz quoted Gulf News as saying the allegation was sourced from the far-left Breaking the Silence organization, a group comprised of former IDF soldiers who criticize Israel and its relations with the PA. But Breaking the Silence denied issuing this one, Reuters reported. And yet Abbas was able to cobble together fiction with fact — a dangerous combination and one that is powerful when presented in the international arena.

“Senior Israel’s such as [opposition leader Isaac] Herzog, the opposition chairman, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the current deputy chief of staff and senior journalists to speak about growing signs of fascism in Israeli society,” he told the European lawmakers.

Abbas neglected to mention that Isaac Herzog is under police investigation, Ehud Barak is no longer in politics because he’s exhausted his credibility across the spectrum and the remarks by the current IDF deputy chief of staff were made within context of a political framework not relevant to general Israeli society.

As with the updated European blood-to-water libel, Abbas cited sources and myths as if they were facts, and fed the fantasies to the European Union Parliament — and his European audience loved it.

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Israel Water Libel That Went Viral

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

A media watchdog blasted a report in The Independent that falsely accused Israel of cutting off drinking water to Palestinians in the West Bank during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The report, written by freelancer Peter Yeung and published Wednesday, alleged that tens of thousands of Palestinians were being denied water resources “at a time when temperatures can exceed 35C.”

UK Media Watch, a media monitoring organization, consequently investigated the charges and learned from Israel’s national water utility, Mekorot, that it has reduced allocations of water to both Israeli and Palestinian communities due to increased demand in the summer and declining water levels in the West Bank’s mountain aquifer. “However, to make up for this shortage and, most importantly, to address the changing water needs of Palestinian Muslims during the holiday of Ramadan, Israel INCREASED the amount of available water to the Hebron and Bethlehem communities, and INCREASED the amount of available water during the night, the time when religious Muslims will need it the most,” UK Media Watch wrote.

According to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT), the Israeli government body that works with authorities in the West Bank, a burst pipeline temporarily disrupted the water supply, but the pipeline has since been repaired.

pic.twitter.com/nclwCaOwBR

At the very end of his article, Yeung quoted a representative of COGAT who said: “Several hours ago, COGAT’s Civil Administration team have repaired a burst pipe line, which disrupted the water supply to the villages of Marda, Biddya, Jamma’in, Salfit and Tapuach. The water flow has been regulated and is currently up and running.”

“Given the failure to develop infrastructures as a result of the unwillingness on behalf of the Palestinians to convene the Joint Water Committee (JWC), there are problems in the water supply,” COGAT added.

Yeung further claimed that “Israel has limited the water available to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since its forces occupied the territories” in 1967, repeating a charge discredited by Akiva Bigman in the Myth of the Thirsty Palestinian, which was published in the April 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine.

At the end of Jordanian rule in 1967, the West Bank Palestinians received a relatively low 65 million cubic meters of water per year.

Whatever the depredations of the Israeli occupation may have been, there is no doubt that they did not apply to the issue of water supplies. Within five years of the Israeli takeover in 1967, the water supply grew by 50 percent; and the IDF Civilian Administration, which rules over the territory, established a pumping system that brought water directly to city centers, where residents could fill water containers for personal use. …

In terms of per capita consumption, there has also been substantial improvement. In 1967, per capita consumption stood at 93,000 liters per year. In 2006, it stood at 129,000 liters per year, close to the average in Israel proper—170,000 liters per year.

Bigman also documented the history behind the false charge that Israel deliberately deprives Palestinians of drinking water:

What about unused water sources? The majority of this is located in the eastern aquifer, which flows beneath the Jordan Valley. It contains approximately 70 million cubic meters of water a year that is left unused. The rights to this water were granted to the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have yet to exercise these rights to any significant degree, and the failure do so is entirely their own. For example, over 40 potential drilling sites in the Hebron area were identified and approved by the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee; but in the two decades since then, drilling has taken place in only three places, and this is in spite of substantial funding provided to the PA by donor nations. This is both tragic and ironic, because undertaking these drilling projects could entirely solve the area’s current water issues; instead, the Palestinians have chosen to both blame Israel for their water problems and drill into the Western aquifer, which provides water to Israel.

In regard to waste and optimal use of water sources, it is also clear that the Palestinians are very far from fulfilling the most basic requirements of international law. Because the PA does not properly maintain its water system, it suffers from a 33 percent rate of water loss, mostly due to leakage; in contrast to an 11 percent loss from the Israeli system. In addition, a large percentage of Palestinian agriculture uses surface irrigation, a primitive and wasteful technology profoundly unsuited to the region’s limited water sources. The use of more efficient methods, such as drip or sprinkler irrigation, as well as better water purification and distribution, would both conserve resources and free up a much larger amount of fresh water for home use—according to the Israeli Water Authority, as much as 10 million cubic meters.

Bigman concluded:

To the extent that a viable water supply infrastructure exists in the West Bank, it is because Israel built and maintained it. While this infrastructure was certainly constructed, in part, to service Israeli communities, its benefits have not been denied to the Palestinians, and no one familiar with the statistics involved can claim otherwise without being patently dishonest.

That Israel is so consistently blamed for this problem is especially problematic because it makes it less likely that the Palestinians will deal with it themselves. As shown above, the Palestinians have the ability to both live up to their obligations under international law and solve their existing water problems in doing so. The money, technology, and knowledge they need all exist and are available to them from both foreign and Israeli sources. That the Palestinians have either chosen not to avail themselves of such aid or cannot do so effectively due to internal problems is tragic, but it is not the fault of the State of Israel.

Tower Magazine

Summer Break Fun

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Asher Schwartz

Turkey’s President Erdogan ‘Waiting for Israel’ to Respond on Gaza

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is waiting for Israel to grant permission for Turkey to construct energy and water transfer infrastructure in Gaza, according to a report published Saturday (May 21) in the Hurriyet Daily News, quoting an earlier broadcast.

“I expect that something will happen this month. It’s my wish that we’ll reach a conclusion in a short time,” Erdogan told a news broadcast by A Haber on May 19.

“In regards to [lifting] the embargo, they say, ‘We are open to allowing goods into Gaza through Turkey, but we are not open to those coming from places other than Turkey.’ But the problem is not only this. We have some other demands,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader said Ankara has demanded that Israel allow provision of continuous energy to Gaza, “as the enclave has only three to four hours of electricity per day,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s proposal to provide electricity to Gaza through a naval vessel was rejected by Israel.

“But they proposed something else: We told them that we are ready to construct all the infrastructure [of energy]. They viewed the proposal positively,” Erdogan said.

The second demand, he said, was that Turkey be allowed to provide water to Gaza either by desalinating the sea water or by drilling wells. “There are positive developments with regard to this issue as well,” he said.

Turkey’s third demand from Israel, said Erdogan, was regarding construction projects in Gaza.

“Our third offer is about building schools and hospitals. The construction of a hospital has been completed and necessary equipment is being provided. ‘These must be done,’ we told them. ‘If these would be done, then we’ll immediately appoint ambassadors and improve our relations in the right direction.’”

According to the report, Israeli and Turkish diplomats are expected to meet in the near future to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

But it’s impossible to know what the final outcome will be: Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is set to meet at a nationwide Congress on May 22 to choose a new prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by Erdogan, resigned his position earlier this month.

Hana Levi Julian

Just Chillin’

Monday, May 16th, 2016

It’s hot outside. The animals at the Ramat Gan Safari are cooling off as best they can.

Ramat Gan Safari

Ramat Gan Safari

Ramat Gan Safari

Photo of the Day

Serious Damage to Solomon’s Pools Still Neglected by Palestinian Authority

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

One of the largest and most impressive architectural projects ever built by King Herod in the Second Temple era — the reservoir that fed water to the Second Jewish Holy Temple of Jerusalem — is falling apart.

But because it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, making repairs to the archaeological wonder called “Solomon’s Pools” is not as simple as it seems.

The site comprises a three-part water reservoir located in the southern section of what is known today as the Arab village of Al Khader, just south of Bethlehem.

The site is therefore located in “Area A” of the Palestinian Authority and completely under its control; as a result, one must coordinate a visit there with the Israeli army.

The main pool is 16 meters deep and 170 meters long, and it was barely half a century ago when local residents stopped using the pool for agricultural irrigation. Before the 1967 Six Day War, residents of eastern Jerusalem were drawing water from the pools as well.

The three large reservoirs, partly hewn into the bedrock and partly built, have a total capacity of well over a quarter of a million cubic meters of water.

They were part of a complex ancient water system built more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans and King Herod. The system provided water to the city and the Second Jewish Holy Temple of Jerusalem – as well as to the desert fortress and town of Herodium.

The pools at that time were fed by two aqueducts, and by several springs in the surrounding countryside, in addition to rain water. Three other aqueducts brought the water from the reservoirs out to Jerusalem and to the Herodium. Remnants of all five aqueducts have been found by archaeologists.

Tour guide Ben Tropper told the Ynet news site that it was unclear whether the initial damage to the pool – a badly damaged wall – had resulted from the harsh weather or neglect.

However, if the damage is not fixed, soon, the reservoir may soon be beyond repair, because the main pool may collapse from the force of the water. The broken section of the wall is approximately 20 meters wide, Tropper explained. This means there is a strong possibility an avalanche could destroy the site.

Concerned citizens have asked the Palestinian Authority to repair and restore the site – or to allow Israel to do it instead.

Hana Levi Julian

Tel Aviv Yafo Celebrates Water Sports This Week in ‘Sail 2016’

Monday, April 18th, 2016

The largest water sports festival in Israel began Monday (April 18) at the Tel Aviv Marina.

Sail Tel Aviv Yafo 2016” runs from April 18 – 28 was initiated by “Atarim” and the Israel Yacht Club in memory of Major Asaf Asulin. More than 600 children will compete in the national championship in the event, hosted by the Tel Aviv Marina.

Hundreds of yachts, surfers, kayaks, SUPs, swimmers and marine enthusiasts are taking part in the event.

The festival is hosting a variety of water sports activities and competitions that include beach volleyball, open water swimming and a variety of races involving small vessels.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tel-aviv-yafo-celebrates-water-sports-this-week-in-sail-2016/2016/04/18/

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