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You Can't Drink Mud and Salt: Hydropolitics and the Invasion of Lebanon

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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:05 PM
Original message
You Can't Drink Mud and Salt: Hydropolitics and the Invasion of Lebanon
You Can't Drink Mud and Salt: Hydropolitics and the Invasion of Lebanon
Reported by Marie Therese - August 7, 2006 - 69 comments

ب در کوزه و ما تشنه لبان میگردیم.
"There is water in the jug, and we're going around thirsty." - Persian proverb

אל תסתכל בקנקן, אלא במה שבתוכו
"Don't look at the jar, but at what's inside it." - Hebrew proverb

"The one who tells the stories rules the world." - Hopi proverb

NEWS HOUNDS EDITORIAL

Three weeks ago I woke up.

It was a painful experience because I had always thought of myself as an educated person, well aware of what was going on politically, even in the Middle East.

I was very, very wrong.

"There is water in the jug, and we're going around thirsty."

On July 17th, I googled the words "Israel Lebanon Water".

When the results came back, my world shifted 180 degrees. There, on my computer screen, appeared a mountain of data consisting of geological surveys, erudite articles, aquifer tables and power point presentations. Numerous other searches verifed the inescapable facts. No matter whether the studies were done by European consortiums, Palestinian experts, American think tanks or Israeli university professors, the resulting scientific conclusions were the same.

Forget all the overblown tabloid rhetoric about "terrorists", "right to defend borders", "holy war against the infidels", "oil" and "the axis of evil".

Doesn't mean a thing.

That's just pure verbal drama created by the various factions in the Middle East to avoid talking about the 5,000 pound gorilla in the room.

Water.

The Middle East is in an ecological death spiral. Period.

snip

http://www.newshounds.us/2006/08/07/you_cant_drink_mud_...
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good morning!
Yup, the region's been changing for centuries. It's also right smack in the middle of migration routes humans have been taking for eons as climates change around the globe.

Some societies adapt better than others. Those who cling too tightly to the ways of the past will perish, but not quietly.
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norml Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 03:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. The belief that supposedly backward inferior societies deserve to lose...
...their resources to supposedly advanced superior societies, is an evil relic of what should be a discarded past.

Get modern!

Get truly civilized!

Think instead of a society's right to self determination, and to their own land water and other resources.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. I find it appalling that with the water sources in the West Bank,
Israel diverts that water for themselves, using numerous times more per person than it gives to the Palestinians.

Just looking at images of dry, desolate destruction which makes up the Palestinian portion of the West Bank, and the green grass in the settlements, speaks volumes.
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:58 PM
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3. While you are looking for the pictures . . .
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 03:14 PM by msmcghee
of the vast destruction caused to the Palestinian people on the West Bank at the hands of the ruthless Israeli Zionists - here's some light reading for you.

+++++++++++++++

. . still untold in all its detail, is of the astounding social and economic progress made by the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli "oppression." At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child mortality were rife; and the level of education was very poor. Prior to the 1967 war, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well-being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbours.

In the economic sphere, most of this progress was the result of access to the far larger and more advanced Israeli economy: the number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 to 66,000 in 1975 and 109,000 by 1986, accounting for 35 per cent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza. Close to 2,000 industrial plants, employing almost half of the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. Although GNP per capita grew some what more slowly, the rate was still high by inter national standards, with per-capita GNP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $ 165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan's $1,050, Egypt's $600, Turkey's $1,630, and Tunisia's $1,440). By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's (one of the better off Arab states). Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians also made vast progress in social welfare. Perhaps most significantly, mortality rates in the West Bank and Gaza fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 (compared with an average of 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22). And under a systematic program of inoculation, childhood diseases like polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles were eradicated.

No less remarkable were advances in the Palestinians' standard of living. By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967; 85 percent had running water in dwellings, as compared to 16 percent in 1967; 83.5 percent had electric or gas ranges for cooking, as compared to 4 percent in 1967; and so on for refrigerators, televisions, and cars.

Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, during the two decades preceding the intifada of the late 1980's, the number of schoolchildren in the territories grew by 102 percent, and the number of classes by 99 per cent, though the population itself had grown by only 28 percent. Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. At the time of the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, not a single university existed in these territories. By the early 1990's, there were seven such institutions, boasting some 16,500 students. Illiteracy rates dropped to 14 percent of adults over age 15, compared with 69 per cent in Morocco, 61 percent in Egypt, 45 percent in Tunisia, and 44 percent in Syria.

All THIS as I have noted, took place against the backdrop of Israel's hands-off policy in the political and administrative spheres. Indeed, even as the PLO (until 1982 headquartered in Lebanon and thereafter in Tunisia) proclaimed its ongoing commitment to the destruction of the Jewish state, the Israelis did surprisingly little to limit its political influence in the territories. The publication of pro PLO editorials was permitted in the local press, and anti-Israel activities by PLO supporters were tolerated so long as they did not involve overt incitements to violence. Israel also allowed the free flow of PLO-controlled funds, a policy justified by Minister of Defense Ezer Weizmann in 1978 in these (deluded) words: "It does not matter that they get money from the PLO, as long as they don't build arms factories with it." Nor, with very few exceptions, did Israel encourage the formation of Palestinian political institutions that might serve as a counterweight to the PLO. As a result, the PLO gradually established itself as the predominant force in the territories, relegating the pragmatic traditional leadership to the fringes of the political system.

Given the extreme and even self-destructive leniency of Israel's administrative policies, what seems remarkable is that it took as long as it did for the PLO to entice the residents of the West Bank and Gaza into a popular struggle against the Jewish state.

++++++++++++++++++++

Let me know if you want the link.
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bornskeptic Donating Member (951 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. The CIA World Factbook gives these per capita GDPs
Tunisia $8300
Turkey $8200
Jordan $4700
Syria $3900
Egypt $3900
West Bank $1100
Yemen $900
Gaza $600

while your anonymous source says

During the 1970's, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself. Although GNP per capita grew some what more slowly, the rate was still high by inter national standards, with per-capita GNP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991 from $ 165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan's $1,050, Egypt's $600, Turkey's $1,630, and Tunisia's $1,440). By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria's, more than four times Yemen's, and 10 percent higher than Jordan's (one of the better off Arab states). Only the oil-rich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.

Note that the CIA figure for the West Bank includes Jewish settlers, 17% of the population.

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/we.h...
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The numbers from the CIA . .
. . are 2000 and after - all post Intifada. The numbers in my post I believe are from 70's mostly but not easy to pin down.

The important differences are before '67 and after - up until Intifada when things went rapidly downhill. That speaks for much greater prosperity under occupation (after '67 war) than before - which was the author's point.
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