‘NY Times’ and ‘LA Times’ run op-eds by an AIPAC board member without telling readers

Israel/Palestine

Last month the LA Times ran a cute test on its op-ed page to show that Israel doesn’t practice apartheid, and that Palestinians are treated very well by Israel.

Today the NY Times runs an op-ed saying that Israel gives Palestinians all the water they need, and as the region dries out, Palestinians are going to feel very lucky. Doing damage control after last weeks massive brouhaha pulled by Naftali Bennett (w/his party MKs in tow) during EU president Martin Schulz’s Knesset address? Your guess is as good as ours.

Both pieces are by Seth M. Siegel– a founder of Beanstalk, a brand-licensing agency, and of Sixpoint Partners, an investment bank, the NY Times says. The LA Times also mentions Beanstalk, and says Siegel is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Neither the LA Times nor the NY Times tells you that Siegel serves on the national board of AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby organization.

More on that water story:

Siegel, who specializes in “extending brands through the strategic and creative development,” has got his work cut out for him cleaning up Israel’s sewage, literally. His New York Times Op-Ed Israeli Water, Mideast Peace?  reads like a love letter for Israeli innovation.

According to Siegel, Palestinians are benefitting from the occupation when it comes to water:

The Palestinians in the West Bank already receive much of their water from Israel’s national water utility and, sovereignty and symbolism aside, neither a two-state solution nor a continuation of the status quo will change that. Given their proximity to Israel, the Palestinians are likely to be among the few Arab winners in the water race.

The West Bank settlement of Ariel sits on a major aquifer, on Palestinian land!

According to Siegel, Israel is “a model” and has “mastered the management of water resources”:

Israel also treats household sewage as a precious resource, reusing more than 80 percent of it for agriculture. In Iran and many Arab countries, sewage is dumped, which can threaten public health by contaminating wells and aquifers.

Iran? Wait a second. Sewage is being dumped in Palestine too– by Israeli settlers.

Here’s a taste of the reality . . . Harvest of excrement: colonists in Occupied Territories pump sewage on to Palestinian farm land.

July 29, 2011 Ein Yabrud, northeast of Ramallah:  State authorities stole private Palestinian land and used it to build a waste facility based on a fictitious permit, for the benefit of the nearby settlement of Ofra.

August 7, 2012, Palestinians say “The bad odor is constant here and nowadays it has become normal to find rodents and insects in this area” because Israeli settlement waste contaminates the environment:

Palestinian children play in a polluted stream contaminated by wastewater from Ariel settlement, Bruqin, West Bank. (Photo: EWASH-OPT)

Palestinian children play in a polluted stream contaminated by wastewater from Ariel settlement, Bruqin, West Bank. (Photo: EWASH-OPT)

 

staring at the smelly polluted water flowing less than 10 meters from the houses of his village located between Salfit and Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank – “It’s not only about the smell. In the village a lot of people suffer from skin diseases, asthmas, and other illnesses.” The waste water stemming from Ariel settlement has played a major role in the contamination of water and in the pollution of the environment in the Salfit area. Due to the concentration of pollutant elements in this zone, many agricultural fields have been destroyed and many animals and plants have been killed. Moreover, many infectious waterborne diseases, like diarrhea, have broken out especially among children.

The inhabitants of Wadi Fukin and Nahalin, south-west of Bethlehem, face the same problems. Surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, these two villages, known for the quality of the agricultural products, are constantly threatened by the flow of waste water coming from the nearby settlement. “Inside Beitar Illit there is a waste water treatment facility but it can’t handle the amount of waste water it receives and as a consequence it overflows reversing untreated waste water onto the agricultural fields” explains Dib Najajrah, a resident of Wadi Fukin. “Moreover, in the last years the settlers have started attacking our crops by deliberately pumping the waste water coming out of the settlement into the cultivated land of Nahalin.”

Nov 18, 2012 Gaza:

an Israeli air strike hit a water distribution truck in Beit Lahia, destroying it completely and killing the driver Suhail Hamada and his son.

“I have approximately two days stock of drinking water and food,” Mahmoud Sa’adallah, 32, resident of Bait Lahia and a father of five says, “we will have no option but to drink the municipal water which is too salty”. Mahmoud doesn’t know how his children are going to survive in the coming days with the lack of basic necessities if the offensive continues. “My brother and neighbors, for whom the vendor was coming, have already started to drink from the tap”.

The vast majority of the residents of the Gaza strip rely on purchasing desalinated water from private vendors as piped water coming from Gaza’s sole source of fresh water, is too contaminated with chemicals. [1]

From last March. Settler sewage destroys agricultural lands. “Local community organizers from Qusin reported abnormally high cancer rates in the village”:

Land in village of Qusin used as garbage dump by settlers
ISM 27 Mar by IWPS — On Wednesday March 27 at 15:00 the village of Qusin organized a tour of a nearby quarry that is regularly used as a garbage dump. The residents of Qusin invited the Minister of the Environment, IWPS and the International Solidarity Movement to inspect the amount of Israeli trash that has accumulated in the recent weeks. The quarry had been partially refilled with dirt and gravel covering the majority of the trash, leaving three large piles of plastic, wood and metal exposed. The effect was that of a large land fill in the middle of a mined industrial zone. The organizers of the visit explained that the toxins from the trash are seeping through the soil into the water sources of the nearby villages, endangering the local residents. Local community organizers from Qusin reported abnormally high cancer rates in the village. Residents of Qusin have started to regularly visit and protest as a community at the dump site.

Also last year, from Sebastia: Sewage flows from the nearby settlement of Shavei Shomron. Palestinians demonstrate against sewage settlers spill onto their land.

Six months before this 2010 video was shot the Israeli Civil Administration tried peddling the claim the flooding of Beit Ummar with raw sewage was the result of “an accidental power malfunction” from the adjacent illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Etzion.

Destroying farmland and vineyards, contaminating Palestinian drinking water, this is no accident. It’s an ongoing environmental nightmare and certainly not limited to a few the villages, it’s routine.

Siegel:

Because of geography and hydrology, the Palestinians’ water future is closely tied to Israel’s. In just the few years of Hamas control of Gaza, the water supply there has been polluted, and though no solution to its coming water crisis is likely without an Israeli role, Hamas has refused to cooperate with Israel.

Allison Deger adds, the water crisis in Gaza is because Israel bombed the water treatment facilities. Israel may not have a role in fixing the crisis, but it sure did cause it. Oh, but then again, Israel could have a hand in fixing the water crisis. B’tselem writes:

Israel has forbidden the entry of equipment and materials needed to rehabilitate the water and wastewater-treatment systems there. The prohibition has remained despite the recent easing of the siege.

Funny anecdote: in 2006, the same year Israel was bombing Gaza’s water infrastructure, Seth Siegel was going on tour in Israel with magician David Blaine. Maybe that’s why he missed this big chunk of information…?

The Jerusalem Fund: The Water Crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

“Israel’s discriminatory and unfair water policy is illegal under international law to the detriment of the Palestinian’s economy and health.”

  

(Hat tip Patrick Connors)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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84 Responses

  1. Justpassingby
    February 17, 2014, 12:20 pm

    NY times and LA times supports racism. Good to know.

    In 1930s-1940s the headline would be:

    “German Lobby: Jews are just fine, they are treated nice, they have water, dont worry”

    • Giles
      February 17, 2014, 5:27 pm

      Except it would not have been attributed to the German Lobby

  2. pabelmont
    February 17, 2014, 12:44 pm

    As to water:

    Any peace deal (or “framework”) should include equitable sharing of naturally occurring water (“NOW”) (on anticipated per-capita basis, anticipation including births and immigration for 10 years after deal goes into effect), where NOW should be deemed to include in an equitable way the ground-water that has been “mined” by Israel since 1948.

    And of course a deal should provide for clean-up of all dumping of sewage, toxics, nuclear, garbage, and other trash by Israel and also by Israelis in or onto land which is set aside for Palestine in the “deal”.

    And of course a “deal” should allow for equitable sharing of wealth (if any in this climate-changing world) from oil and gas discoveries.

    Some writers (e.g., Avrum Burg) seem say that in a peace deal present Israelis should not have to pay a price for the crimes of past Israelis, but I think that principle a bad one where — as here — the crimes have been on-going, known, notorious, done “as of right” by Israelis, and the time period is within the lives of people, still alive, who have complained of the crimes continuously.

    Thus, to tie up my argument here, if it be assumed (arguendo) that because of antisemitism, etc., Israel had a right to thrust itself violently into existence (as a safe haven for Jews) at great cost to the Palestinian people, it cannot be argued that Israel had a right to trash Palestine with trash, to steal water that belonged to Palestine, and to perform all the other crimes.

    To put it another way, people should pay for what they break — even if they are Zionists.

    • gingershot
      February 18, 2014, 8:19 am

      If Pro-Semitism is ‘Pro-Apartheid’/’Pro-Zionist’ – as defined by Dershowitz and Bibi – then being Anti-Apartheid is ‘Pro-Human Being’

      ‘Pro-Human Being’ is (as defined by these hilariously smug, deluded fools) ‘Anti-Semitic’

      Therein lies the roots of their what appears TO OTHERS as a cognitive dissociative Tribal and Individual Narcissism.

      When something is ‘Semite-beneficial’, as defined by Bennett or Dershowitz, it seems quite obvious they are quite happy to be ‘Anti-Human Being Other Than Themselves’.

      Sicker, they think they should be loved for it – and that others hate them if they don’t love them for it – but at least they can make fools of those that hate them and profit as revenge or punishment. That sick

      Are Zionist Jews therefore ‘Anti-Human Being’, since Zionism as understood by them apparently means ethnic cleansing? Of course they are

      ‘Halting a Semite’ or ‘Stopping a Semite’ is ‘against’ or ‘anti’ that Semite’s current wish – if a Semite wished to commit suicide, or example, ‘stopping’ (or ‘being against’ that Semite) from committing suicide is also ‘Anti-Semitic’

      In the same sense a red traffic light is ‘Anti-Semitic’ in the sense it ‘Halts a Semite’. And since a green light is conducive to the Semite’s precious wishes, favoring the Semite’s unimpeded progress (such as with Apartheid/ethnic cleansing or the Mapquest route for the Tel Aviv waterfront), thus it ‘Semite-beneficial’

      If ‘Pro-Human Being’ is ‘Anti-Jew’ – as defined by these insulters of our intelligence – then we need TONS MORE of crude everyday ‘Anti-Jew’, ‘Anti-Semitic’ hate of these transparent sociopaths – like bald Jew-hating support for BDS, for instance.

      Stopping a Zionist is ‘Pro-Human Being’ and ‘Anti-Semitic’ – let’s get to it

      Any Jews or Zionists or Israelis who are ‘Anti-Human Being Other Than Themselves’ – you pick the term of which angel dancing on which pin – are exactly what we have today, genocidal Jews or Zionists or Israelis (or all three) who are FINALLY getting stopped

  3. Sycamores
    February 17, 2014, 12:48 pm

    interesting piece in Haaretz about israeli control of Palestinian water supply.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.574554

    The Israeli ‘watergate’ scandal: The facts about Palestinian water

    by Amira Hass an Israeli left-wing journalist

    Hass list a number of facts

    * Israel doesn’t give water to the Palestinians. Rather, it sells it to them at full price.

    * The Palestinians would not have been forced to buy water from Israel if it were not an occupying power which controls their natural resource, and if it were not for the Oslo II Accords, which limit the volume of water they can produce, as well as the development and maintenance of their water infrastructure.

    * This 1995 interim agreement was supposed to lead to a permanent arrangement after five years. The Palestinian negotiators deluded themselves that they would gain sovereignty and thus control over their water resources.

    The Palestinians were the weak, desperate, easily tempted side and sloppy when it came to details. Therefore, in that agreement Israel imposed a scandalously uneven, humiliating and infuriating division of the water resources of the West Bank.

    * The division is based on the volume of water Palestinians produced and consumed on the eve of the deal. The Palestinians were allotted 118 million cubic meters (mcm) per year from three aquifers via drilling, agricultural wells, springs and precipitation. Pay attention, Rino Tzror: the same deal allotted Israel 483 mcm annually from the same resources (and it has also exceeded this limit in some years).

    In other words, some 20 percent goes to the Palestinians living in the West Bank, and about 80 percent goes to Israelis – on both sides of the Green Line – who also enjoy resources from the rest of the country.

    Why should Palestinians agree to pay for desalinated water from Israel, which constantly robs them of the water flowing under their feet?

    * The agreement’s second major scandal: Gaza’s water economy/management was condemned to be self-sufficient and made reliant on the aquifer within its borders. How can we illustrate the injustice? Let’s say the Negev residents were required to survive on aquifers in the Be’er Sheva-Arad region, without the National Water Carrier and without accounting for population growth. Overpumping in Gaza, which causes seawater and sewage to penetrate into the aquifer, has made 90 percent of the potable water undrinkable.

    Can you imagine? If Israelis had peace and justice in mind, the Oslo agreement would have developed a water infrastructure linking the Strip to the rest of the country.

    * According to the deal, Israel will keep selling 27.9 mcm of water per year to the Palestinians. In its colonialist generosity, Israel agreed to recognize Palestinian future needs for an additional 80 mcm per year. It’s all detailed in the agreement with the miserly punctiliousness of a capitalist tycoon. Israel will sell some, and the Palestinians will drill for the rest, but not in the western mountain aquifer. That’s forbidden.

    this Siegel chap is a pathological liar, a person of low self esteem who needs to be ‘a part of something larger than himself’ in this case AIPAC, to feel that his life has any meaning.
    According to Siegel, Palestinians are benefitting from the occupation when it comes to water.

    while the opposite is blatantly true

    israelis are benefitting from the occupation when it comes to Paletines water.

    • seafoid
      February 17, 2014, 4:10 pm

      “According to Siegel, Palestinians are benefitting from the occupation when it comes to water.”

      Pure Theresienstadt media
      Think it a few steps further. If The NYT prints that AIPAC bilge imagine what other lobbyist crap the paper is infested with.

    • amigo
      February 18, 2014, 6:52 am

      “The Israeli ‘watergate’ scandal: The facts about Palestinian water

      by Amira Hass an Israeli left-wing journalist ” Haaretz

      Gee, I wonder if Haaretz describes Ari Shavit as a right wing Journalist.

  4. seafoid
    February 17, 2014, 12:53 pm

    “Destroying farmland and vineyards, contaminating Palestinian drinking water, this is no accident. It’s an ongoing environmental nightmare and certainly not limited to the village of Beit Ummar.”

    It’s a system run by Jews for Jews.
    Completely immoral.
    The NYT will eventually fall to the forces of reason.

    Private Eye magazine (UK) on the day the establishment turned on Murdoch newspaper “the News of the World”

    Evans described the atmosphere in the NotW office the day Mulcaire and royal correspondent were arrested on suspicion of phone hacking as “everyone on tenterhooks, a lot of fear and anxiety and people preparing to cover their tracks”. Evans claims to have destroyed a number of microcassettes from his desk drawer by pulling the ribbon up and napping them into little bits. He also went through his paperwork , shredding various items and pulled apart and binned a number of notebooks at both his office and home, “even notebooks which largely had legitimate stuff in, because they might have had some reference to voicemails in there” He told the jury “it was a purge, basically”.

  5. Krauss
    February 17, 2014, 12:58 pm

    It’s almost ridiculous how easy it is to counter hasbara.

  6. a blah chick
    February 17, 2014, 1:05 pm

    Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea, how about we get an actual Palestinian person to talk about the water situation there? You know, someone actually being impacted by what is or isn’t going on?

    • Annie Robbins
      February 17, 2014, 1:15 pm

      we? how bout you do a search before making crazy insinuations. here’s one from 5 days ago http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/struggles-continue-blockade.html

      and we’ve published reports on water from palestinians directly impacted (ie w/thirsting for justice). maybe you haven’t read them.

      • Blownaway
        February 17, 2014, 2:48 pm

        As a Palestinian I’m glad to weigh in. The settlements are where they are because of water. This is as much about water, if not more, than land. They are placed directly on top of aquifers to steal the water. This is part of the area know as the Fertile Crescent. The Palestinians have always been good stewards of the water because they know know how scare it is. They are indigenous people and not colonists from western worlds, they don’t have swimming pools or landscaping that takes gratuitous watering

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2014, 6:42 pm

        thank you blownaway. yes i agree they are placed strategically for this reason.

        i hope more people send in submissions about water this week specifically especially because of the alarming accusations made last week against schulz i think there’s a real opportunity to grab attention over this huge issue in a similar way the boycott/bds became thrust into the middle of msm discourse via the johansson/sodastream/superbowl/oxfam fiasco.

        i knew when i wrote the shulz article we were going to be following up (as many did, b’tselem published the next day, amira hass a couple days ago (or was it yesterday?) and no doubt the timing of siegel’s article was to get in front of the discourse in the mainstream.

        initially, frankly, i didn’t even get thru the whole nyt article before i started drafting after i saw that line “Israel also treats household sewage as a precious resource, reusing more than 80 percent of it for agriculture.” i just couldn’t believe it, knowing palestinians were literally forced to eat the shit of land thieves pumping their sewage into the fields they ate from. so i just collected a few examples of that.

        but there’s so much more that could be said, so much more. of course i thought of gazans trudging thru sewage water recently, not having the fuel to even pump their infrastructure which is in dire malfunction. it’s just endless what could be said. and there’s an excellent article in harpers about the jordan river and pre state action taken by zionists.

        but, as time would have it, we cut this short. but we need more. much more. and if any palestinians send in submissions we will gladly publish. i recall a few years ago when we recieved and excellent submission from a members of youth group in gaza “Youth for the Right to Water and Sanitation” project (YRWS) http://mondoweiss.net/2012/02/thirsting-for-justice-2.html

        a fantastic article/interview by Ishraq Othman and Leila Al-Najjar which actually required a bit of back n forth w/the emails because their english wasn’t so keen back then. but it’s great!

        It was all in Alja’al’s house consisting of 16 members, including the 50-year householder, Ehmoud Alja’al who was a taxi driver but currently he is jobless due to healthy malaises he suffers from. His wife, Ateyat Alja’al, starts telling her tale aged 15 years!

        “We are obliged to purchase gallons of clean water which cost US$18 a week instead of the salty and polluted water; we even use this clean water for bathing and washing. At the time we do not have enough money to purchase sufficient amounts of clean water, I am forced to cook and knead with the salty water which causes dermal diseases, vomiting, diarrhea and dysentery to my children”, said Ateyat.

        In the last war in Gaza in 2008, Israel destroyed most of the facilities of water: 11 water wells, 4 water treatment plants as well as the sewage discharge plants.
        It is also worth mentioning that Israeli restrictions on entry of fuel and electricity have resulted in 60-80 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage flowing daily into the sea and contaminating the underground aquifer, which is the only available source of water to the 1.5 million people in Gaza, causing high levels of nitrates (330 mg/liter) which led to saltiness of water.

        As Israel is a state party to Article 24, Child rights’ convention which declares that “the contracting countries must combat diseases and malnutrition by affording nutritive foods and pure water for children”, it is obliged to implement what is stated by this convention; nevertheless, Ateyat’s story proves the exact opposite!

        “We only receive water 3 days a week at midnight; my eldest son has to stay awake till 12:00 am when water is available in the taps in order to store as much water as he can because we do not have a generator for pumping water”, she added.

        Back to 2006, Israel bombed Gaza’s only power plant; consequently, water crisis is reaching alarming proportions because irregular supply of electricity leads to disorder of water distribution. “Electricity is another predicament; when water is available, electricity is not and vice versa!” Ateyat said. Noting that “Water must be healthy, sufficient, affordable and accessible”, Article 1, 11, Human rights’ accord

        that’s just one example, and then fidaa’s report during thr freeze. maybe i’m the only one who remembers these because i draft them!

      • just
        February 17, 2014, 7:01 pm

        You do amazing work, Annie.

        Your heart and care shine through in your every article. For that, I am grateful and an avid reader.

        I remember.

        (you also have an amazing wit as well as a grasp of the facts– a gift!)

      • Blownaway
        February 17, 2014, 8:17 pm

        A link from lobelog…more good solid info about the macro implications of water on I/P peace
        http://www.lobelog.com/the-forgotten-key-to-israel-palestine-water/

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2014, 11:58 pm

        blah chick, it’s been a long day, sorry i misunderstood, reacted so defensively. but we do try.

        thank you just!

        blownaway, you are right, that is an excellent article at by Mitchell Plitnick at lobelog.

      • a blah chick
        February 17, 2014, 8:01 pm

        It seems my comment was unclear, I was referring to the NY and LA times people not you. I think all of you at this site do a fine job of keeping us informed.

      • tear-stained uzi
        February 17, 2014, 8:48 pm

        Hey Annie, ABC is one of the ‘good guys’ here; that was sarcasm directed at the NYT, not you.

      • a blah chick
        February 17, 2014, 10:28 pm

        Thanks TSU! And BTW I LOVE your moniker!

    • Henry Norr
      February 17, 2014, 7:34 pm

      In addition to the Palestinian perspectives on the water problem that Annie and other have cited, the best single resource I know of on the issue is “Water for One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water Apartheid’ in the OPT,” a long (100 pages), very thoroughly documented report put out last April by the Palestinian organization Al-Haq. Among other things, it has great charts, including one on p. 52 that directly addresses the question Schulz raised in his Knesset speech.

      http://www.alhaq.org/publications/Water-For-One-People-Only.pdf

      (I mentioned this in a comment on the original MW article on the Schulz brouhaha, and so did at least one other commenter. Sorry for the repetition, but this report still doesn’t seem to be getting the attention it deserves.)

  7. seafoid
    February 17, 2014, 1:08 pm

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.574711U.S. Jewish leader:

    “BDS is ’21st century form of 20th century anti-Semitism’
    Joe Lieberman to spearhead anti-Iran campaign, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations executive VP Malcolm Hoenlein reveals.
    Evoking the Holocaust, he called the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movent, which campaigns against Israel, the “21st century form of 20th century anti-Semitism.”

    “It is the same manifestation except that now they’re attacking the collective Jew – Israel – rather than the individual Jew, as they did 70 years ago,” said Hoenlein. “We recognize that when they say Israel, they mean all of us.”

    Fail. YESHA drives BDS. Anti YESHA is pro Judaism

    • Sibiriak
      February 18, 2014, 1:32 am

      It is the same manifestation except that now they’re attacking the collective Jew…

      The collective Jew can do no wrong, and therefore should never be criticized.

  8. American
    February 17, 2014, 2:34 pm

    Iran? Wait a second. Sewage is being dumped in Palestine too– by Israeli settlers.”…annie”

    You anti semite, you cant say that in amerkica!
    You’re suppose to be listening to Wolf ‘AIPAC’ Blizer on the news right now telling us about how N Korea abuses children on work farms.
    And dont you dare suggest he should mention what Israel does to Palestine children or you’ll be responsible for destroying Israel and killing all the Jews!
    And if you go to France dont forget that bad mouthing Israel will get you a $650 fine and up to 3 years in jail.

  9. American
    February 17, 2014, 2:41 pm

    ”Israeli Civil Administration tried peddling the claim the flooding of Beit Ummar with raw sewage was the result of “an accidental power malfunction”…..annie

    Yea and the IDF spraying skunk juice on Palestine homes is also an accident.

    • Bumblebye
      February 17, 2014, 6:27 pm

      Really? I thought they were watering (with a particularly smelly fertiliser) the Palestinian lawns! That way, they’ll grow well before being mown again.

  10. Blownaway
    February 17, 2014, 2:43 pm

    What is interesting when they do things like this they don’t allow comments, so there is no outlet to give feedback that could counter this hasbara

    • American
      February 17, 2014, 10:17 pm

      @Blownaway

      That why they got rid of the comment section. Too much truthiness from the commenters….people might see some real facts.

    • Pamela Olson
      February 18, 2014, 12:03 am

      When they actually do allow comments, because the reader-recommended comments are usually much more accurate than the articles themselves. They apparently don’t enjoy being humiliated in that manner. Very cowardly.

  11. piotr
    February 17, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Siegel also wrote that Iran could benefit from Israeli water technologies like treatment of sewage or desalinization. Contrary to Siegel, wheel was not invented in Israel and Israeli water technologies are not superior to those available elsewhere.

    The a country that exports about as much as Slovakia and many times less then Belgium has such an excellent opinion about its technology? If not for Israeli work for Motorola, we would be forced to use Samsung mobile phones (or Nokia). And so we do!

  12. Donald
    February 17, 2014, 3:31 pm

    When I have time I’ll write the NYT public editor about this–in the past the public editor has written back saying that the op ed pieces are out of their jurisdiction, since they’re opinion, but that’s bull. The NYT simply doesn’t do a good enough job covering every aspect of the conflict, quite apart from their bias, and so when some propagandist writes a piece about the I/P conflict and water issues, the average reader will have no way of knowing how much is being left out.

    On the bright side, the whole NYT opinion section is such a wasteland (Krugman excepted) it hardly matters. It’s stunning just how mediocre their regular columnists are most of the time, on all issues. And then their guest pieces are usually almost as bad, with rare exceptions. There’s so much interesting material one can read online at various sites on various issues I think there has to be a strong push at the NYT to publish material that is bland, boring, stupid, dishonest, or useless.

    • Shingo
      February 17, 2014, 8:14 pm

      The NYT opinion section might be useless Donald, but you can rest assured that CAMERA would be all over I like a rash were these pieces if they’d been critical of Israel, and the NYT would dutifully the issued a retraction.

      • Donald
        February 17, 2014, 10:17 pm

        “you can rest assured that CAMERA would be all over I like a rash were these pieces if they’d been critical of Israel, and the NYT would dutifully the issued a retraction.”

        Well that’s true.

  13. Interested Bystander
    February 17, 2014, 3:54 pm

    It’s valuable to come here from the NYT site and be able to get a different perspective and more background. So, thanks.

    However, the discussion above and the Siegel’s OpEd largely talk past each other. I’m not seeing you take issue with the main premises of the OpEd, which is that water is scarce in the region, and technological innovations of desalination plants and research in efficient water usage can overcome the scarcity and thus maybe help the political situation. And why would you take issue with that? Whether you like AIPAC or hate it, whether you like Seth Siegel or hate him, and whether Israel and the settlers are improperly using water and sewage as a weapon in their battle for the land, or not, it seems true that water is scarce in the region, and that technological innovations like desalination plants, recycling of wastewater, and efficient irrigation can benefit the region as a whole.

    It’s not a bad thing to get the head out of the bilge, as it were, and look at what good might be done. Isnt’ the response to Siegel, “Yes, good point, but how do we implement this … because look how Israel has been abusing water policy and using wastewater as a weapon in it’s battle for the land?” It’s important to fight for the positive (yes, build desalination plants; enable them to be built in Gaza) as well as fighting abuses in the West Bank. Ultimately, if Palestinians and Israelis are going to work something out, it’s going to have to be about building up, not tearing down. Desalination plants, recycling of wastewater, and efficient irrigation are about building up. Calling this hasbara is about tearing down.

    • American
      February 17, 2014, 6:28 pm

      Interested by Stander says…

      ”It’s not a bad thing to get the head out of the bilge, as it were, and look at what good might be done. Isnt’ the response to Siegel, “Yes, good point, but how do we implement this … because look how Israel has been abusing water policy and using wastewater as a weapon in it’s battle for the land?” It’s important to fight for the positive (yes, build desalination plants; enable them to be built in Gaza) as well as fighting abuses in the West Bank.
      Calling this hasbara is about tearing down.>>>>

      It appears to me you dont understand the nature of Israel and are a victim of NYT hasbara.
      There is no one here who doesnt know the fact and details of the water problem of the region.
      There are no reporters researchers here like Ms Robbins who don’t know exactly what they are talking about.
      There is no one here who doesnt know that Israel has repeatedly blown up water plants and sewage treatment plants in Gaza and Palestine and in Gaza the blockade prevents them getting fuel to operate what plants they do have left.
      There is no one here who doesnt know that Israel takes 70% of the water resources that belong to and are located in Palestine on property Israel is illegally occupying.
      There is no one here who isnt insulted by Israel agents in the NYT, the propaganda mouthpiece of Israel, telling us how benevolently Israel is treating the Palestine water wise.
      There is no one here who hasnt seen the 101 ‘ puff pieces ‘ currently circulating in newspapers from Miami to LA about Israel as the water savior of the region due to Jewish Israeli genius because the world has never heard of technologies like treatment of sewage or desalinization before.
      According to a article by another Israeli propagandist in the Miami Herald Israel has offered to save Miami from the primitive US water technology of inferior American know nothings if only Miami would collaborate with Israel. As usual the article is about Israel water genius but as usual in their brag pieces contains no details or specifics about how or why the Israeli system is better or different than the US’s or any others, all it says is puff,puff,puff.

      ”How collaboration with Israel can help Miami-Dade create an efficient, safe water infrastructure”
      By MEITAL STAVINSKY The Miami Herald
      http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/17/3757334/how-collaboration-with-israel.html
      And who is Ms Stavinsky,the water expert? Meital Stavinsky is based in Miami and Tel Aviv, working as coordinator of the corporate and securities Israeli practice.

      BUT,BUT,BUT…the Israeli Water Genius has so polluted and failed to use their water genius on the Jordon River that it is now a toxic cess pool.
      And Israel is going to be the water savior of the region and advise other countries on their water conservation and treatment? ROTFLMAO
      Dozens of NGO and engineers from other countries have been going to Israel for years to try to help them with their own water pollution and Israel keeps on polluting because it refuses to take their advice and quit diverting as much water to Israel agriculture because it’s not sustainable.

      http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/study-for-a-healthy-jordan-river-divert-less-water-to-agriculture-1.396537

      Israel consumes the vast majority of the water from the Jordan River despite only 3% of the river falling within its pre-1967 borders. Israel now diverts one quarter of its total water consumption through its National Water Carrier from the Jordan River.
      In 1964, Israel began operating a dam that diverts water from the Sea of Galilee, a major Jordan River water provider, to the National Water Carrier. Also in 1964, Jordan constructed a channel that diverted water from the Yarmouk River, another main tributary of the Jordan River. Syria has also built reservoirs that catch the Yarmouk’s waters. Environmentalists blame Israel, Jordan and Syria for extensive damage to the Jordan River ecosystem
      In the past five decades the Jordan has lost more than 90 percent of its normal flow. Upstream, at the Sea of Galilee, the river’s fresh waters are diverted via Israel’s National Water Carrier to the cities and farms of Israel, while dams built by Jordan and Syria claim a share of the river’s tributaries, mostly for agriculture. So today the lower Jordan is practically devoid of clean water, bearing instead a toxic brew of saline water and liquid waste that ranges from raw sewage to agricultural runoff, fed into the river’s vein like some murky infusion of tainted blood. ‘’

      Please, we are fed up to the gills with the self promoting, lying, Israeli runt
      And that is all this NYT piece is…….more hasbara.

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 12:25 am

        It appears to me you dont understand the nature of Israel and are a victim of NYT hasbara.

        Not so much the victim of hasbara as a perpetrator of it.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 18, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Shingo: When it comes to politics, it’s all propaganda. This site is full of propaganda. One can nevertheless have an exchange of views.

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 8:32 pm

        When it comes to politics, it’s all propaganda. This site is full of propaganda.

        No, propaganda is usually based on lies, misleading statements and arguments and diversion. There is none of that here, other than the efforts of your fellow travellers.

      • American
        February 18, 2014, 9:59 pm

        Interested Bystander says:
        February 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm
        Shingo: When it comes to politics, it’s all propaganda. This site is full of propaganda. One can nevertheless have an exchange of views.>>>>

        We dont do propaganda.
        We do ‘facts.’
        And then we do ‘opinions’ BASED ON THE FACTS.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 1:19 am

        Shingo: Although propaganda may include lies or misleading information, if you look it up you’ll find it more broadly refers to “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect.” That includes, of course, any political campaign, and it certainly includes what goes on on this site. I don’t consider that a bad thing. It just means advocating for a cause.

      • ritzl
        February 18, 2014, 11:10 am

        Yep. The Wazzani Springs (a major headwater source for the Jordan) was the cause of the last Lebanon war. The Lebanese were diverting flow, per and within their rights under the 1953 Johnston regional plan (not ratified by expansionist Israel, of course), and the Israelis invaded and destroyed the pipes. Sharon called any additional Lebanese use of the Wazzani Springs water a “cassus belli.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Valley_Unified_Water_Plan

        Lake Kinneret is very near the point where the pumping stations cannot extract any more water, and from which the lake may not be able to replenish itself. The so called “black line” http://savethekinneret.com/ at which the National Water Carrier loses its original and maybe principal source. There goes the “blooming desert.”

        Israel is simply its own worst water enemy. It would be overusing regional water even if there were no Palestinians. Destructive over use everywhere, all the time, with no end in sight, and only war and oppression as the mitigation. No amount of deflecting “reclamation” puff pieces can change that.

        How dare the Palestinians/Lebanese/Syrians/Jordanians want their fair share (of their own water)? The nerve of those people.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 18, 2014, 4:38 pm

        ritzl. The Wizzani spring has been a source of tension. I’m not sure it was the trigger of a war, and your characterization does not appear correct based on the link. Of course water issues are a source of tension in a volatile region with scarce water resources. Thanks for the link to the Jonston plan. That, of course was rejected by the Arab League. It looks like at least initially, Israel and Jordan adhered to the allocations. A key challenge is providing sufficient water for everybody in the region. Cooperation and peace can help that; conflict and war hurt that effort.

      • ritzl
        February 18, 2014, 10:20 pm

        @Interested Bystander- The wiki links were only for background.

        The Wazzzani issue is more than a source of tension. Even though the diversion was/is a matter of only ~10 MCM (of ~150MCM total flow) of water into northern Israel, it was/is a make or break for Israeli agriculture, i.e. the whole economy of northern Israel. Israel is just that close to the edge.

        http://www.jewishnaples.org/page.aspx?id=220661

        The rejection came from, on Israel’s side, the need for expansion, and on the Arab side, from Israeli assumption of ownership of regional Arab water.

        The late-stage invasion of Golan in ’67 was solely, imo, a water issue (Syria’s Yarmouk dam), Shebaa farms is a water issue (proximity to Wazzani) as is the divided town of Ghajar (on the Hasbani River; outflow of the Wazzani Springs; Major contributory of the Jordan; observation point).

        The Israel-Jordan peace treaty explicitly traded Jordanian water rights (among other, less important things) for peace. Again explicitly, it resolved, in Israel’s favor, Israel’s objections to the Johnston plan. Israel gained formal recognition of its water claims from Jordan including jurisdiction of wells in Jordanian territory (because they are part of the Jordan River watershed) and Jordan accepted promises of future, conditional sharing and cooperation in return. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Guide/Pages/Israel-Jordan%20Peace%20Treaty%20Annex%20II.aspx

        I don’t really know if Israel has adhered to its agreement since. Maybe you or somebody else here does, but my sense is that Jordan is water starved and the Jordan River is dry, and Israel is green.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 1:22 am

        Thanks, Ritzl.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 18, 2014, 4:23 pm

        American: Fact remains that the region has scarce water resources. Exploring what can be done technically, as well as politically, are worthwhile endeavors. If someone brings up technical water issues I don’t think it’s productive to say “we don’t want to talk about this because it’s just propaganda.”

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 8:34 pm

        Fact remains that the region has scarce water resources.

        The fact remains that building swimming pools in a region with scarce water resources shows utter irresponsibility and contempt for this reality.

        Exploring what can be done technically, as well as politically, are worthwhile endeavors.

        Not at the expense of exploring water apartheid and unfair distribution of water.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 1:33 am

        Shingo. Oh, I’m not so sure about swimming pools. How many pools do you think there are in West Bank Israeli settlement, and what percentage of overall water usage in the West Bank do you think might be due to swimming pools? The last sentence is a non-sequitor, no? I agree water distribution should be fair.

      • Shingo
        February 19, 2014, 5:47 am

        Oh, I’m not so sure about swimming pools.

        What do you mean you are not sure about swimming pools? it is one of the most brazen acts of contempt the settlers like to flaunt. How can you possibly not know about them?
        https://www.google.com.au/search?q=israel+settlements+swimming+pools&newwindow=1&rlz=1C1CHMO_en-GBAU570AU570&espv=210&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=5IUEU468Co7eoASjtYKYDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=1075

        You cannot seriously be that ignorant about the matter so you are clearly in denial and simply trolling here to push your pathetic hasbara.
        http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/bethlehems-taps-run-dry-as-west-bank-israelis-continue-to-fill-their-swimming-pools

        How many pools do you think there are in West Bank Israeli settlement

        What does it matter when settlers can build private swimming pools and fill them while residents of Bethlehem have to go a week without bathing? Are you seriously that sadistic?

        what percentage of overall water usage in the West Bank do you think might be due to swimming pools?

        Obviously a massive amount.

        An average sized swimming poll holds 350,000 liters, which is the minimum daily allotment for 3500 people according to the World Health Organization recommendation of a minimal per capita daily consumption of 100 liters per day.

        Per capita, Jewish settlers in the WB are allocated an insane 1500 cubic meters of water per year, whereas the Palestinians allocation is as low as 13 cubic meters (Tubas District), and 20 in Hebron.

        Now assuming the settlers are consuming 300 litres per day (per capita) for basic needs, that leaves an excess of 1,400 cubic meters per settler of excess water. Can you seriously suggest there is nothing wrong with this insane disparity?

        Palestinian farmers are also prohibited from digging wells on their own land.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2014, 12:39 pm

        shingo, i’ve read this surreal allegation of Israeli Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz several times over the last week with all the press and pushback about the water issue and hyping of desalinization. the first one, from today “Palestinians need Israeli know-how on water desalination”

        listen to the explanation of why palestinians having less water is ‘normal’ (and he claims it’s 1/2 instead of a much wider gap).

        http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/business/2014/02/israel-palestine-gaza-water-shortage-desalination.html##ixzz2tmyFbjEV

        Even Israeli Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz, who is not suspected of being overly sympathetic to the Palestinians, recognizes that the average water consumption of the Israeli settlers is twice that used by the West Bank Palestinians — with a daily per capita water consumption of 200 liters [52.8 gallons] as against 100 liters [26.4 gallons]. Steinitz talked about the issue with reference to the address delivered to the Knesset [on Feb. 12] by European Parliament President Martin Schulz, which caused quite an uproar. However, the explanation provided by Steinitz for this is that, in general, the standard of living of the Palestinian population is lower than in Israel, and that this is the cause for the large gap, rather than deliberate discrimination on the part of Israel, as implied by Schultz.

        can you believe that? first he says 1/2,then he says it’s got nothing to do w/discrimination! as if there isn’t a reason (fault of israel!) the standard of living under brutal occupation is worse!

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177424#.UwTk40JdWB8

        Steinitz said that the consumption in the PA is similar to the average in the Arab world and should not be compared to the average consumption in Israel, where the standard of living is higher.

        people under occupation are blamed for their standard of living and therefore it is normal they don’t have regular running water? mind-boggling. doesn’t it seem logical to end the occupation instead of trying to ‘fix’ the water within a system of occupation ?

      • Shingo
        February 19, 2014, 11:18 pm

        mind-boggling. doesn’t it seem logical to end the occupation instead of trying to ‘fix’ the water within a system of occupation ?

        Mind boggling indeed. Can you imagine a US politician explaining how those living in black neighbourhoods have a lower water allocation than those is wealthy white neighbourhoods on the grounds that the former have a lower standard of living?

    • tear-stained uzi
      February 17, 2014, 8:52 pm

      Welcome back, Richard Witty.

    • Ecru
      February 18, 2014, 2:11 am

      @ Interested Bystander

      With respect you are I think missing the point. Why is there now such a need for desalination and recycling of water in the West Bank and Gaza when for millennia the local population was able to live within its means? Because Israeli Jews have either over-used or contaminated local water sources as another prong in their relentless attempt to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its native people.

      As for their much vaunted technology – well I’ve yet to see any evidence that theirs is better or more efficient than anyone else’s – beyond that is the “oh everything Jews make is better” assumptions of Zionists.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 18, 2014, 4:45 pm

        Ecru: The population in the area as of 1930, of course, was less than one million. Now the area has a population of roughly 12 million. This is more than political. You are right, I’m sure any number of American and European and Chinese companies could build desalination plants, and would be happy to do so if someone hired them.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 18, 2014, 9:05 pm

        israelis should drink their own desalinated water if it’s so wonderful, and quit making a profit selling it at high prices to palestinians after stealing all the clean palestinian drinking water. it’s not yours.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 2:03 am

        Annie: Not sure what you mean by “yours.” I certainly have no quarrel that Israel is using more than its share of water. That’s what I said in my initial comment. It’s a little like California and the Colorado river, except a whole more intimate and politically charged and flagrant. It seems like a clear injustice. One way to solve the injustice is to produce enough water for everyone’s needs and to build infrastructure to distribute it. Looks like the need is particularly dire in the Gaza strip. It’s what Siegel is asserting. He may have propaganda purposes–but if Israel were to produce enough water for all and build infrastructure to develop it to all, which it could do, that would be a step towards peace.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2014, 12:55 pm

        It’s a little like California and the Colorado river, except a whole more intimate and politically charged and flagrant.

        just “a little like” a decades long military occupation by a hostile enemy whose imprisoned 10,000’s of the male population but more flagrant, intimate and politically charged than california’s relationship w/colorado? that’s one way of putting it.

        It seems like a clear injustice. One way to solve the injustice is to produce enough water for everyone’s needs and to build infrastructure to distribute it.

        another way is end the injustice, the occupation. if i invaded the neighbors house and locked them in the basement for years while plundering all their property you also might say one way to fix the problem is to construct an elevator that could distribute more food down to the basement for the prisoners as i plunder the rest of their property for years to come. i could even be considered helpful, generous and innovative? no?

        it’s that elephant in the room, the idea letting them out of the basement might be a first start? don’t you think? and then maybe asking permission to purchase whatever it is i want of this family’s whose house land and water i have been plundering for years.

        if Israel were to produce enough water for all and build infrastructure to develop it to all, which it could do, that would be a step towards peace.

        if israel were interested in peace they would first use their desalination on their own population while requesting to purchase the water of their neighbors. not keep controlling palestine, diverting water from palestinian land, and offer to share their ‘innovation’ in exchange. that’s just a perverted twisted concept of ‘peace’.

      • Ecru
        February 20, 2014, 2:11 am

        @ IB

        Yes the population has increased – largely from the old Soviet Union, an increase that would never have happened without Israel’s constant attempts at demographic engineering. But further these new immigrants have refused to live within the limits of the land, something Palestinians were both willing and able to do. The situation is dire not simply because of population growth but because of deliberate policies created by Israeli Jews.

    • traintosiberia
      February 18, 2014, 5:42 am

      It is the same reason that explains the responses with near total abhorrence and silence to the very thought of Nazi economic success .In reality the Nazi success had nothing to do with the Jewish deprivations but Israeli use of water resources are joined at the hip with the plans of the stealing of the natural resources from Palestine.
      In future , NYT will bring AIPAC stalwart from WB or from CFR to tout and sell the idea of allowing Israel to develop the infertile arid unproductive lands that the Palestinians are being forced to accept as generous Israeli offer. Yes. What’s wrong with that? Hasn’t Israel bloomed the desert? Don’t they have the expertise?

      • Interested Bystander
        February 18, 2014, 4:54 pm

        traintosiberia: and we made all the way to the bottom until we bring in the Nazis. Maybe next time we can leave them out altogether. The solution, whether one state or two, whether some type of confederation or binational state, surely entails providing sufficinet water for everybody, sufficient resources, sufficient food, and sufficient jobs for everybody. To make that happen is going to entail itnernational help, but also help from Israel. It seems to me we should be working to want Israel to do that, and that we won’t achieve such a change if we yell “hasbara” everytime an advocate of the Jewish state opens his mouth to say anything.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 18, 2014, 9:11 pm

        . It seems to me we should be working to want Israel to do that

        israel is still a welfare state. they should try taking care of themselves without handouts, free land and resources stolen from palestine (and billions from the US). the palestinians can take care of themselves if they were not imprisoned and under occupation with a jackboot on their necks. your faux benevolence is insulting.

        http://www.alternativenews.org/english/images/stories/PDF/COGAT.pdf

        While the West Bank region is anything but water scarce and blessed with ample winter rains, the 45-year Israeli military occupation has left Palestinian communities severely water stressed. A fair and lasting redistribution of natural water resources remains central to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a highly politicized issue. Israel has been waging a PR campaign with very problematic and conflicting statistics and statements on water to legitimize its policies against Palestinians. Justice (as a prerequisite for peace) can only be achieved when there is a fair distribution of water according to international law.

        So what is the truth about water? _______________________

        Two of the main bodies of Israel’s occupation that decree, prohibit, block and demolish (“interact with”) Palestinian water resources and infrastructure – the military “Civil Administration” (Bet El settlement) and the Israeli Water
        Authority – have launched a campaign of “information on water issues”, in reaction to respected studies by the World Bank (2009), Amnesty International (2009) and the French Assemblée Nationale (2011). This brief examines and, where necessary corrects, the latest Civil Administration (CA) leaflet.

        more here(scroll) http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/during-speech-knesset.html/comment-page-1#comment-640490

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 2:33 am

        The Palestinians don’t look to me like they can “take care of themselves” any time soon. They receive tremendous foreign aid, they have an economy in shambles, and 23 percent unemployment, and no political leadership, and not likely to have any political leadership worth a damn anytime soon. Sure, they are under occupation, and they are suffering under tremendous handicaps, and they are getting tremendously mistreated. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not just a matter of taking the jack-boot off the throat, as you say, and everything will be rosy. Israel is acting to maintain the status quo indefinitely, and that is incredibly shortsighted. Israel could and should work to improve the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. To say “this is faux benevolence and insulting” strikes as me as naive.

      • Shingo
        February 19, 2014, 3:11 am

        The Palestinians don’t look to me like they can “take care of themselves” any time soon.

        They can, but Israel won’t let them.

        They receive tremendous foreign aid

        Less than 10% of what Israel officially receives. Israel receives as much a 10 billion per year, which is about 30 times as much as what the Palestinians receive.

        The Palestinian economy is in shambles because Israel has destroyed it and made sure it cannot recover. it’s hard to get up when you have someone’s boot on your throat.

        And yes it is just a matter of taking the jack-boot off the throat. The mere fact that there are no check points and Israeli troops in Gaza means their economy is better than it is in the West Bank, which is amazing.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2014, 3:18 am

        what’s naive is peddling the concept israel can ‘help’ palestine while they are jailing it.

        The Palestinians don’t look to me like they can “take care of themselves” any time soon…..Israel could and should work to improve the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

        i said the palestinians can take care of themselves if they were not imprisoned and under occupation with a jackboot on their necks. until end end the occupation,cooperation is fruitless.

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 10:10 pm

        To make that happen is going to entail itnernational help, but also help from Israel

        That’s a boy like saying abused need help from their abusive husbands. Israel is the problem so they cannot be part of the solution until they stop being part of the problem.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 18, 2014, 10:24 pm

        ha! i was typing (below)while you were writing shingo. just saw this. we got a live one on our hand. mr/s. ‘bystander’. and i love this:

        we won’t achieve such a change if we yell “hasbara” everytime an advocate of the Jewish state opens his mouth to say anything.

        end the occupation, then we can listen to hasbrats spewing about ‘helping palestinians’ and what they can ‘provide’ for them. because israel’s record on being a provider is quite clear, israel provides the noose,the torture, the poison the bulldozers, the midnight raids photographing and stealing children. everything we got records. lots of them. the thief is not a provider of anything but misery.

        go sell your desalinated water to china. or drink it yourself!

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 2:38 am

        Shingo: I think that’s right. An abused wife, of course, can leave. But countries can’t leave. The Israelis and Palestinians are going to live with each other, whatever long term solution they manage. And since they will continue to live in the same house, yes the abusive husband has to be part of the solution.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2014, 3:06 am

        And since they will continue to live in the same house,

        so in the one state solution you’re referencing, do you advocate equality?

      • Annie Robbins
        February 18, 2014, 10:13 pm

        To make that happen is going to entail itnernational help, but also help from Israel.

        and speaking of israel ‘helping’ , it’s israel who steals. if israel wants to ‘help’ is could get it’s hand out of the water acquifers of WB palestine. if israel wanted to ‘help’, it could end the occupation and start buying fresh water from palestine (y’know, w/ MONEY like the kind you charge for the desalination you don’t want to drink yourself). paying for what they consume, what a radically new idea for a country that steals land and homes and livelihoods and resources every single second of every single minute of every single hour of every single day of every single week of every single month of every single year of every single decade since it’s inception.

        israel should try supporting their own needs honestly before pandering the filthy lie they’re going to ‘help’ palestine as they rob them dry. and when i say ‘they’ i mean the government. because i do believe there are good people in israel. i just wish there were more of them, a lot more.

        thanks.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 2:52 am

        Annie: Last I checked, I don’t speak for the Israeli government. Of course they should stop the occupation; of course there should be equitable use of the regional water sources; paying for WB water sounds like a good idea; why not advocate for it? I don’t see the government of Israel saying they’re going to do very much to help Palestinians, other than help with security. That’s the point, they should do more. I really fail to see why you would have a problem with that.

      • American
        February 18, 2014, 10:58 pm

        ”To make that happen is going to entail itnernational help, but also help from Israel. It seems to me we should be working to want Israel to do that, and that we won’t achieve such a change if we yell “hasbara” everytime an advocate of the Jewish state opens his mouth to say anything.”..Interested ByStander

        No Palestine does not need Israel help. Palestine needs for Israel to get out of Palestine and let them control their own water and build their own water systems.
        FACT: Israel has no water expertise or systems that everyone else in the ME with a water problem isn’t using. Saudi, Jordon, others also use and are building more sea desalinization plants.
        BUT…guess what…..even using sea water is not going to last according to WB studies …BECAUSE..the process increases the amount of salt in the sea it is returned to by 50% ….WHICH means that eventually it will result in red tides and kill the sea life…..AND will also result in having to exact more sea water for same amount of drinking water and will increase the cost of doing that.
        FACT: there is no long term solution, only short term solutions as long the population in the region continues to grow.

        I suggest if Israel wants to be crowned the world’s water wizard they will have to learn how to make rain.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 2:55 am

        I must say I’m more of an optimist on technology. Finding a way to desalinate water without causing environmental problems sounds solvable, though I’m no engineer.

    • Donald
      February 18, 2014, 9:44 pm

      “Calling this hasbara is about tearing down.”

      I would be happy if some genuinely well-intentioned person wrote a piece saying that Israelis and Palestinians have to work together to solve the regional water problems, and if that person wants to get into technical details, so much the better. But to write an article and leave out Israeli abuses and to pretend that everything would be fine if only Israel’s enemies would cooperate with her—well, that’s hasbara.

      I’m not sure where you are coming from, but Siegel could have said “Yes, Israel and the settlers are improperly using water and sewage as a weapon and that’s wrong.” Then he could talk about desalination, recycling and other technical solutions. The message would be clear. Oppression is stupid. Cooperation between equals is good. But you seem to be downplaying the ugliness of what he actually did write.

      • Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 10:12 pm

        Great comment Donald.

        You eloquently exposed IB for the pathetic propagandist that he/she is.

      • Sibiriak
        February 18, 2014, 10:53 pm

        @Donald… Cogent, compelling comment. Nicely done.

      • Interested Bystander
        February 19, 2014, 3:08 am

        Donald: I must say you all are a very consistent pack. But really, I do believe that was the point. Technical details we’ll have to leave to others. As to the ugliness of what Siegel did write … perhaps you can point me to relevant portions? He is a propagandist, but so what? Seems to me that pointing out some of the issues that Annie and Phil collected here are the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make the idea that the parties should work together on issues like water together, and yes, as equals, is somehow pernicious or a lie. Israel is not doing it, the point is they should.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 19, 2014, 1:13 pm

        you’re consistent too interested bystander. you keep repeating what you ‘really do believe’ without acknowledging the need for prioritizing wrt the human rights issue. after decades of occupation israel is not trusted wrt ‘working together’ under the condition israel remain the occupier. you keep pushing a concept of just skipping over that. it’s not up to you or me anyway. there’s not going to be normalization until israel ends the occupation and stops plundering palestinian water. that’s the reality.

      • American
        February 19, 2014, 2:00 pm

        Interested Bystander says:
        February 19, 2014 at 3:08 am
        Donald: I must say you all are a very consistent pack. But really, I do believe that was the point. Technical details we’ll have to leave to others. As to the ugliness of what Siegel did write … perhaps you can point me to relevant portions? He is a propagandist, but so what? Seems to me that pointing out some of the issues that Annie and Phil collected here are the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make the idea that the parties should work together on issues like water together, and yes, as equals, is somehow pernicious or a lie. Israel is not doing it, the point is they should.>>>>

        Most everyone here has a Phd in troll recognition here and you are sending out troll signals.
        Observe:
        The ugliness of what Siegel did was blowing smoke up everyone ass about the wonders and expertise and benevolence of Israel…all three claims a lie.
        The ugly Siegel tried to promote that Israel would bestow their ‘benevolence’ on the lesser others….without mentioning that for 65 years all the earthworm of Israel has done is consume and excret, consume and excret its shit on its neighbors in Palestine.
        What Israel ‘should do’ has been talked about for 60 years.
        No one believes that Israel will ever do what it should do until it is forced to.
        So no one is interested in the talky talky, cant we all get along, pie in the sky babble about some magic future in which the nasty earthworm turns into a benevolent butterfly.
        Your trolling ‘ reasonabelness’ is just another version and tactic of the typical Israel stally -stally about a future that will never arrive if they help it.
        Goodby.

  14. justicewillprevail
    February 17, 2014, 5:42 pm

    How Low can you go, NYT? Even for a newspaper whose best days are long behind it, the craven and abject surrender to the Israel lobby is quite astonishing. Not a suggestion, no semblance of balance or objectivity, just a reprint of a propaganda piece so easily refuted, so puerile in its sycophancy, that a student free sheet would be embarrassed to print it. Fact-checking, or even a cursory glance at the claims, is apparently so passe at the NYT – just get AIPAC to fax over its latest PR dreck and run it without question. Have they no idea, or the slightest care, of how this impacts on the perception of the paper and its other contributions? It makes a mockery of the concept of news, and its decent journalists, if there any left. What an ignominious end to the newspaper industry. (On the plus side, who reads this stuff and believes a word of it any more?)

    • tear-stained uzi
      February 17, 2014, 9:20 pm

      I see you and I had a similar reaction to this putrid op-ed. The sheer audacity of the screed’s “up-is-down-ism” is what is so shocking to the human conscience. I had to break my reading into paragraphic chunks to try to avoid apoplexy, but I wasn’t entirely successful. Kudos to Annie and Mondoweiss for braving the stench of this AIPAC sewage dump in The Times in order to expose the awful truth of the situation.

      Seth Seigel’s hasbara lies are so offensive, so foul… words/language have abandoned me in the face of such obscenity.

      History will remember the Seth Seigels who made it their lifes’ work to defend the indefensible injustice of the Occupation. There will come a reckoning.

      • justicewillprevail
        February 18, 2014, 6:38 am

        ‘AIPAC sewage dump’ – lol, how apt. AIPAC’s gift to us all.

  15. ivri
    February 17, 2014, 5:43 pm

    Moving beyond the water issue to the bigger picture wouldn`t it be interesting to check data about the relative position of the Palestinians in the West-Bank in regard to ALL criteria that defines standard of living and other related attributes as compared to the broader Arab world (that they are inherently part of)? This is not done because the results are pretty obvious.

    • Talkback
      February 18, 2014, 10:24 am

      Aaah, the Apartheid argument.

      Read Neve Gordon’s book about how Israel ‘bribed’ the Palestinians regarding infrastructure in it is first decades of occupation to try to make them forget the occupation even exists.
      http://israelsoccupation.info/

      Nowadays the same infrastructure (electricity, water, etc.) is used to punish them for their disobediance.

  16. anthonybellchambers
    February 17, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Government by lobbyists, specifically US foreign policy dictated by a powerful, pro-Zionist lobby, is anathema to democratic government and an insult to all those who fought, and died, in two world wars for the freedom of the individual, free speech and for human and civil rights.

    At some point, the average American will reject the propaganda and accept that government by a powerful, unelected, privately financed lobby, is no way to run any country never mind the world’s superpower. Let us hope and trust that the inevitable realization that the American electorate has been conned, will be sooner rather than later.

  17. Les
    February 17, 2014, 6:18 pm

    If the Ochs and Sulzberger’s require ordinary “reporters” to toe the line, why should op-ed writers be any different?

  18. amigo
    February 18, 2014, 6:33 am

    “Given their proximity to Israel, the Palestinians are likely to be among the few Arab winners in the water race.”Siegel

    Look up definition of Myopia in the dictionary and you will find Siegel,s image.

    Do these people really believe what they are writing???.

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