Op-ed: Slanderous European accusations put State of Israel’s very existence at risk

Giulio Meotti
Published: 01.21.12, 12:32 / Israel Opinion

The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee just published an unprecedented report accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” in its allocation of water in Judea and Samaria. The report said that water has become “a weapon serving the new apartheid.”

The French report, authored by Socialist Party MP Jean Glavany, who in the past served as cabinet secretary for President Francois Mitterrand, is a powerful blood libel against the Jews, because it establishes the false comparison between Palestinians and South Africa’s blacks, who were obliged to use separate and neglected water fountains.

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Located on the fringe of a desert, Israel, which is now a “water technology superpower,” is wholly dependent on the Mountain Aquifer extending from the slopes of Mt. Carmel to Beersheba and from the crests of mountain ridges in Judea and Samaria to the coastal plain. This is the principle reservoir of drinking water not for “the settlers,” but for Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba.

Israel’s claims on the Mountain Aquifer are based on historical use. The aquifer’s water, which emanates from rainfall over areas in the territories, was utilized by Jewish pioneers who settled during the Turkish rule and then under the British Mandate.

When Jordan occupied all the territories between 1948 and 1967, some 80% of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria was not connected to a water network. Israel then supplied almost all Arab communities in Judea and Samaria with water pipes, bringing the number of homes with indoor plumbing to 90%. The total water supply doubled from 64 million cubic meters a year to 120 million as a result of improved water access.

More dangerous than rockets

Even though the water quota was mutually agreed upon in the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians are now claiming that they own “all the water that falls on the hills.” Israel’s argument that the water settles primarily on its side of the Green Line has not affected the Arabs, nor are they concerned that Israel is totally dependent on this water.

Supported by European countries, Arabs see this as “a theft” of Arab water, going so far as to demand compensation for water pumped since 1948.

The land God promised the Jews may have been flowing with milk and honey, but it has no water. That’s why Palestinian control of water sources would be more dangerous than Katyusha rockets fired over the northern border, as even coastal plain residents would be at the mercy of the Arab autocracy of the highlands.

This is no doomsday scenario. It is an eminently feasible eventuality, one which could easily materialize. Past Arab attempts to deprive Israel of water were the cause of clashes on the Israeli-Syrian border. Although advocates of withdrawal have long been trying to diminish the importance of this concern, Israel’s most important aquifer knows no Green Line.

Could Israel survive such loss? Clearly not. Either Israel has sole control and shares water with the Arabs, or Israel’s very survival is at risk.

The French slander also carries a more mystic appeal. During the Black Death in Europe, Jews were accused of poisoning water and promoting disease among Christians. The false charge was adopted by the Islamic world in 1840, with a series of brutal pogroms in Syria. At that time the French consulate in Damascus played a pivotal role in the blood libel. Now, Paris is spreading the “Israel’s water apartheid” myth. What’s the objective? Drying up the Jews, again.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism