Water crisis, Palestinian Genocide & Climate Genocide

Gideon Polya, “Water Crisis, Palestinian Genocide & Climate Genocide”, MWC News, 11 January 2010.

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Water Crisis, Palestinian Genocide & Climate Genocide

The world is facing a worsening water crisis that is compounded by population expansion, aquifer depletion and the effects of mainly First World-imposed global warming (increasing temperature, drought and melting of the Himalayan and other glaciers that are major water sources for the Developing World).

Statistics provided by the World Water Council are sobering. [1].

1.1  billion people (overwhelmingly in the Developing World) live without clean drinking water (potable water).

2.6 billion people (overwhelmingly in the Developing World) lack adequate sanitation, this having major health consequences.

1.8 million people (overwhelmingly in the Developing World) die every year from diarrhoeal diseases (from lack of clean water, soap and sanitation).

1.4 million children (overwhelmingly in the Developing World) die each year from water borne diseases (3,900 daily).

Daily per capita use of water in residential areas is 380 litres (North America and Japan), 200 litres (Europe), and 10-20 litres (sub-Saharan Africa).

Over 260 river basins are shared by 2 or more countries, mostly without adequate legal or institutional arrangements (with huge implications for current and future conflicts).

The quantity of water needed to produce 1 kg of the following products is  1,000 litres (wheat), 1,400 lites (rice) and 13,000 litres (beef) (noting that Americans eat 22 times more meat annually than Indians).

Water Stress can be measured by the Water Withdrawal/Water Availability ratio. The World Water Council has proved a colour-coded map indicating that some parts of First World countries are suffering High Water Stress (ratio 0.4 – 0.8), notably in the US, Ukraine and Southern Australia. However Very High Water Stress (ratio 0.8-1.0) is occurring  in a swathe of Developing countries from North Africa through to Mongolia in addition to occurring in regions of Western US, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, and Southern Australia. [1].

In the heartland of this Africa-Asia, Very High Water Stress zone are countries variously violently occupied, bombed or threatened by the genocidal US Alliance in a swathe stretching from Occupied Somalia and Occupied Palestine in the West to Occupied Afghanistan and US robot-bombed Pakistan in the East.

Each year about 16 million people die avoidably from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease (2003 data). The latest data from the UN Population Division indicate 22 million avoidable deaths annually, with global warming, drought, shrinking aquifers, decreased agricultural productivity, water-borne disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, lack of primary health care, lack of sanitation and lack of potable water all contributing to this avoidable carnage.

This Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust is occurring on Spaceship Earth with the First World in charge of the flight deck. Westerners  have become hardened by the images of this worsening catastrophe that typically appear daily while they are eating their Gargantuan meals in front of the television each evening – however they can make the excuse that it is happening “overseas” or  “over there” and is “none of our business”.  

However where Developing Countries are actually Occupied by Western military forces this “none of our business”, Western holocaust-ignoring argument doesn’t exactly hold water (pun intended).

Thus in Occupied Palestine, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel  mostly steals 80% of the water from the West Bank Mountain Aquifer for itself, leaving 20% for its Occupied Palestinian Subjects, who are thus deprived not only of all human rights but also of their own water supplies.  

The physical water situation in the Palestine has been summarized by Ami Isseroff, Rehovot, Israel: “Israel, Jordan, Palestine Syria and Lebanon share the waters of the Jordan River and its source tributaries [the Jordan Basin] . Attempts to use the water for different projects by different countries have resulted in constant friction. The dispute between Israel and Jordan was settled in the peace agreements, which provide for supply of water by Israel to Jordan, and joint development of water resources. Israel pumps water from the Sea of Galilee through its Movil Artzi water carrier to be used for irrigation of the Negev and other areas. The map below at right, likewise from the survey, shows that Israel uses underground water sources in the West Bank, which are the main sources of water for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area for example.” [2].

According to the humanitarian Israeli organization B’Tselem: “Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank have two trans-border water systems. One is the aboveground Jordan water basin, which Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon also share.  Israel prevents Palestinians any access to this water reservoir. The other is the Mountain Aquifer underground water system. The Mountain Aquifer, which crosses the Israeli and Palestinian borders, is the primary, largest, and highest quality water source for Israelis and Palestinians, providing 600 million cubic meters of water a year. Israel uses eighty percent of the output for its needs and allocates the remainder to the Palestinians… Discriminatory and unfair division of the shared water sources creates a chronic water shortage in the [Occupied] West Bank. Average per capita daily water consumption of Palestinians in the West Bank [66 cubic meters compared to 235 cubic meters for Israelis] is two-thirds of the amount recommended by the World Health Organization [100 cubic meters]. Due to the shortage, many Palestinians have to buy water from tankers at three to six times higher than regular prices, forcing poor families to spend up to one-fifth of their income on water, compared to the slightly more than one percent that average-income Israeli families spend on water… An extreme example of the inequality is seen in the average daily per capita water consumption of the 396 settlers living in Pnei Hever, in Hebron District (194 liters), compared to the figure for the 70,000 Palestinians living in the eight kilometers away in the town of Yatta (27 liters)…  Average daily use for flushing toilets in Israel: 55-60 liters Average daily use for taking showers in Israel: 55-60 liters.” [3].

According to a recent report in The Palestinian Telegraph, “Gaza suffers water crisis”, 5 December 2009: “one of million and a half Gazans who are suffering from water crisis, especially after the recent war and Israeli depletion of water during the occupation of the Gaza Strip for several years… Engineer Munther Shoblaq, the director of the Coastal Municipalities Water in Gaza, said:" The current water situation in Gaza reached a critical stage as the decrease of water reservoir was more than 80 million cubic meters last year." If the situation continues, the current sources of fresh water will soon be consumed, he added. Gaza Strip suffers from high level of water pollution resulted from the meagerness of water and poor sanitation. During the war, the occupation had bombed the sewage infrastructure, and thus this led to a mixture of wastewater with water fit for drinking… In Gaza Strip, Al Dameer Foundation for Human Rights with support of international experts checked the environment immediately after the war. The results showed that Israeli occupation used internationally prohibited weapons during the war destroying wells and wastewater systems .Besides, the siege which has been imposed on Gaza prevents entering any materials to repair water systems. The Siege, due to the lack of basic materials for maintenance, has disrupted many projects that could help in the improvement of water, thus reducing the efficiency of water from 70% to 50%. There are over three private desalination plans which the experts suggest as a solution to this crisis. Setting up sea water desalination is a proposal which would be impossible because of the siege, as the Israeli occupation hinders any development project in Gaza Strip.” [4].

According to Amnesty International (2009): “Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent. The Mountain Aquifer is the only source for water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but only one of several for Israel, which also takes for itself all the water available from the Jordan River. While Palestinian daily water consumption barely reaches 70 litres a day per person, Israeli daily consumption is more than 300 litres per day, four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survive on barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended for domestic use in emergency situations.” [5].

The consequences of this horrible deprivation of Occupied Palestinians by the US-, UK-, EU- and Apartheid Australia-backed racist Zionists – deprivation that extends from war criminal water deprivation to war criminal derivation of food, medicine and human rights – is the annual avoidable death of about 5,700 Occupied Palestinians (including about 3,600 under-5 year old Palestinian infants) (as estimated from UNICEF infant mortality data).

Since the premeditated, war criminal, Apartheid Israel Occupation commenced in 1967, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories post-invasion avoidable deaths have totalled 0.3 million, post-invasion under-5 infant deaths have totalled 0.2 million and refugees now total 7 million – a Palestinian Holocaust and a Palestinian Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention and an egregious war crime in gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention  . relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War which state that an Occupier must provide its Conquered Subjects life sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”.

How is war criminal Occupier-imposed Water Stress in other Occupied Countries of the US Empire?

According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (2005):  “Long lasting conflicts and successive economic sanctions have caused the water supply and sewage systems in Iraq to become obsolete and malfunctioned. Compared to the situation before the Gulf War, per-capita water supply amount has declined by half in urban areas and by about one third in rural areas. About 400,000 m3 of waste water is being discharged directly into the Tigris river without due treatment every day. This affected numerous people around the region and caused an increase in the mortality rate due to diarrhoea.” [6].

In Occupied Afghanistan  the daily water use in urban areas such as Kabul is about 30 liters as compared to the 194 liters for racist Zionist illegal Israeli West Bank settlers. [7]

We in the profligate West mostly take water for granted. In  South East Australia and Southern Australia, drought from man-made  global warming is biting and water restrictions are general in places across the continent from Brisbane to Perth. Yet in heat- and drought-ravaged Victoria (it is 43 degrees C here in Melbourne today as I am writing this ) the daily average domestic household per capita water use is about 100 litres per person.

The Water Stress problem imposed on the Occupied Palestinians, Occupied Iraqis and Occupied Afghans by the genocidal US Alliance is but a foretaste of what is in store for the Developed World due to First World-imposed global warming. Thus the Himalayan glaciers that feed the major rivers of South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia are melting and may be gone in 25 years. The world is facing a 21st century Climate Genocide that is predicted to cause 10 billion non-European avoidable deaths this century. [8].

What can decent folk do about this continuing and indeed worsening genocidal outrage? Decent folk must (a) inform everyone they can and (b) urge and apply Sanctions and Boycotts against  racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel, and against  other countries of  the genocidal US Alliance, including my own country Apartheid Australia, the world’s worst annual per capita greenhouse gas polluter and a vile participant in all post-1950 US Asian wars (avoidable death toll 25 million).

I have done my bit in 2010 by making a Formal Complaint to the  International Criminal Court over various US Alliance, NATO, EU, Australia, New Zealand and UK involvements in Palestinian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide, Muslim Genocide, Aboriginal Genocide, Biofuel Genocide and Climate Genocide. [8].

[1]. World Water Council, “Water crisis”, 2009: http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/index.php?id=25 .

[2]. Ami Isseroff, Rehovot, Israel, “Water in the Middle East conflict”, Middle East Web: http://www.mideastweb.org/water.htm .

[3]. B’Tselem, “22.3.09: World Water Day – 22 March – waters that cross borders”: http://www.btselem.org/English/Water/20090322_International_water_day.asp .

[4]. The Palestine Telegraph, “Gaza suffers from water crisis”, 5 December 2009: http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/gaza-strip/3037-gaza-suffers-from-water-crisis .

[5]. Amnesty International, “Israel rations Palestinians to a trickle of water”, 27 October 2009: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/israel-rations-palestinians-trickle-water-20091027 .

[6]. Japan International Cooperation Agency”, JICA assistance for Iraq”,  2005): http://www.jica.go.jp/iraq/english/activities/training07.html .

[7]. Asad Sarwar Qureshi, “Water resources management in Afghanistan: the issues and options”, 2002: http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/droughtassessment/Files/pdf/WOR49.pdf .

[8]. Gideon Polya, “Complaint To ICC re US Alliance Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan, Muslim, Aboriginal, Biofuel
And Climate Genocides”, Countercurrents, 9 January 2010: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya090110.htm .