A few items of interest. If the first, regarding emigration, is not ugly racism in its rawest form, then someone please tell what racism is!
The last item on H2O is extremely important too.
Implanted, until uprooted,
Survey: 40% favor encouraging Arab emigration
JPost.com Staff, THE JERUSALEM POST
Mar. 22, 2006
Sixty-three percent of Jews in Israel view Israeli Arabs as both a demographic threat and a security hazard, results published Wednesday in a survey conducted at the Geocartography Institute showed.
Some 70% of those asked said that they would refuse to live in Arab neighborhoods, while 40% believed that Israel needed to encourage the emigration of its Arab citizens. An identical percentage expressed its support for separation between Jews and Arabs in places of recreation.
Furthermore, one out of three Jews surveyed were of the opinion that Arab culture was 'inferior.'
The Israeli Arab Monitoring Committee reacted to the findings with fury. "The existing racist culture in Israel is a direct result of Israel being the only country in the world that defines itself by ethnic separation," a spokesman for the committee said.
Shuli Dichter, co-director of 'Sikkuy' (chance), a joint Israeli Jewish and Arab organization working for equality, claimed that the Jews in Israel needed to begin a process of education. "It is up to the Education Ministry and the government to assume a central role in this process," Dichter concluded.
Too Hot for New York
[from the April 3, 2006 issue]
The slim book that was suddenly the most controversial work in the West in early March was not easy to find in the United States. Amazon said it wasn't available till April. The Strand bookstore didn't have it either. You could order it on Amazon-UK, but it would be a week getting here. I finally found an author in Michigan who kindly photocopied the British book and overnighted it to me; but to be on the safe side, I visited an activist's apartment on Eighth Avenue on the promise that I could take her much-in-demand copy to the lobby for half an hour. In the elevator, I flipped it open to a random passage:
"I can't cool boiling waters in Russia. I can't be Picasso. I can't be Jesus. I can't save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes."
The book is the play My Name Is Rachel Corrie. Composed from the journal entries and e- mails of the 23-year-old from Washington State who was crushed to death in Gaza three years ago under a bulldozer operated by the Israeli army, the play had two successful runs in London last year and then became a cause celebre after a progressive New York theater company decided to postpone its American premiere indefinitely out of concern for the sensitivities of (unnamed) Jewish groups unsettled by Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections.
FULL ARTICLE AT: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060403/weiss
March 17, 2006
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Palestinians losers in Mideast water war - report
Israel's vast separation barrier slices Nazlet Isa off from one of the richest water sources in the arid northern West Bank where the fight for water is a fight for survival.
Israel is believed to monopolize around 75 percent of Palestinian water resources in a region where rainfall is infrequent and water a strategic asset.
In the agriculture-dependent Palestinian territories, hemmed in by Jewish settlements, the lack of resources causes havoc for farmers, while pollution and inadequate waste disposal create manifold sanitation and health problems.
In the northern West Bank town of Nazlet Isa, giant concrete slabs 10 metres (33 feet) high -- lambasted as an apartheid wall by the Palestinians -- have left six homes stranded on the Israeli side along with the rich underground aquifer.
A special system of pipes to access the water was finally built with Israeli permission but immediate access and control has passed into other hands.
"The route of the wall matches that of water resources, the latter being conveniently located on the Israeli side," said Elisabeth Sime, director of aid organisation CARE International, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The Palestinians are adamant that the wall -- which they see anyway as a land grab designed to delimit the borders of their promised future state -- was built deliberately to siphon off the aquifer.
Israel says it was built for security reasons to prevent suicide bombers infiltrating Israel or Jewish settlements.
"With the wall, the Israelis clearly sought to commandeer water resources," charges Hind Khury, a former Palestinian cabinet minister responsible for Jerusalem and now the government's representative in Paris.
"Without water, there is no life. Israeli policy has always been to push Palestinians into the desert," he added.
Abdul Rahman Tamimi, director of the non-governmental Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), said the coincidence of the route of the wall with the layout of the region's aquifers was no accident.
"The wall cuts some communities off from their only source of water, prevents tanker trucks from getting around and puts up prices," he said.
In Qalqilya, in the northern West Bank, around 20 wells, or 30 percent of the town's resources, were lost because of the wall, Tamimi says.
While agriculture accounts for nearly a third of Palestinian gross domestic product, only five percent of Palestinian land is irrigated.
On the other hand, 70 percent of Israeli and Jewish settlement land is watered, even if agriculture amounts to barely two percent of Israeli GDP.
"The fact that Israel confiscates and overexploits water affects every sector of Palestinian economic life and causes problems for the chances of development in the region and therefore chances of peace," Tamimi said.
More than 220 communities in the West Bank -- around 320,000 people -- are unconnected to mains water.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are therefore forced to buy water from trucks -- an expense many can ill afford -- to supplement local supplies that often fall woefully short of requirements.
One such consumer is weather-beaten 76-year-old Nazmi Abdul Ghani. Clutching clumps of soil and turning to the heavens, the grandfather of 100 is desperate. "I can't go on like this. My land is parched and I'm ruined."
One of the doyens of the northern West Bank village of Saida, he uses expensive water tankers to irrigate his tomatoes, onions and potatoes.
"The Israelis stole our land and took our water," he rages.
In the small town of Attil, at least a third of the local drinking water is contaminated by sewage and pesticides. Nine-year-old Fatima, her eyes misted with fever, routinely falls sick.
Waste and faeces from neighbouring houses run down the hill and seep through the floors and walls of Fatima's home. They slowly eat away at its foundations and emit a hideous stench.
"I often get stomach ache. I throw up. It's the same for all the children here," she says looking feverishly at her mother Awa.
Doctor Hossam Madi says diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, fever, kidney failure, infection and dermatological problems blight most Palestinian children and persist into adulthood because of poor water supplies.
"The quality of water is getting worse and worse," said CARE's Sime.
"A high proportion of new-born babies die of water-born infections. In the long run, Israelis will be affected by the pollution of water in the Palestinian territories."
In villages such as Jalbun, household, agricultural and industrial waste from Israeli settlements speed up the process of water pollution.
Tamimi accuses some Israeli businessmen and settlers of dumping toxic waste on Palestinian land in an act of "environmental terrorism".
Water supply problems faced by Palestinians are unfortunately typical of those hoping to be dealt with at the World Water Forum, which opened in Mexico City on Thursday.
The March 16-22 forum hopes to help shape global strategy to improve distribution and eradicate waste of the precious resource that increasingly leads to conflict.
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