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‘A total lie’: US never bothered to secure its Pacific nuclear waste ‘coffin’ from leaks

RT | May 17, 2019

The US has failed to prevent the Runit Dome temporary nuclear waste storage site from leaking into the ocean, leaving the inhabitants of Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands and cleanup workers with an array of health problems.

“There was never any lining put in that dome,” Ernest Davis, an Enewetak Atoll cleanup veteran, told RT, noting that the US government apparently had never planned to replace the temporary dome with a permanent containment structure that would be properly sealed from radiation leaks. “Nobody said anything about going back in and removing it or making it permanent. We were told that it was permanent.”

“I don’t think it was ever [the US government’s] intention to further clean up the island. It was too costly,” Brooke Takala Abraham, who lives in the Marshall Islands, told RT.
Also on rt.com Cold War ‘nuclear coffin’ leaking radioactive waste from US tests into Pacific Ocean – UN chief

The United States detonated 43 atomic bombs around the Marshall Islands in the 1940s and 50s. The highly contaminated debris left over from the weapons tests was then dumped into a 100-meter-wide bomb crater on Enewetak Atoll. US servicemen sealed it up with a concrete cap to create a structure called the Runit Dome. The work, however, was allegedly carried out without any proper safety consideration for the cleanup crew.

“Those people who were involved in the cleanup… did not receive proper protection from radioactive elements,” Abraham said.

Furthermore, the government has never even bothered to study the long-term health issues of those exposed to radiation waste.

“There was no radiation study with us. Certain ones would leave the island and they will have them fill a big jug with urine and I guess they were supposed to test it,” recalled Davis, who left just before the project was completed. “Some of the dosimeters that were given to us, the rad-badges – they just did not work. So we can’t say that any radiation study was done whatsoever.”

After a three-year decontamination process which began in 1977, the US government declared the southern and western islands in the atoll safe enough, allowing residents of Enewetak to return and the cleanup crew to go home. However, people who now live on the island say the dome began leaking almost immediately after the engineers left.

“The waste has always been leaking from the get-go. The cleanup of the entire atoll was not complete” before the native people were allowed to return, Abraham told RT.

“That is just a portion of the radiation that exists on the atoll. A large amount was dumped straight into the ocean. It was dumped into a lagoon. And it was dumped in open pits on other islands.”

Over the years, Enewetak’s population began feeling the deleterious effects of the radiation. “The radiation affects us on a daily basis. We have many illnesses in our community from cancers to weakened immune systems, and other noncommunicable diseases as well,” Abraham explained. “And they’re still struggling as well with the transgenerational effects of radiation.”

“Most of us have come up with some type of illness, whether it’s cancer… many of us have peripheral neuropathy on our feet without being diabetic,” Davis recalled, noting that many of the roughly 8,000 people involved in the decontamination process have since died. “They told us we would not be exposed to any more radiation than having maybe two or three x-rays a year, which was a total lie.”

May 17, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

UN Targets the Sand People

Control sand to limit concrete to control housing to limit human reproduction and achieve eugenics

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | May 8, 2019

On Monday in Paris, four UN bodies released a summary of an 1,800-page report about threats to biodiversity. It declares that “fundamental structural change is called for…for the broader public good.”

On Tuesday in Geneva, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released another report. Its press release tells us that sand needs to be planned, regulated, and managed by the UN. Yes, really. Sand.

Apparently, those who currently trade in sand and gravel sometimes do so in an unsustainable manner. “[R]ules, practices and ethics” apparently differ worldwide. Imagine that. Moreover, “irresponsible and illegal extraction” needs to be curbed. In other words: the UN has now set its sights on this industry.

In the foreword to the 56-page Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources, Joyce Msuya, UNEP’s executive director, declares that humanity is “spending our sand ‘budget’ faster than we can produce it responsibly.”

While this report says it merely wants to spark a conversation, that it doesn’t intend to be “prescriptive,” Msuya’s remarks belie that. She advocates “improved governance of global sand resources,” talks about implementing global standards, and looks forward to the creation of brand new “institutions that sustainably and equitably manage extraction.” What’s another level of red tape, after all?

UN bureaucrats see only one conceivable solution to every problem: meddling from above. This woman wants to “cut consumption of sand and gravel” by “reducing over-building and over-design.” In her view, keeping her nose out of other people’s business isn’t an option. She doesn’t trust poor nations to become more environmentally responsible on their own schedule. It doesn’t occur to her that people struggling to drag themselves out of poverty don’t need UN busybodies second-guessing the trade-offs they’re compelled to make.  

How did this report come about? Last October, UNEP invited 19 ‘experts’ to gather in Geneva. Three were UN employees. Activist organizations were also well-represented: the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Awaaz Foundation, SandStories.org, and the World Economic Forum.

Also in attendance were a lobbyist, a sustainable energy expert, a researcher from the Responsible Mining Foundation, a journalist who’s written a book about sand, and a representative of Switzerland’s federal environment ministry. As far as I can tell, only two people had any connection to entities that do things with sand in the real world.

Based on the conversation that took place at this one-day event, a report got written which was then reviewed by 11 other people – including, once again, representatives of the WWF and the IUCN.

So it’s no surprise that the final version relies heavily on activist-produced ‘evidence’ – such as a WWF report titled Impacts of Sand Mining on Ecosystem Structure, Process & Biodiversity in Rivers.

You see what’s going on here. The wholly activist WWF writes a report which then gets cited repeatedly by the UN. Like money-laundering, the questionable nature of the original source becomes obscured. The public will now get told that illegal sand mining threatens fish, birds, turtles and dolphins. After all, the UN says so.

The public is unlikely to be advised that the UN’s only source for this claim is an activist document. Because activists never indulge in hyperbole. They never ever exaggerate.

Oh, wait. Didn’t Greenpeace argue in court recently that it is “well-known for advancing…opinions, not hard news”? When accused of using phony photos and phony videos, didn’t Greenpeace tell the court that ordinary people “clearly understand” its accusations aren’t factual but are merely an “interpretation”?

The bottom line is that there’s an octopus of aligned/interconnected interests out there. UN bureaucrats. Activists. Academics. These people work hand in glove, pushing certain ideas into the public square in an orchestrated manner.

It’s no accident that the UN press release and the WWF’s press release yesterday had the same headline – Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance – and shared nine paragraphs of identical content.

How the UNEP press release began:

How the WWF press release began:

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

IPCC Clone Predicts Doom

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | May 6, 2019

Here we ago again. For some time, I’ve warned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a template, that the United Nations is up to the same tricks elsewhere.

Today, in Paris, an IPCC clone known as the IPBES – the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – will announce the completion of an 1,800-page report.

Jonathan Watts, the UK Guardian‘s global environment editor, has already told us everything we need to know about this ‘IPCC for Nature.’

Under the headline Biodiversity crisis is about to put humanity at risk, UN scientists to warn, he insists this report was written by “The world’s leading scientists.” Funny, that’s how compliant, gullible journalists described IPCC personnel. For years and years. Until I began to notice that some of those involved were graduate students in their 20s.

Watts further tells us that:

The final wording of the summary for policymakers is being finalised in Paris by a gathering of experts and government representatives before the launch on Monday, but the overall message is already clear… [bold added by me]

In other words, as happens at the IPCC, scientists are recruited to write a report. Afterward, they draft a summary known as the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Then politicians and bureaucrats representing national governments attend a plenary meeting where the summary gets examined line-by-line and rewritten.

Fairy tales tell of turning straw into gold. The UN takes scientific summaries and transforms them into politically acceptable straw. The resulting document, which will be solemnly released today, is what a roomful of political operatives have all agreed to say out loud.

But it gets worse. Over the next few weeks, the text being summarized – the underlying, ostensibly scientific document – will also get changed.

That’s not how things normally work, of course. Summaries are supposed to be accurate reflections of longer documents. At the UN, they represent an opportunity to alter those documents, to make them fall into line.

No need to take my word for it. This is standard IPCC operating procedure, and is openly admitted in a 56-page guide to how the IPBES operates.

see page 39 of this guide to the IPBES’ internal workings

Imagine, for a moment, executives at a television station examining the script of an investigative news show line-by-line. Imagine them re-writing that text at the behest of major advertisers, and in accordance with various political sensitivities. Would the end result be trustworthy?

Robert Watson, who chaired the IPCC from 1997 to 2002, now leads the IPBES. His online biography, over at the University of East Anglia, tell us he is a ‘UN Champion of the World for Science and Innovation.’

When the IPBES was established in 2010, we were informed point blank that its purpose was “to spearhead the battle against the destruction of the natural world.”

In other words, there’s all sorts of deception here. This is no sober scientific body, which examines multiple perspectives, and considers alternative hypotheses. The job of the IPBES is to muster only one kind of evidence, the kind that promotes UN environmental treaties.

That’s how the United Nations works, folks. Machinations in the shadows. Camouflaging its political aspirations by dressing them up in 1,800 pages of scientific clothing.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 2 Comments

Breaking the Grip of Militarism: The Story of Vieques

By Lawrence Wittner | CounterPunch | May 2, 2019

Vieques is a small Puerto Rican island with some 9,000 inhabitants. Fringed by palm trees and lovely beaches, it attracts substantial numbers of tourists. But, for about six decades, Vieques served as a bombing range, military training site, and storage depot for the U.S. Navy, until its outraged residents, driven to distraction, rescued their homeland from the grip of militarism.

Like the main island of Puerto Rico, Vieques—located eight miles to the east―was ruled for centuries by Spain, until the Spanish-American War of 1898 turned Puerto Rico into an informal colony (a “nonsovereign territory”) of the United States. In 1917, Puerto Ricans (including the Viequenses) became U.S. citizens, although they continue to lack the right to representation in the U.S. Congress and to vote for the U.S. president.

During World War II, the U.S. government, anxious about the security of the Caribbean region and the Panama Canal, expropriated large portions of land in eastern Puerto Rico and on Vieques to build a mammoth U.S. naval base. As a result, thousands of Viequenses were evicted from their homes and deposited in razed sugar cane fields that the navy declared “resettlement tracts.”

The U.S. Navy takeover of Vieques accelerated in 1947, when it designated the base as a naval training installation and storage depot and began utilizing the island for firing practice and amphibious landings by tens of thousands of troops. Expanding its expropriation to three-quarters of Vieques, the navy used the western section for its ammunition storage and the eastern section for its bombing and war games, while sandwiching the native population into the small strip of land separating them.

Over the ensuing decades, the navy bombed Vieques from the air, land, and sea and conducted military training exercises averaging 180 days per year. It also used the island for tests of biological weapons.

Naturally, for the Viequenses, this military domination created a nightmarish existence. “When the wind came from the east, it brought smoke and piles of dust from their bombing ranges,” one resident recalled. “They’d bomb every day, from 5 am until 6 pm. It felt like a war zone. You’d hear . . . eight or nine bombs, and your house would shudder. Everything on your walls . . . would fall on the floor and break,” and “your cement house would start cracking.” In addition, with the release of toxic chemicals into the soil, water, and air, the population began to suffer from dramatically higher rates of illnesses.

Eventually, the U.S. Navy determined the fate of the entire island, including the nautical routes, flight paths, aquifers, and zoning laws in the remaining civilian territory, where the residents lived under constant threat of eviction. In 1961, the navy actually drafted a secret plan to remove the entire civilian population from Vieques, with even the dead slated to be dug up from their graves. But U.S. President John F. Kennedy blocked the plan from implementation.

Long-simmering tensions between the Viequenses and the navy boiled over from 1978 to 1983. In the midst of heightened U.S. naval bombing and stepped up military maneuvers, a vigorous local resistance movement emerged, led by the island’s fishermen. Activists engaged in picketing, demonstrations, and civil disobedience―most dramatically, by placing themselves directly in the line of missile fire, thereby disrupting military exercises.

But this first wave of popular protest, involving thousands of Viequenses and their supporters throughout Puerto Rico and the United States, failed to dislodge the navy from the island. In the midst of the Cold War, the U.S. military clung tenaciously to its operations on Vieques. Also, the prominence in the resistance campaign of Puerto Rican nationalists limited the movement’s appeal.

In the 1990s, however, a more broadly-based resistance movement took shape. Begun in 1993 by the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, it accelerated in opposition to navy plans for the installation of an intrusive radar system and took off after April 19, 1999, when a U.S. navy pilot accidentally dropped two 500-pound bombs on an allegedly safe area, killing a civilian.

Rallying behind the demand of Peace for Vieques, this massive social upheaval drew heavily upon the Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as upon the labor movement, celebrities, women, and university students. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans participated, with some 1,500 arrested for occupying the bombing range or for other acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. When religious leaders called for a March for Peace in Vieques, some 150,000 protesters flooded the streets of San Juan in what was reportedly the largest demonstration in Puerto Rico’s history.

Facing this firestorm of protest, the U.S. government finally capitulated. In 2003, the U.S. Navy not only halted the bombing, but shut down its naval base and withdrew from Vieques.

Despite this enormous victory for a people’s movement, Vieques continues to face severe challenges today. These include unexploded ordnance and massive pollution from heavy metals and toxic chemicals that were released through the dropping of an estimated trillion tons of munitions on the tiny island. As a result, Vieques is now a major Superfund Site, with cancer and other disease rates substantially higher than in the rest of Puerto Rico. Also, with its traditional economy destroyed, the island suffers from widespread poverty.

Nevertheless, the islanders, no longer hindered by military overlords, are grappling with these issues through imaginative reconstruction and development projects, including ecotourism. Robert Rabin, who served three jail terms for his protest activities, now directs the Count Mirasol Fort―a facility that once served as a prison for unruly slaves and striking sugar cane workers, but now provides rooms for the Vieques Museum, community meetings and celebrations, and Radio Vieques.

Of course, the successful struggle to liberate the island from the burdens of militarism also provides a source of hope for people around the world. This includes the people in the rest of the United States, who continue to pay a heavy economic and human price for their government’s extensive war preparations and wars.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press.)

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism | , | Leave a comment

The “We Don’t Have Time” Cult

Cory Morningstar | Wrong Kind Of Green | January 21, 2019

… GretaThunberg has stated repeatedly that her strike will continue “until Sweden is aligned with the Paris Agreement.” Therefore, by her own statements, this is the singular, overall purpose and goal of the strike. The foundation of the Paris Agreement is the expansion of nuclear, the financialization of nature, further privatization at an unprecedented scale, “large scale CO2 reduction” (carbon capture storage), a desperate attempt to revitalize economic growth, and more market “solutions” that will further perpetuate our multiple crises. Therefore, the Thunberg campaign is in part to create a demand upon governments across the globe to align with the Paris agreement. (A demand to obtain what the ruling classes have already decided to unleash on us, our planet, and all life.) As adherence to the Paris Accords is a running theme in the mainstream NGO movement, the marketing campaign is helped along by 350.org, Avaaz, WWF, Greenpeace, in tandem with the UN (“Changing Together”), the World Bank (“Stepping Up“)[2], and more recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF). … Read full article

April 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

Baseline of a Desecrated Land X: Demographic Threat

Behind a curtain of wine, war, and industrial tourism, Israel is losing a pyrrhic population race with the more fertile Arabs.

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster, urging Jews to move to his country.

Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University on Israel’s population explosion.

The Demographic Threat

Israel has been in an officially declared State of Emergency since 1948. The word ‘crisis’ is as expected in their daily news feeds as fish is expected on seafood restaurant menus. Threat after threat. The population scarcely has time to digest the crisis du jour before the next is on the doorstep.

In this environment, the fact that Israel’s population is growing at 1.58 percent compared with 2.71 percent for Palestinians, is known in the Jewish state as, ‘the demographic threat.’ To forestall this dire eventuality Israel has brought millions of Jews and Jewish-when-it-suits-them people from Russia, Europe, the Bronx or wherever, and they’re always recruiting for more. Any Jew from anywhere in the world can hop on a plane to Israel and be handed citizenship, a gun, help finding a job, and an apartment. Then there’s one more person sucking up a couple hundred liters of water a day. Still, the demographic threat continues to increase because: Jewish recruitment to Israel is slowing down, many Jewish immigrants leave Israel after a few years, and Israelis on the whole are quite a bit older than Palestinians.

The median [half are over, half are under] age of females in Israel is 30.6 years-old. Female median age in the Occupied West Bank is 21.3 years-old. Female median age in Gaza is 17.5 years-old. And so, as Israeli women are aging out of their child bearing years, Palestinian women are just moving into their peak child bearing years. This means that even though Palestinian life expectancy is ten years less than Israeli life expectancy a few miles away, and, even though Palestinian infant mortality rates are five times what they are on the Israeli side of the segregation wall, Palestinian women have more children than Israeli women at total fertility rates of 3.91 children/woman and 2.92 children/woman, respectively. In addition, there are another 5.5 million Palestinian refugees in the diaspora.

One of three core demands of the Palestinian (BDS) movement is that Palestinians–and their descendants–who the Zionists drove off their land in 1948, have the same right to return under international law as say, German Jews have the right to return to Germany. At the end of World War II Germany passed a law that any Jew who fled the Nazis–and their descendants–could get citizenship in Germany. This is why Israeli Jews are “…the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” So Israelis get the concept, at least when it’s applied to themselves.

When success arrives for the BDS movement, as it eventually must, how will the land fare? Right now the Israeli Jewish population and the Palestinian population inside Israel and in the OPT are even at about 6.85 million each, (although the Jewish number counts Israelis living outside the country, including up to a million living in America, who probably won’t settle back to Israel). If all the Palestinians in the diaspora return there will be 19.2 million people in that small arid parcel.

Population density in perspective

What would America look with the population density of Israel, the West Bank or Gaza? America has 327 million people on about 3,797,000 square miles. Israel has 8.45 million people on 8019 square miles. The West Bank has 2.7 million Palestinians on 2,183 square miles—except Israel has effectively annexed two thirds of the West Bank Area C, so the Palestinians get 742.22 square miles. Gaza has 2 million people on 141 square miles.

Doing the math as simple ratios, if Amerca had Israel’s population density we would have over 4 billion people. That wouldn’t be viable. We’re already strapped with less than a tenth of that population If America had the full West Bank’s population density we’d have about 4.7 billion people. If America had the West Bank’s population in Area’s A and B but not including Area C, we’d have 13.9 billion people. If America had Gaza’s population density we’d have 53.86 billion people.

Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza have a combined area of about 10,343 square miles. Combining the three populations and the diaspora (about 19.2 million total) on that 10,343 square miles, would give a population density of 1,856 per square mile. Applying that same population density to America’s 3.797 million square miles, would give us a population of 7.081 billion people. That’s more than the entire 2011 human population of earth.

At the end of the day, if you could snap your fingers and make everybody in Israel and the OPT either Jewish or Palestinian, it wouldn’t matter. They’d still be high and dry, water-wise.

Tourism

American support for Israel, especially among college students, has been going down like a tire iron in a swimming pool. It took less than ten years of social media to break the dam holding back a reservoir fifty years deep in carefully crafted Zionist narrative. Today anyone with the inclination can see unfiltered truths about what’s going on in the occupied territories. That, combined with the Trump/Netanyahu bromance culminating in the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has created what Israelis view as a public relations crisis. How can Zionism sell American college students on Israel and the embassy move at the same time? They’ve allocated something over $120 million on a tourism campaign called; ‘One Break, Two Cities.’

At some level you’ve got to hand it to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism for trying. Where’s the embassy going? Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. You can go too.

‘One Break, Two Cities’ has a 30 second commercial with two girls, who are clearly majoring in bums and boobs, snapping selfies at the beach, the fountains, the bars, and a boat at sea. What strikes a viewer, after the bums and boobs, is how much clean water there is. Tourists expect water and use more of it than they do at home. They commonly take multiple showers per day. Higher rated hotels use more water than lower rated hotels. The websites want visitors to know that Israeli beaches have public showers.

A typical tourist to Israel spends $1,500 in 8.2 days. Even if they only averaged 300 liters of water per day, the 3.6 million tourists in 2017 soaked up 8,856,000 metric tons of water, which has got to be hard to watch from Gaza or the West Bank where people pay high prices for water and get less than 70 liters per day.

A little glass of wine

Growing wine for the European market in what is now Israel goes back to 1870 when Barron Rothschild funded Mikveh Israel, the first Jewish experimental agricultural station in Palestine. Today, freed by imports from needing water for growing grains and feed, Israeli entrepreneurs use the water for more lucrative crops like cut flowers and wine. The water footprint of that 148 ml (5oz glass) glass of wine on the table is about 130 liters. Over a million Palestinians get less than 60 liters of water per day and in West Bank Area C thousands get by on as little as 20 liters of water per day. (20 liters is what Americans use for every flush of an older toilet.) So, each glass of Israeli wine you pour represents between two and six days worth of water taken from some destitute Palestinian.

In spite of that, or because of it, Israel has built an archipelago of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They’re lucrative and they suck up phenomenal amounts of water that formerly went to Palestinians. Because of mounting European’s concern about the plight of Palestinians, and Israeli concern that the Boycott over Israel’s occupation will cut their market, Israelis attempt to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the OPT by claiming tiny Israel has five grape growing regions some of which overlap between occupied territories and areas inside the Green Line. Westerners are increasingly aware that Jewish wineries in Palestine are given special concessions by the Israeli government in the form of subsidies, seized [Palestinian] land, extra water, and military troops to protect them. In return, many wineries normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc. Advocates have filmed grapes harvested in the OPT being trucked straight to a major wine maker inside Israel. With no way to be sure that an Israeli wine didn’t come from the occupied territories Americans and Europeans increasingly boycott Israeli wines.

War

The Zionist’s perpetual ‘State of Emergency’ has overwhelmed water infrastructure, and contaminated ground water,  surface water, and sea water with petroleum, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, ordinance, radioactive isotopes…and that’s just inside their own country. They’ve invaded all the neighbors multiple times commandeering their water supplies when they can and damaging them when they can’t, in the process making millions of people refugees in over-crowded, water-strapped refugee camps.

Because the United States government has made it a law that Israel will always be the dominant military power in the region, the Israelis brandish the latest American weapons systems with the predictable result that their neighbors try to keep up which creates an endless cycle of water wasting escalation.

Footnote on populations”
Palestine
Population: 5,04,041 (West Bank and Gaza plus about 1.1 million in Israel and 300,000 thousand in E. Jerusalem. Not to mention over 1.5 million Palestinians in camps in neighboring countries, plus 4 million in neighboring countries outside refugee camps.)
Median age Gaza both: 17.2 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age Gaza: 16.8 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age Gaza: 17.5 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Median age West Bank both: 21.1 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median Age West Bank: 20.9 years
Female Median Age West Bank: 21.3 years
Palestine growth rate 2.71% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 361
Life Expectancy male 71.83 years
female 75.74 years
both 73.73 years
Mean age at childbearing 28.86 years
Total Fertility rate 3.91 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.05 males per female
Infant mortality rate 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births (Gaza)
Infant mortality rate 14.1 deaths/1000 live births (West Bank)
Under 5 mortality rate 20.827 deaths/thousand
*40% of the Palestinian population is under 14 years old.

Israel
Population: As of February 2018, 8,404,916. (Israeli census includes the 650,000 Jewish colonists in the OPT as Israeli citizens but does not include the millions of Christian and Muslim Arabs that live there.)
Median age both: 29.9 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 29.3 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 30.6 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Israel growth rate 1.58% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 355
Life Expectancy male 81.03 years
female 84.31 years
both 82.74 years
Mean age at childbearing: 30.698 years
Total Fertility rate: 2.92 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth: 1.053 males per female
Infant mortality rate: 2.732 deaths/1,000 live births
(infant mortality among Arab Israeli babies is  about 3 times higher than Jewish babies)
Under 5 mortality rate: 3.361 deaths/thousand
*Jewish people from former Soviet Union and Europe and their Israeli born descendants (Ashkenazi) are 50 percent of Jews in Israel. About 6.5 percent of Israel’s Jewish population lives in OPT colonies.

USA:Population: 325,916,518
Median age both: 38.1 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 36.8 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 39.4 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
US growth rate 0.93 (as of 2010)
Net change per day: 6,298
Life Expectancy male 77.34 years
female 81.88 years
both 79.62 years
Mean age at childbearing 29.514 years
Total Fertility rate: 1.886 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.04 males per female
Infant mortality rate 5.195 deaths/1,000 live births
Under 5 mortality rate 6.079 deaths/thousand
MLA Citation Palestine population: (2017-12-20) Retrieved 2018-01.07, from http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/palestine-population/

(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn http://kdunnart.weebly.com)

Recognition 10: Demographic Threat Wine, War, Tourism: Selected Sources
04.30.2017 This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz Editorial Haaretz calls the annual Israeli population report “a ludicrous piece of propaganda” that includes the 650,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied territories but excludes the millions of Palestinians who live there. Article shows a map of Israel published in the report that doesn’t include any borders of the occupied territories, so it looks as if the Palestinian territories have been absorbed into Israel.
02.16.2015 Leaders reject Netanyahu calls for Jewish mass migration to Israel The Guardian by Peter Beaumont. “We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster
09.25.2015 Israel’s soaring population: promised land running out of room? Reuters by Tova Cohen & Steven Scheer. “Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University.
04.08.2012 Jews stream back to Germany Forward by Donald Snyder.
Dr. Sima Saltzberg of Bar-Illam University ‘says over 100,000 Israelis have applied for and received German passports.’ “This is the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” says Emanual Nashon, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli embassy in Berlin. Article notes that ‘under German law, since 1949 any Jew—or the decendents of a Jew, who fled Nazi Germany has the right the right to become a naturalized German. (emphasis added)
05.01.2017 Editorial/This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz
08.01.2017 Can Israel bring home its million US expats? Jerusalem Post by Ben Soles. Article says hundreds of thousands, up to a million, Israelis have moved to America.
08/0213Average Tourist Spends $1,500 in Israel Y Net news, Israel Travelhttp://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4412806,00.html
Water footprint of wine is 125 ml (4.2 oz glass) costs 110 liters of water to grow.
08.21.2012 Wine Talk: Deep in the desert Jerusalem Post by Adam Montefiore.
Yatir winery close to the Dead Sea.
Tel Arad wineries in the the Negev:
Boker Valley—on route 40, lodge and cabins, hot tub, gift shop. About 15 miles from Eqypt border.
Midbar Winery—in Arad.
Rota Winery—in Erez Rota.
Kadesh Barnea—Nitzana near Egypt border.
Sde Boker Winery—at Kibbutz Sde Boker off route 40
Carmey Andat Winery—off Route 40 near Adat
Neot Smadar Winery—southernmost winery 60 km from Eilat
Israeli Wine Direct
Agur
Assaf
Cremisan
Ein Teina
Kadita
Kishor
Margalit
Meishar
Midbar
Pelter
Ramot
Naftaly
Shvo
04.2011 Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli Wine Industry and the Occupation Aprilhttp://whoprofits.org/content/forbidden-fruit-israeli-wine-industry-and-occupation-0
Coalition of Women for Peacewhoprofits.org The Israelis have built hundreds of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They try to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by claiming Israel has five growing regions some of which overlap occupied territories with Israel areas inside the Green Line. Wineries are given special concessions by the government in the form of subsidies, land, and extra water. In return, many of them normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc.
01.17.2018 Israeli’s wine industry grows better with age. Jewish News Syndicate by Elina Rudee.“A big part of what we are trying to do is sell Israel as a product.” Vera Ben-Sadon, founder of Tura Winery in the OPT.
03.12.2013 The Best Kosher wine in Israel may not be from Israel Smithsonian, by Yochi Dreazen. “Everything we do is about settling more Jews in Israel.” says Daniella Weiss (chief backer of West Bank Winery, who indicates she thinks the West Bank is part of Israel)

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Baseline of a Desecrated Land VIII: Desecrated Farmlands

By Dick Callahan – 10.18.2018

“It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

“The mountainsides were cut in terraces, many of them but a few yards wide, bearing olive, fig, and apricot trees, and numerous extensive vineyards… The whole face of the country, since leaving Jerusalem, bore evidence of a high state of cultivation… immense fields of ripened grain, the thick clustering stems bending to the breeze, their golden surfaces chequered with the shadows of passing clouds. Behind us were the rugged mountains, before us the lovely plain dotted with villages, and covered with a whole population gathering the harvest… Long before sunrise, the next day, the industrious fellahin [Palestinians] were at work in the fields.” W.F. Lynch, Commander US Navy Jordan River and Dead Sea expedition, March, 1848.

The Land

Sixty-five years ago, arable soil on the Siren Plateau was 100 cm thick. During the first fifty-years of Jewish domination the soil depth dropped by a quarter. That is a breathtaking loss in a place where it can take 2,000 years to add 10 centimeters of soil to the landscape. It is a man-made loss brought about by modern technology.

Starting well before World War I, Zionists and their antecedents had determined to replace ‘primitive’ Palestinian farming methods with the latest agricultural developments on the largest possible scale. Thanks to generous financial support from world Jewry, imports of well-boring machinery, tractors irrigation pipes, fertilizers, trucks, lumber, etc. poured into Jewish communities in Palestine. “Indeed, in the period between 1929 and 1940 Palestine’s important industrial machinery was valued at $29,500,000 [$540,090,000 in today’s dollars]. A still larger sum for transport vehicles, and agricultural machinery.” (Lowdermilk: Palestine Land of Promise).

A few, short decades of Israeli technology, intensive agriculture, and environmental contempt has left the soil so damaged that Israel’s Soil Conservation and Drainage Department of the Agricultural Ministry estimates that nearly half of country’s farm lands are at risk. Erosion from wind and water, exacerbated by intensive cultivation, salt buildup, and heavy farm equipment compacting the soil are making ‘primitive’ Palestinian methods look pretty good.

When Golda Meir first immigrated to Palestine in 1921 she had to have been met with agriculture built up and tended as a labor and love of the land by Palestinians she would later claim didn’t exist. Otherwise, what had happened to the lush terraced agriculture and fertile plains Captain Lynch described in 1848 Palestine? According to The Times special correspondent Phillip Graves writing in 1923, they were still there. He describes driving from the “… sandy steppe of Egypt … into the rich soil of Philistia and the Sharon Plain (a swath roughly from lower Gaza to Tel Aviv), a belt of flat prosperous tilth.” Graves also notes, “From Lydda, you have time to take car and drive to the outskirts of Jaffa to see the great orange groves, rich deep green leafage jeweled with golden fruit against the bright tawny dunes of the coast.” (the Jaffa groves were planted by Arabs in the 1800’s before Zionism was founded.)

Amnon Neumann, who took part in ethnic cleansing on the Jewish side, testified that in 1951 Arabs who had been pushed off their lands into Gaza would sneak back to their villages at night. “There was a special kind of agriculture in the dunes north of Gaza where the grape vines needed to be tended. So they would go there at night, they did not know they would never return. And we waited for them there… And we would shoot and kill them.”

Even today, it’s a long running complaint of Palestinian farmers in the occupied territories, that Jewish colonists not only take over their land but will, under protection of the Israeli army, drive front end loaders onto Palestinian farms, scrape up the top soil, load it onto dump trucks, and drive it back to Jewish farms. If Palestinian soil were really sub-par, as Israelis claim, why would they do that? And how did the concept of making the desert bloom take root in a place that was already populated and  cultivated?

The Jewish National Fund

The Jewish National Fund (JNF), formed in 1901 in Switzerland to buy Palestinian lands for European Zionism, has always been a key player in shifting Palestine’s baseline to the Israel we know today. This organization is intimately connected with the present regime and they are among the largest landowners in Israel, holding a reported 13 percent of the land. Diaspora Jews make donations large and small to Israel from all over the world through the JNF. Many Jews recall a distinctive box kept in their parent’s kitchens where the family would accrue money to donate. The Jewish National Fund seems to mean well, as far as Jewish interests go, but for Arab interests, not so. As far as the land’s interest, JNF is an example of the old saw, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Draining the Huleh Valley Lake and marsh in the 1950’s was a JNF project. Re-flooding a segment of Huleh Valley after the crops tanked, pesticides contaminated Lake Kinneret, the lake species were annihilated, and the peat started to burn was also a JNF project. Funding equipment to drill Jewish wells all over Palestine was JNF. When springs that had been around for millennia dried up as a consequence—that was also JNF. A series of reservoirs in the Negev was JNF. When the intercepted ground water no longer flowed to Gaza’s Coastal Aquifer—JNF. Planting 240 million trees—JNF. When thousands of acres of the trees burn like gasoline because so many of them are pines planted too close together—JNF. Expanding forests—JNF. Kicking Arab families off their land to do so—JNF.

Salt and suspended solids buildup in the soil

“Water transport still contributes an estimated 170,000 metric tons of chlorides to the soils and ground water in the center of the country.” Alon Tal. Seeking sustainability: Israel’s evolving water management strategy.” – Science Magazine. 08.25.2006

“The fact that rain isn’t falling is big trouble. The expenses are crazy. We’re irrigating in November and December, which we haven’t done before. Irrigation costs a lot of money. Secondly, we’re irrigating with treated waste water, and the rain purifies the land from salt. When there’s no rain, surplus salt accumulates in the land, and that damages the trees… In addition to all that, we don’t know what will happen to the ground water reservoirs we need for next year. We’re hanging by a thread with the reservoirs, and we don’t know what’s ahead. The water quotas for both waste water and potable water have been used up, and we’re paying a heavy toll in fines.” – Johnny Aganmia, Kibbutz Matzura farmer, Western Galilee, on why the kibbutz was ripping out its fruit orchards.

Lake Kinneret becoming more salty is not just a problem for drinking water. Salty water pumped to the dry south via Israel’s National Water Carrier for irrigation is bad for the land. Kinneret water was saltier in 2017 than it has been in fifty years, including 2006 when Alon Tal wrote that 170,000 metric tons of chlorides were being dumped on the soil in the middle of the country.

Farmers can only use the soil as a coffee filter for so long. Over time salts and suspended solids deposited by irrigation water build up in the soil to the point where crops can no longer grow there. This includes deposits from wastewater Israel uses to water crops. Whatever is in that water making it unfit for human consumption is leaching out into the ground and also being taken up into the plants. In his superb book, Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner describes in a compact and digestible way how salt builds up in soil and proposes that the great, ancient desert civilizations may have collapsed due to salt buildup rather than drought.

Israeli Forestry: Foreign pines replace ancient olive trees that had provided shade and a living for centuries

You sometimes see claims that the Jewish state is one of the few countries, or even the only country, to have more trees now than they did a hundred years ago. That’s not the case. The U.S. has more trees than it had a hundred years ago. Most of Europe has more trees—Ireland, for example, was under 1% forested when it achieved independence in 1929. Today Ireland is about 11% forested. France, Sweden, Finland, the UK and others all have more trees than they did a hundred years ago. We don’t have many of the ancient ‘big pumpkins’ that used to make up old growth forests, and we have severe problems with invasive insect species killing trees, but for the time being, and such as it is, we’ve got more forest than we did a hundred years ago.

Even if the Israeli forest statement were correct, Palestine a hundred years ago was a fairly low bar, having been relentlessly logged by Europeans and Ottomans for centuries. Compared with a country like Bhutan, with its 86% tree cover, Palestine in the early 1900’s wasn’t Longfellow’s ‘forest primeval.’ What they did have going for them in trees was orchards; the Jaffa orange groves and olives—especially olives.

a. olives are among the world’s oldest living trees. There are olive trees in the Mediterranean estimated to be over 3,000 years old and they still produce fruit.

b. Olive trees are well adapted to the region and can resist drought, disease and fire.

c. Olive trees are to Palestinians what buffalo were to Native Americans on the Great Plains. The olive harvest has long been the most important agricultural and social event in the Palestinian year. Tens of thousands of Palestinian households depended, and still depend, on olives for their livelihoods. Some families have tended the same trees for centuries.

d. Between 1967 and 2012 the Jewish state destroyed over 800,000 Palestinian olive trees. That would be the same as ripping out all the trees in New York’s City’s Central Park—33 times.

e. Jewish religious law prohibits destroying fruit bearing trees and yet Jews destroy thousands of Palestinian olive trees per year to this day.

f. If Israel had left them alone, the ghost trees of Palestinian olive orchards would be the largest forest in Israel.

g. Even the 1,800 acres of ghost olive trees Israel bulldozed and killed along the‘buffer zone’ Jewish troops have razed on the Gaza side of the segregation fence would make one of the larger forests in Israel.

American soil proponent and Zionist propagandist Walter C. Lowdermilk, who we will meet again in section 11, gave no credit to Arab agriculture for anything and so he had little to say about Palestinian olives. Still, a plank in his platform to rehabilitate soils was reforestation. Trees, he pointed out, hold soil in place which minimizes erosion. The Jewish National Fund adopted reforestation with a vengeance. It became a symbolic gesture for American Jews to plant a tree in Israel as a manifestation of their support for the Jewish State. Most of what they were planting a few decades ago was Aleppo pine. Those seemed like a good choice for an arid region because they’re drought resistant, grow quickly, store substantial carbon dioxide, and can replenish themselves quickly from cones that germinate after a fire.

Diaspora Jews visiting Israel would pay ten bucks, be handed a sapling and a shovel, and go out to plant on a hillside near Jerusalem. The Diaspora was shocked in 2000 when an Israeli newspaper published an expose’ about JNF workers ripping the saplings out as soon as the tourists were gone so the site would be clear before the next crowd showed up to climb the hill and plant trees in the Homeland. JNF responded to the scandal by threatening to sue the paper for libel. They also claimed it was an isolated incident, promised an investigation, and said that 60 percent of the trees planted there died anyhow.

The bad news with Aleppo pines is: they’re not great shade trees, their wood’s not worth much, and they’re resinous so they burn faster than a natural forest with species diversity. Trees in many areas were planted too close together. When such a forest goes months without rain, with strong easterly winds blowing, all it takes is a careless campfire or cigarette for the whole place to ignite explosively as sparks fly tree to tree on the wind.

Fire Season

A terrible fire roared through Mt. Carmel’s Forest in 2010 killing 44 people and burning thousands of acres. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government was entirely unprepared and had to plead for help from other countries, including the Turks who Israel had been loudly accusing of helping terrorists in the weeks before.

Israel’s approach to fire season is different than Americans and Canadians in the Western regions. For us, when haze tints the sun blood red a hundred miles away from the fires; communities, states, and provinces call out their firefighting equipment and mutual aid agreements bring in hot-shot crews from all over. Local people plan their evacuation routes. In the interior you see signs like, ‘Extreme Fire Hazard! Don’t Even Fart in the Forest!’

When it’s fire season in Israel, government officials, still inadequate to the challenge, go on TV and blame the Arabs. 2015, 2016, and 2017 saw big fires with 2016 burning almost as much acreage as the 2010 Carmel fires. More than 60,000 people had to be evacuated from Haifa.

Netanyahu’s government, with no evidence, blamed the fires on ‘arson terrorism’, and promised perpetrators would be caught and punished. They arrested about two dozen Palestinians, interrogated them for weeks, then quietly let the last of them go without prosecuting.

In 2018, as Gaza Palestinians participated in civil disobedience during the “Great March of Return” at the Gaza border, groups of young people actually did start hundreds of fires in southern Israel by lighting wicks doused with  combustibles on the Gaza side of the fence and sending them into Israeli territory on kites and balloons. The American media ran the ‘kite terror’ story in an endless loop.

At first most of the incendiaries did nothing or started small fires that were easily put out. As months went by without rain and the heat went  over 100 degrees F, Israeli snipers escalated shooting and killing Palestinians. (by fall over 200 Palestinians were dead/20,000 injured by shooting, tear gas etc.), the burning kite campaign escalated, too. By October Israel claimed thousands of acres had been burned or partially burned and was threatening to invade Gaza again.

Some things Americans might keep in mind about Israeli claims of extent of fire damage from Gaza kites. 1) During the heat wave in July, 2018 there were forest and brush fires burning all over Israel that had nothing to do with Gaza or Arabs. Those fires were virtually ignored in the American press. 2) Israeli government officials have a history of falsely accusing Palestinians of starting fires and inflating the extent of them. 3) Israel pays Jewish citizens compensation for damage by terrorist attacks. After the 2016 fires, Israeli politicians accusing Arabs of ‘pyro-terrorism’ sputtered into silence when hundreds of Israelis began lining up to be compensated by Israel’s national tax authority. 4) Every year Jewish colonists and the Israeli military burn Palestinian crops, usually just before harvest when things are driest. Arabs are not compensated for Jewish terrorism. 5) forest is a relative term. Israeli ‘forests’ around Gaza are mostly planted and have large tracts with few or no trees on them. So acreage estimates are open to scrutiny. 6) The Israeli government appears incapable of facing its role in the country’s failure-proven agricultural and forestry practices during fire season.

Burning tires and changing albedo

Albedo (litearlly whiteness) is something glaciologists talk about where I live. It’s a scale of light reflectability between zero and one. White reflects heat away. Black absorbs heat. Ground temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded in burned-over forest floors on a sunny day. Charcoal then, has an albedo of almost zero. Fresh snow’s albedo is almost one. When atmospheric dust lands on a glacier it lowers the albedo. You might not notice it walking on big ice in summer but a faint layer of dust and pollen is absorbing more heat and making the glacier melt faster. When we get multiple low snow years, dust layers collect on top of each other until the surface ice can be almost black in places.

I imagine the Middle East as a pure white ice field. Then I imagine what it would look like after all the smoke from all the fires and burning tires-fires great and small-starting in 1991 when Saddam Hussein torched 700 oil wells in Kuwait. Imagine the albedo change in 2006 when Israel bombed Lebanon’s Jiyeh Power Plant’s oil tanks darkening a hundred miles of coast with an oil slick and darkening hundreds of square miles of land as soot from tens of thousands of tons of burned oil settled out.  Imagine the settling soot from those gigantic, deliberate 2016 oil field fires in northern Iraq torched by IS, then add all the smoke from oil tankers, refineries, cars, trucks and industry. Then, add hundreds of square miles of dark roads and parking lots, the blackened earth from Israel’s annual fires in their planted pine forests, and then watch tire fires from protests in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen… Protesters burning tires to screen themselves from government drones and snipers that are targeting them has become a norm.  I get why they do it but the soot plumes they create are changing the land’s albedo, increasing heat, increasing evaporation until farming without intensive irrigation and other expensive infrastructure becomes impossible.

As Middle East land gets darker, the Middle East gets hotter.

Smashed soil

In America’s Mojave Desert you can still see tank tracks General Patton’s army left when they practiced there in 1942. Driving vehicles, even small ones, in a desert leaves lasting evidence. It’s easy to see how Israeli troops blasting across the countryside in sixty-ton Merkava IV tanks and even heavier Made in America, armored D-9 Caterpillar bulldozers, ruin crops. Not so obvious is how crushing the earth compromises soil respiration, its ability to absorb and retain water and how compacted soil makes it hard or impossible for young roots to penetrate.

On the face of things it would seem the people could plow up the land and carry on but, in speaking with soils biologists, it appears that heavy vehicles can compress soil lying meters below the surface, in some conditions creating hardpan that will never be the same.

In 2008 Israel damaged or destroyed thousands of acres of Palestinian cropland in Gaza during the, ‘Cast Lead’ invasion. Humanitarian news and analysis NGO IRIN reported UN figures that the Israelis destroyed 929 hectares (2,299 acres) of orchards and 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of vegetables. Initial monetary loss was estimated at $268 million but loss of food security and land is harder to measure.

Six years later, in 2014 Israel damaged or destroyed 85 percent of Gaza’s agricultural lands during the ‘Protective Edge’ invasion. The United Nations FAO estimated 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of cropland “as well as much of its agricultural infrastructure, including greenhouses, irrigation systems, animal farms, fodder stocks and fishing boats.” Much of that was done intentionally by grinding track vehicles back and forth, back and forth, back and forth over Palestinian farmland. What’s less well-known, and flat stupid, is that on that same military enterprise the Israeli army caused $350 million in damage to agriculture on the Israeli side. They wrecked 10,000 hectares of Israeli farm land, killed Israeli livestock, and generally made a mess of the place just driving around to hit civilian Gaza villages from different directions. According to the USDA, “In addition to direct damage to [Israeli] crops caused by heavy Israeli Defense Force vehicles, there has also been indirect long-lasting damage caused by these vehicles to the soil structure. Experts believe this damage will take approximately 10 years to remediate, the cost of which could total between $800 to $14,000 per hectare.”

Pesticides and herbicides

Israel has the highest pesticide use of any member country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2012 the Central Bureau of Statistics issued a report, “Survey of Pesticides in Agriculture 2008-2010” that revealed Israeli farmers averaged a staggering 3.5 tons of pesticides per 1,000 cultivated dunhams, (247 acres). That’s more that twice as much as the next highest, Japan, which uses 1.55 tons. Sweden used the least pesticides of all countries at just 40 kg for the same size area. As a result of Israel’s dousing poisons on its crops, some Israeli water sources carry as many as twenty different pesticides. Israel still permits pesticides posing serious human health risks that are banned in the U.S. and Europe. As erosion blocks creeks and drainages it spreads agricultural pesticides all over the landscape.

In addition to deliberately contaminating its own crops and people, Israel routinely sprays massive amounts of herbicides on the Gaza side of the border to destroy Palestinian crops and ruin land for agriculture. An estimated 3,500 acres of Gaza cropland and 2,000 acres of pasture and irrigation ponds have been compromised since 2014. Red Cross analysis shows contamination from Israeli spraying is so extensive the stuff has leached into the soil more than 1.3 miles inside the Gaza segregation barrier. Haaretz journalist Amira Haas’ July 2018 article, “Farm Warfare: How Israel uses chemicals to kill crops in Gaza” reports that among the poisons are glysophate, oxyflourfen, and diuron. Spraying kills bees/secondary pollinators and “exceptional damage was caused to shepherds, many of whom are women for whom shepherding is their way to add to the family income.”

Haas notes that Israel doesn’t like to talk about this tactic and that an Israeli court judge upon being allowed to see the evidence in secret ruled that, “information about areas being sprayed should not be revealed.” One Israeli spokesman claimed Israel coordinates spraying with officials with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza. Red Cross officials denied that. Furthermore an ICRC spokesperson said, “We have clearly and repeatedly expressed our concerns to the Israeli authorities about the economical and environmental damage the spraying is causing, and the potential consequences for public health.”

In 2015 Israel messed up and sprayed a kibbutz near Gaza killing 12 acres of Jewish wheat and contaminating the land so badly that the kibbutz couldn’t plant the next crop rotation. The government paid the kibbutz $16,000 for damages. Israel doesn’t pay the Palestinians for damages. Instead, the Zionists turn more and more rich farmland—land Peter Graves called ‘prosperous tilth’ in the 1920’s—into a parched and blasted Mideast equivalent of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Dead Marshes.

Cloud seeding

When it comes to diving headlong into big, expensive water projects we Americans are like black-out drunks at last call. We forget all the environmentally ruinous, dried-up, silted-up, pointless pork-barrel projects clogging this country’s rivers from sea to shining sea, and turn to some new technology the way a forlorn alcoholic looks around the bar for love.

Cloud seeding was one of those forlorn hopes. Cloud seeding is the practice of shooting some chemical compound, usually silver iodine, into clouds to make water crystals form around the compound and precipitate out as rain or snow. Israelis were big into that starting in the 1970’s. They were especially diligent about seeding clouds over Lake Kinneret so the rain (and chemicals) would fall into the water supply. The claim was that rain increased by an average 13 percent adding 60 million cubic meters of water to Israel’s water budget. Concerns that seeding clouds in one area would deprive other areas of rain seemed unfounded. Somehow rain in areas adjacent to cloud seeding areas also got more rain. With that kind of success other countries were soon inviting Mekorot workers to help them start cloud seeding programs, too. Then, in 2010, three Israeli scientists published a paper revealing that the initial studies in the 70’s had been done in years of higher rain due to offshore weather patterns in the eastern Mediterranean so it rained more whether clouds were seeded or not.

Drip Irrigation

If rain occurs at long intervals, crops suffer unless they are planted in soil deep enough to store moisture.” Walter C. Lowdermilk: U.S. water consultant for Zionism, Palestine Land of Promise. 1944

What we have found is that as a consequence of putting water on the crops more precisely—actual water consumption can go up.” Frank Ward, New Mexico State University, Department of Agriculture.

There’s a claim that the concept of precise irrigation with little water loss came about when an Israeli farmer noticed one day that a tree grew larger than its neighbors after receiving more water through a leak in the hose. If you think about it, a desert tree growing larger if it gets more water is hardly breaking news.

With drip irrigation water goes directly to the plants giving higher yields per acre. To non-farmers, or corporate farmers looking for short-term gain, it might seem like love at first sight but before getting carried away, its worth considering the advice of some of our own agriculture experts who are skeptical that drip irrigation is an agricultural savior. It may turn out that drip irrigation is a land based equivalent to desalination, or cloud seeding, where aspects that don’t fit the narrative are being swept under the rug until the consequences become so pronounced that denial is no longer an option. Some recognitions:

Traditional irrigation allows water to sink into the ground where, as Zionist consultant Lowdermilk pointed out, in good soil, the land traditionally could carry crops to harvest with no irrigation at all. The notion that water going into the ground is ‘wasted’ is an outdated one. Water going into the ground replenishes springs and aquifers. What farmer A calls wasted water can be vital to farmers B and C and to the land in ways people don’t understand, such as percolating through underground corridors to water centuries old trees on a desert oasis and thereby sustaining the last remnants of an ecosystem.

In addition, if you drip irrigate with waste water the soil still has to be flushed with fresh, clean water, otherwise whatever scuzz in the waste water that makes it undrinkable clogs the little drip holes in your hoses and/or will build up in the soil until it kills your plants. On a small level, homesteaders Mark Hamilton and Anna Hess who tried it say drip didn’t work for them because it’s expensive, is meant for rows rather than raised beds, the hoses have to be rotated with crops if you’re moving to another field, it uses a lot of plastic, and the whole thing has to be set up just right and maintained continuously or it can actually use more water than traditional irrigation.

Plants transpire (exhale moisture) less when the plant has some environmental stress from lower than optimal water. Without that stress the plant grows at its peak rate, the farmer has a higher yield, makes more money and is happy but uses more water to do it. And finally, there is the matter of scale. Everyone recognizes drip irrigation works in some venues but you could lose agriculture in some counties of American farm states.

Recognition 8: Desecrated Farm Land: Sources

05.03.2015 Israel’s iron lady unfiltered: 17 Golda Meir quotes on her 117th birthday Haaretz by Jud Yadid.

03.01.1850 Narrative of the United States expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, by W.F. Lynch, USN, Commander of the Expedition, 386 pp. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia.

1922 Palestine, land of three faiths by Peter Graves George H. Doran Company, New York.

Soil

04.25. 2016 Nearly half of Israel’s farmland threatened by over processing, climate change Haaretz by Zafrif Rinat.

12.27.2011 Testimony of Amnon Neumann YouTube 13:52 min (43,526 views as of October, 2018) An old man confesses atrocities he and other Jewish soldiers committed taking over Palestinian farms during the Nakba. Hebrew with English sub-titles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS4OXOom_vk

08.25.2006 Seeking sustainability: Israel’s evolving water management strategy. Science Magazine. by Alon Tal.

10.11.2012 West Bank Settlers stealing tons of soil from West Bank Palestinian land HaaretzI by Chaim Levinson.

1.20.2016 Israeli farmers uprooting fruit trees as rains fail. Globes: Israel’s business arena. by Ilanit Hayut.

Trees

7.04.2000 Israeli tree planting group aghast after scandal unearthed Los Angeles Times by Tracy Wilkinson.

October 2013 800,000 Olive trees uprooted, 33 Central Parks—Visualizing Palestine visualizingpalestine.org

October 2012 Olive Harvest Factsheet United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory.

Size of the olive ghost tree forest is my estimate based upon the area it would take to plant those more than 800,000 dead olive trees the Israeli’s killed, spaced according to dry land farming of olive trees described in ‘Plants Per Acre’ by the Olive Oil Source website. (that 800 K figure is more than 5 years old. I haven’t found a more recent estimate but the number of dead trees is a lot higher now).

olives: from Israelis stealing Palestinian olive harvests, to killing trees, to uprooting whole groves there are too many stories to count. It happens all the time and tt’s been going on for decades. Look ’em up. Here are a few.

08.05.2018 Settlers destroy 2000+ Palestinian-owned trees and vines backed by Israeli authorities B’Tselem The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

9.25.18 Settlers uproot fruiting olive trees near Hebron International Middle East Media Center.

10.04.18 In video – settlers steal olive harvest in Nablus. Maan News

10.15.18 Settlers uproot olive trees in Bethlehem. Middle East Monitor

10.18.2015 Hundreds of trees destroyed in West Bank Palestinian villages, Israeli rights group reports Haaretz by Amira Haas. Move olive trees destroyed by Israeli terrorists.

Fires

date? After the fire: indirect effects on the forest soil. www.northernrockiesfire.org/effects/soilindi.htm

05.18.2015 Fires sweep through Israel, West Bank amid heat wave Ma’an News Agency

07.24.2015 Massive forest fire rages in Jerusalem area Haartez by Nir Hasson.

1.25.2016 Haifa residents cleared to go back home after fires; 600-700 damaged Times of Israel, TOI staff. Over 60,000 residents evacuated from Haifa.

11.26.2016 Israeli leader calls for demolition of homes belonging to Palestinian ‘arsonists’ Maan News. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, with nothing else to offer.

11.30.2016 Forest fires in Israel will only get worse in coming years, experts warn Haaretz by Nir Hasson.

12.05.2016 Why planting more trees in Israel is a bad idea right now Jewish Telegraph Service by Jay Shofet.

12.07.2016 Were the Israeli fires arson terror claims premature and exaggerated? The Jerusalem Post via JTA. “Instead of calming the [Israeli] population, which is the task of leaders, Israeli politicians did the reverse and claimed an ‘arson intifada.’ That’s just not wise, to put it very mildly.” Yoram Schweitzer, Israeli terrorism consultant.

01.22.2017 Despite Netanyahu’s claim, still no evidence of ‘Terrorist Arson’ in Israeli fires. Haaretz by Nir Hasson.

01.25.2017 What happened to claims of ‘Arson Terror Attacks’? YNet News by Roi Yanovsky. One of the fires this year was caused by an Israeli occupation trooper shooting a flare bomb at Arabs.

10.28.2017 Hundreds of acres burned in Jerusalem forest fire Jerusalem Post by Uri Shaham. 500 acres up in flames over a weekend.

06.15.2018 Hundreds of fires broke out in Israel due to burning kites from Gaza Haaretz by Jonathan Lis.

06.05.2018 Minister calls for targeted killing of kite bombers, Hamas leaders Times of Israel by TOI staff. Gilad Erdan again.  This time calling for assassination of Palestinian kids flying burning kites towards Israel.

07.20.2018 Lieberman says Israel planning assault on Gaza bigger than 2014 invasion in which 2100 Palestinians killed International Middle East Media. Israel’s Defense Minister’s response to burning kites.

07.25.2018 Israel hit by record-breaking heatwave;fires rage throughout the country Times of Israel by TOI staff. “Several large fires broke out in the afternoon at the Horshim Forest in Central Israel, and the Ahihud Forest in the North, as well as at the Churchill Forest near Nazareth Illit.” Article notes that these were not started by incendiary kites or balloons from the Gaza protests.

06.26.2018 Israeli settlers burn 300 olive trees in Nablus Maan News

03.21.2017 Small farmers struggle worldwide but Palestinian farmers have it really rough Washington Post by Anne-Marie O’Conner.

05.14.2015 Burning Gold: Israel’s destruction of Jordan Valley harvests The New Arab by Alice Gray. from the article this vignette about the Israeli army setting Palestinian crops afire:  “They came at six in the morning and told us to get out,” he told al-Araby al-Jadeed. “We couldn’t return to our home until six in the evening, and we couldn’t send our children to school. We spent the whole day on the mountain by al-Hadidiya, in the sun and the wind. When we returned, our neighbour’s land had been burned.”
The sounds of explosions and the rattle of gunfire can be heard throughout the area, while helicopters whir overhead and heavy lorries rattle by, delivering tanks to Israeli military bases. The Israeli army spokesperson says the families were evacuated for their own safety – and that the army has enlisted a special fire extinguishing squad to participate in the drill. Yet the hillsides around Herbaiet al-Homra are scorched black where both crops and scrub have burned.

“It’s not just the crops that are important,” says Rashed Sawaftah. “If the scrublands burn, the farmers will have nowhere to graze their animals.”

11.30.2016 Israel fire: police deny claims that fires were caused by ‘Terrorism’ Haaretz by Yaniv Kubovich and Gili Cohen. Describes government backing off on arson claims as Israelis line up for compensation of ‘terrrorism’.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has a nice description of albedo in their ‘all about sea ice’ section.
1999 Fire effects on below ground sustainability: a review and synthesis Forest Ecology and Management vol 122 51-71. by Daniel Neary et al.

Smashed Soil

10.15.2009 Farmers struggle with damaged agricultural land IRIN Report on impacts to agriculture from 2008/9 Gaza invasion.

08.14.2014 Gaza: Damage to agriculture will have long-lasting effects United Naitons FAO

11.20.2014 Exporter Guide USDA Foreign Agricultural Service—GAIN Report. Prepared by Gilad Shachar, Approved by Orestes Vasquez, Sr. Agricultural Attaché’. “In addition to direct damage to crops caused by heavy Israeli Defense Force vehicles, there has also been indirect long-lasting damage caused by these vehicles to the soil structure…”etc https://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Exporter%20Guide_Tel%20Aviv_Israel_11-20-2014.pdf

Pesticides

11.01.2012 ‘Israel uses more pesticides than any OECD country’ The Jerusalem Post by Sharon Udasin
01.24.17 Israeli forces spray weed killers near Gaza, burn Palestinian crops Maan News. 03.19.2018 Israel is intensifying its war on Gaza farmers The New Arab by Ali Adam. Israeli crop dusters spraying poisons on Gaza crops.
07.09.2018 Farm Warfare: how Israel uses chemicals to kill crops in Gaza  Haaretz by Amira Haas.
cloud seeding
2009 Cloud seeding seen as blessed solution for Israel’s dry winter Aruz Sheva by Abraham Zuroff.
09.2010 Reassessment of rain enhancement experiments and operations in Israel including synoptic considerations Atmospheric Research vol 97 Issue 4, pg 513-525. by Zev Levin, Noam Halfon, Pinhas Alpert.

Drip Irrigation

(date?) disadvantages of drip irrigation, The Walden Effect Blog by Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton.

10.17.2018 ‘Efficient’ Irrigation tool may deplete more water Worldwatch Institute by Ben Block
09.23.2008 Water Conservation in Irrigation can increase water use Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Frank A. Ward and Manuel Pulido-Velazquez

April 25, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

On Earth Day, Remembering the US Military’s Toxic Legacy

By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | May 15, 2017

Media outlets gave minimal attention to recent news that the U.S. Naval station in Virginia Beach spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact – that the U.S. Department of Defense is both the nation’s and the world’s, largest polluter.

Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among others.

In 2014, the former head of the Pentagon’s environmental program told Newsweek that her office has to contend with 39,000 contaminated areas spread across 19 million acres just in the U.S. alone.

U.S. military bases, both domestic and foreign, consistently rank among some of the most polluted places in the world, as perchlorate and other components of jet and rocket fuel contaminate sources of drinking water, aquifers, and soil. Hundreds of military bases can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Superfund sites, which qualify for clean-up grants from the government.

Almost 900 of the nearly 1,200 Superfund sites in the U.S. are abandoned military facilities or sites that otherwise support military needs, not counting the military bases themselves.

“Almost every military site in this country is seriously contaminated,” John D. Dingell, a retired Michigan congressman and war veteran, told Newsweek in 2014. Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina is one such base. Lejeune’s contamination became widespread and even deadly after its groundwater was polluted with a sizable amount of carcinogens from 1953 to 1987.

However, it was not until this February that the government allowed those exposed to chemicals at Lejeune to make official compensation claims. Numerous bases abroad have also contaminated local drinking water supplies, most famously the Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.

In addition, the U.S., which has conducted more nuclear weapons tests than all other nations combined, is also responsible for the massive amount of radiation that continues to contaminate many islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Marshall Islands, where the U.S. dropped more than sixty nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1958, are a particularly notable example. Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands and nearby Guam continue to experience an exceedingly high rate of cancer.

The American Southwest was also the site of numerous nuclear weapons tests that contaminated large swaths of land. Navajo Indian reservations have been polluted by long-abandoned uranium mines where nuclear material was obtained by U.S. military contractors.

One of the most recent testaments to the U.S. military’s horrendous environmental record is Iraq. U.S. military action there has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food. The U.S.’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq during the Gulf War also caused a massive environmental burden for Iraqis. In addition, the U.S. military’s policy of using open-air burn pits to dispose of waste from the 2003 invasion has caused a surge in cancer among U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians alike.

While the U.S. military’s past environmental record suggests that its current policies are not sustainable, this has by no means dissuaded the U.S. military from openly planning future contamination of the environment through misguided waste disposal efforts. Last November, the U.S. Navy announced its plan to release 20,000 tons of environmental “stressors,” including heavy metals and explosives, into the coastal waters of the U.S. Pacific Northwest over the course of this year.

The plan, laid out in the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), fails to mention that these “stressors” are described by the EPA as known hazards, many of which are highly toxic at both acute and chronic levels.

The 20,000 tons of “stressors” mentioned in the EIS do not account for the additional 4.7 to 14 tons of “metals with potential toxicity” that the Navy plans to release annually, from now on, into inland waters along the Puget Sound in Washington state.

In response to concerns about these plans, a Navy spokeswoman said that heavy metals and even depleted uranium are no more dangerous than any other metal, a statement that represents a clear rejection of scientific fact. It seems that the very U.S. military operations meant to “keep Americans safe” come at a higher cost than most people realize – a cost that will be felt for generations to come both within the United States and abroad.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Baseline of a Desecrated Land VII: Poisoned Streams

Toxic Streams and disappearing groundwater

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

“… and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” Kings 18.

Kishon: If Elijah was around today he might just tell the Israelites to kill the 450 Ba’al prophets by tossing them into the Kishon. Visualize a waterway where whatever swims or flies into it dies. The Kishon got so bad that not even bacteria could survive. Who knew that was even possible? But, Dr. Yishayahu Bar-Or, a Deputy Director with Israel Environmental Protection Ministry, says that the river reached a point where it was, “absolutely dead–even bacteria were not able to live there because it was more acidic than coca cola.”

Seventy Israeli navy divers (or their widows) who contracted cancers, filed suit against multiple polluters who they maintain dumped the carcinogens into the Kishon and Haifa Bay where the men were forced to dive in training. The divers said the water burned their skin, smelled and tasted terrible, and sometimes a sadistic officer would make a sailor drink some of the water as a punishment. After thirteen years in court an Israeli judge rejected the lawsuits. Likewise, a group of fifty Israeli fishermen filed a lawsuit against the Haifa Chemicals and Fertilizers company, for illnesses they say were brought on by exposure to carcinogens released by the companies. Again, Israeli courts threw out the lawsuit.
Eventually Israel came to an agreement that it would help 92 former military divers who were compromised by training in the Kishon. A Canadian firm, EnGlobe, won the contract to dredge contaminated bottom muck. It’s no longer the most contaminated stream in Israel. Vegetation is returning to the banks and some vertebrates can be found in the water now. But it still flows past Israel’s noxious military industrial complex at Haifa which has serial toxic spills and parts of the stream bottom are still contaminated with heavy metals, petrochemicals from Israeli’s largest oil refinery, and effluent from military installations.

Yarkon: In 1997, at the opening ceremonies of the Maccabiah Games, a substandard foot bridge over the Yarkon stream in Tel Aviv collapsed sending sixty-seven Australian athletes into the water. One died from trauma, three of them died and thirty-five others became critically ill from being dunked in the river’s pollution. Israel had been diverting the springs feeding the Yarkon for agriculture which reduced flow to a point where it was impossible for the stream to flush out sewage, farm runoff, and chemical pollutants. Resulting anoxic bottom sludge, stirred up when the Australians fell in, was fatal. Instead of going after the problem aggressively, Israel increased diversions and by 2000, a whopping 99 percent of the Yarkon was being diverted.

It’s not a recent phenomenon. As early as 1956 Israel tapped into the Rosh haAyin springs to send water south for irrigation. Alon Tal wrote, “It took little time for Israelis to grow used to the new stench-filled and stagnant reality. It was just another annoyance of daily life.”

Good people are doing what they can to clean up Israel’s waterways but, as in our own country, they’re working against a combined government/corporate/military triumvirate that talks about a healthy environment but in practice is apathetic, hostile, shortsighted, and flat stupid. In 2016 thousands of endangered Yarkon fish were killed by runoff from a light rail construction company contaminating several kilometers of the river because it was convenient, or cheaper, or they were reckless. In 2017 there was the massive, deliberate sewage treatment plant spill mentioned in section 6 above.

Yarmouk: Yarmouk water is better quality than the Kishon or Yarkon but is still compromised by farm runoff, heavy metals, petroleum and sewage. As noted above, in 2009 the Jordanians confirmed that Israel was polluting the Yarmouk with oil and sewage. Israel agreed to compensate Jordan with water from Lake Kinneret.

Nahal Kidron: In 2015 Israeli news service Haaretz’s excellent environmental journalist Zafrir Rinat called the Kidron the most polluted river in today’s Israel and West Bank. This is the sewage stream from East Jerusalem where Israelis impound some of the liquid, treat it, then use the water for Israeli farm produce. This illustrates a problematic aspect of Israel’s water technology. Israel is so strapped for water that when they pull sewage from streams and clean it up, they tend to use it on crops which means the depleted stream the water came from has even less water. Plus the concentrated waste often ends up back in the stream.

Other streams
Ariel Cohen of Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Streams are Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. Palestinians produce estimated 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, Israeli occupiers produce and estimated 17.5 mcm/year of which 31.5% isn’t treated. 43 km. of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water. There are 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall.

Estuaries
As rivers flow into the sea suspended sediments they carry settle out creating nutrient rich alluvial fans.  Estuaries that form around river mouths efficiently trap and hold nutrients which is why estuaries are among the richest ecosystems on earth. They provide spawning and rearing habitat for marine life and a healthy estuary indicates a healthy watershed flowing into it.
When polluted rivers settle out into an estuary, suspended toxins, heavy metals, agricultural fertilizer, and whatever else doesn’t belong in water, also settles out. Haaretz reports that the Israeli Health Ministry recommends a ban on fishing at all ports and marinas and on some beaches and estuaries. The February, 2018 article also notes that a quarter of the fish sampled in Haifa Bay tested over the accepted  limit for mercury.

Pumping it down: Withering nature reserves
Savvy countries play the environmental card to tourists by designating “Nature Reserves.” Israel is the lone country on earth expanding its territory by designating indigenous private lands as nature reserves, seizing them, then giving them to colonists. Whether the land belonged to indigenous people or occupiers, Israeli nature reserves are being devastated by toxic spills and by Israeli wells drawing down the water table to the point that springs and streams have no water left. What can flee does so. What can’t dies.

Some examples of falling water tables on springs
An Israeli Water Authority survey of northern spring flows between 1970 and 2011 found that output volume had dropped in 67 of 87 of the springs studied over that fifty years.

Nahal Betzet reserve is a small reserve in northern Israel about a mile from the Lebanese border. Hillel Glassman, a spokesperson for the Nature and Parks Authority, said, “There’s no more wildlife in the stream’s water at all…Plane trees hundreds of years old are dying amid a water shortage that began in 2000.’ The plane trees (sycamores are a type of plane tree) might all die because Nahal Betzet stream is fed by a spring which is dried up from Israelis pumping down the ground water.

Nahal Naaman is a spring fed stream where a Jewish National Fund website promoting the place claims springs produce 5,000 cubic meters of water per hour. The 2011 spring survey found the spring output “in steep decline” due to “increased pumping for irrigation and drinking water.”

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is beside a Dead Sea kibbutz named for Ein Gedi spring. The kibbutz has built a 153 room hotel/guest house complex (gardens, lawns, spa with six pools, restaurant, freshwater pool, air conditioned rooms, cable TV, etc.). Bad reviews on Trip Advisor aside, you’ve got to wonder which small oasis has been parched for such a water extravagant operation to exist there, especially since they’ve built a water bottling factory to sell mineral water from the spring while the country is in extreme drought. This company has an estimated 17 % of the bottled water market in Israel. Some years ago the kibbutz made a deal with the reserve that they would take spring water and supply the reserve with water from another stream but that is falling through. The kibbutz still takes the water, and the reserve is compromised.

(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn http://kdunnart.weebly.com)

Recognition 7: Poisoned Streams: Selected Sources

07.31.2012 The Yarkon disaster 17 years later. Aytzim, Ecological Judaism by Sarah Friedman.
07.08.2000 Lawsuit reveals depth of pollution in Israeli river Los Angeles Times by Tracy Wilkinson. Israeli divers suing the government and military for debilitating illnesses contracted by diving in the Kishon.
09.11.2012 Kishon River cleanup to begin 12 years after navy divers contracted cancer HaaretzI by Revital Hoval.
11.04.2013 Court rejects suit of 50 Kishon river Fishermen who blame their illnesses on Pollution Haaretz by Eli Ashkenazi.
02.09.2018 Despite some improvement, Israel’s estuaries remain seriously polluted Haaetz by Zafrir Rinat.
10.11.2017 Pollution kills thousands of fish in Lachish River. Ynet news. by Ilana Curiel. A local diver reports that this, “happens almost every year.” Authorities diverted river to Mel Ami beach supposedly to make an escape route to the sea for fish that were still alive. Unsure exactly what is killing the fish, authorities warned people to stay away from that beach.
07.16.2016 Thousands of endangered Yarkon river fish killed by construction.
Ynet news.
02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
11.13.2017 Sewage pours into northern Betzet stream, kills fish and turtles. Jerusalem Post by Max Schindler. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Betzet stream.
08.07.2017 Reign of sewage in biblical valley may be coming to an end Reuters. Ari Rabinovich. 12 million cubic meters of sewage per year, [33,000 cubic meters per day], flow down from Jerusalem and West Bank. Some is collected in a large pool that is used to water sewage resistant date trees. [yuk]
05.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. “ongoing illegal pumping of raw sewage into the Yarkon River Basin.”
12.09.2014 Two-headed mutant salamander found in Haifa Israel 21c by Viva Sarah Press. Scientists not sure if it’s mutated because of radiation, pollution, or in-breeding from a depleted population.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks.
09.02.2015 Most polluted river in Israel and West Bank to stay filthy because of government vacillation Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. ‘Nahal Kidron the most polluted water way in either Israel of the West Bank…’ The river is an open sewer for untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish settlements and Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The sewage flows into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water date groves in the occupied Jordan valley.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. Nahal Sorek is a Wadi that Israel made flow year round with the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority came up with a scheme to build reservoirs that would hold treated sewage which would be later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks. Most West Bank sewage from Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages is untreated.
08.28.2017 Report: a million Israelis take Ritalin-t type drugs Hamodia by Dror Halavy. 904.453 people give Ritalin prescriptions (or equivalents) in 2016. With half of those written in the Tel Aviv and Sharon areas.
07.16.2016 Thousands of endangered Yarkon river fish killed by construction. Ynet news.
05.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat
11.04.2013 Court rejects suit of 50 Kishon river Fishermen who blame their illnesses on Pollution Haaretz by Eli Ashkenazi.
02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
07.17.2013 Springs in Northern Israel Producing less water, some all dried up Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.

April 21, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Baseline of a Desecrated Land VI: Awash in Sewage

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

Sewage Quiz and nowhere to go

“… with clear waters and action packed beaches, each one of Tel Aviv’s 16 beaches has its own style and attracts certain personalities.” Israeli Ministry of Tourism website

But you cannot have clean water if people are still defecating in the river.” The visionary Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization.

Okay, fellow Americans. It’s time for a pop quiz.

1) How many metric tons of raw or hardly treated sewage go straight into the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza every day?
a) 1 Mt
b) 11 Mt
c) 11,000 Mt
d) This is a trick question. Hamas wants to drive Israel into the sea.

2) Which direction does the current in front of Gaza flow?
a) north
b) south
c) in circles
d) Towards Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

3) How far from Gaza is Israel’s nearest Israeli desalination plant in Ashkelon?
a) 5 miles
b) 50 miles
c) 500 miles
d) Doesn’t matter. God gave it all to Israel.

4) How many times in 2016 did the Ashkelon desalination plant shut down because of massive sewage plumes coming from Gaza?
a) twice
b) at least four
c) never
d) Gay kaken ofn yam. (Yiddish insult, “Go shit in the ocean.”)

5) Gaza’s water and sewer infrastructure collapsed because:
a) The Israeli military destroys the sewage plant, power plant, and underground pipes every few years.
b) Israel’s blockade against Gaza is over ten years old and counting.
c) Gaza can’t make repairs because Israel won’t let supplies through the blockade.
d) Arabs hate Israel more than they love toilets
e) Israel routinely cuts fuel and power to Gaza so the plants don’t run even when they’re otherwise viable.
f) Israel is intercepting ground water that would refill the Coastal Aquifer.
g) Israel doesn’t allow West Bank Palestinians to share West Bank water with Gaza
h) all of the above except d.

6) According to the United Nations, Gaza is in a humanitarian crisis and will be uninhabitable by 2020 because what percent of the drinking water is unfit for human consumption?
a) 14 %
b) 32 %
c) over 97 %
d) The UN lies. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

7) In 2015 Israeli authorities closed Tel-Aviv beaches when they deliberately dumped how many cubic meters of sewage while making beach upgrades?
a) 3
b) 9
c) 180,000
d) None. Israel doesn’t deliberately dump sewage.

8) How many streams flowing through the West Bank/Israel are polluted with sewage?
a) all
b) five
c) two
d) none

9) The German government funded a sewage treatment plant on Palestinian land in the West Bank village of Salfit. It didn’t work out for the Palestinians because:
a) Israel denied permits for the project for years.
b) Israel wanted to connect an illegal Jewish colony to the project.
c) The Israeli army stole the equipment.
d) Arab sewage treatment is an existential threat to the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.
e) Israel permitted the project at another site then announced a segregation wall will be built between the project and Salfit, cutting off the Palestinians but leaving the project accessible for Jewish colonies.
g) a, b, c, and e.

10) Israel has been criticized for allowing Christian baptisms in the Jordan river when coliform bacteria counts are how many times above the maximum where the Health Ministry is supposed to close Israeli beaches?
a) 6 times higher
b) 3 times higher
c) 2 times higher
d) half as high

11) Israel’s Health Ministry is supposed to close beaches when fecal coliform bacteria counts are above 400 per 100 ml of water. Tel Aviv once closed beaches to swimming, sailing and fishing after a sewage spill produced fecal coliform bacteria counts of:
a) 500/100 ml
b) 8,000/100 ml
c) unknown because fecal coliform tests exceeded the lab’s testable maximum of 20,000/100ml.
d) under 400/100 ml but beaches closed just to be on the safe side.

12) Who is responsible for dumping sewage on Palestinian land?
a) America for enabling Israel.
b) Jewish colonists.
c) Israeli cities who export their sewage sludge to the OPT.
d) Palestinians.
e) Israeli military camps.
f) all of the above more or less in that order.

Okay, pencils down. How’d you do? Answers are: 1)c,  2)a,  3)a,  4)b,  5)h,  6)c, 7)c,  8)a,  9)g, 10)a,  11)c , 12)f . If you answered ‘d’ to every question the Israel Lobby may fast-track you for a seat in Congress.

Gaza sewage to Israel: turd terrorism

Day by day a non-political northbound current calmly, quietly, carries 11,000 metric tons of what Gaza Palestinians had for dinner last night right onto Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israeli desalination plants. Here’s a free slogan for the Tourism Ministry: Come to Israel, where Hamas is in the water.

For most of history Gaza was what UNESCO has called, “One of the most important coastal wetlands in the Eastern Mediterranean.” Wadi Gaza, was one of just a few high quality migratory bird stop-over stations along the flyway between Europe/Asia and Africa. Soaring birds like cranes, flamingos, storks, and raptors that migrate using thermal updrafts along the coasts all congregated at this bird oasis. The place had a clean water supply and a naturally productive ocean fishery whereby hundreds of families made a good living.

Today Gaza’s ecosystem has devolved into a vast man-made breeding lagoon that produces two million diadromous turds a day. These foul fish migrate down the wadis, take a right when they reach the Mediterranean, and start swimming for Israel. Birds still land on wadis and wetlands, because they have to, but the shore is so contaminated that over half the water samples off Gaza contain sewage parasites and contaminants. Beaches smell bad. People regularly end up in the hospital after beach outings. A little boy died last summer from infection caused by a family trip to the beach.

During the summer of 2017, away from the coast in northeast Gaza, raw sewage was piling up and Palestinians, with no way to treat it, watched it run into Hamun stream that flows out of Gaza past an Israeli colony and west towards Ashkelon. In what can only be described as a ‘Code Brown’ the Israelis brought fleets of vacuum trucks to try sucking mess out of the stream on their side. The attempt would’ve made a great joke video on the internet. Undaunted, elite units of the most powerful military in the Middle East stormed into Gaza and attacked the little stream, trying to block it on the Palestinian side by plowing in dirt. When that also failed, the head of the nearby Israeli Jewish Council said, “What we’re seeing here is an ecological terror attack.” I kid you not. An ecological terror attack. The Councilman called on the Israeli government to resolve the crisis.

As turd terror heads north in ever increasing concentrations the Israeli technological solution is… wait for it… they want America to fix it! No really—they do.  Israel blows up Gaza’s sewage treatment plant and won’t allow repair materials or fuel to run the plant through the blockade. For years they laughed at suffering Gaza. But now, as shoals of turds wash onto beaches like spawning grunion a group of Israeli mayors wrote a letter to US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt asking the US to clean up Gaza’s sewage catastrophe—that Israel caused—because, “Without providing a fundamental and long-term solution to the crisis, it will be coming to our doorstep.” Reading between the lines, of course, what they want is for America to pay for a cleanup.

Should we do it? Sure we should, but with two provisos: 1) We take the money right off the top of the billions we give Israel every year and 2) if Israel blows up Gaza’s water and sewer infrastructure again we stop funding Israel altogether. This would benefit everybody. Gaza gets cleaned up. Israel no longer has Gaza sewage in their beaches and Bibi’s coffee; and America does a good deed in the region for a change.

West Bank sewage to Israel

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. How bad is it? There are an estimated 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall. A 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Contaminated streams are the Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. To take one example, 43 km of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water.

The West Bank produces about 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, of which an estimated 17.5 mcm/year is excreted by Israeli colonists. In addition, tens of thousands of occupation troopers do their ‘daily duty’ while on duty in the OPT.

Jewish colonists, have taken over and built their settlements on the West Bank’s high grounds. It’s common practice—well documented—for the Jewish colonies to divert their sewage onto Palestinian fields and groves below the colonies. During the last olive harvest, for instance, Jewish colonists from the illegal colony of Elon Moreh stole the Palestinian’s olives (Palestinian farmers in that place are not allowed in their orchards except to harvest but Jews are allowed to go into those Palestinian orchards anytime), then the Jews dumped their sewage down the hill onto the olive trees. This treatment doesn’t just make the Palestinian’s lives harder. It renders the land unusable, and eventually the stuff is carried to streams by surface runoff or seeps down into everyone’s water table.

Israeli sewage impacts in Israel, the OPT, Jordan, Syria

Do you suppose a place that irrigates crops with treated wastewater; a place where sewage has tested positive for Wild-type poliovirus-1 (WPV 1), hepatitis, and other ills, would be anything less than hyper-vigilant? Or, do you imagine they’d deliberately dump massive amounts of sewage into waterways? Well, actually it’s… number two.

Israelis deliberately dumping their own sewage into their own waters is a strange but recurrent phenomenon. In 2015 Ashdod’s pumping station needed to fix a pipe so they simply diverted the main sewage line sending tens of thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Lachish stream. Nahal Kidron, which was called the most polluted stream in Israel and the West Bank in 2015, flows with a foul composition largely of untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish colonies, Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem, and from villages the occupied West Bank. The gunk runs into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water Jewish date groves in the occupied Jordan valley. North of Jordan valley, in 2017, thousands of cubic meters of sewage killed fish and turtles in Galilee’s Betzet stream.

Nahal Sorek is a wadi that Israel made flow year round by the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority bought into a scheme to build holding reservoirs for treated sewage which would later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops. Things went down the drain in 2016 when Israel had to shut down the country’s largest desalination plant after sewage from the reservoirs was deliberately channeled into Soreq stream. It seems the Water Authority had decided to stop paying for holding reservoirs, filth was piling up, so someone made the decision to press the lever and flush the mess out to sea.

A dangerous modern component of sewage is prescription drugs that people either pass through their digestive systems or flush down the toilet without using. Sewage samples turn up estrogen from birth control pills, heart medications, ketamine, hydrocodone, barium enemas and, especially in Israel, the central nervous system stimulant Ritalin. 904,453 Israelis, over 10 ½ percent of everyone in the country, are on Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride) or Ritalin-type drugs. Side effects of this drug may include psychosis, aggressive behavior, anxiety, nervousness, confusion, agitation, and… Hey! This might explain some things… Drugs end up concentrating in and around the waterways, where they can mix and synthesize with other prescriptions and a variety of petro chemicals, industrial solvents and fertilizers. Most sewage treatment plants don’t filter out even half of the drugs that go through them.

Israel’s poor performance with sewage is made worse by politics as the country has notoriously used money it owes the Palestinians to build sewage treatment plants on the Israeli side of the Green line. It works this way: decades ago, as part of the Oslo accords, Palestinians agreed to a five-year interim plan, part which included a scheme where Israel would collect tax money on behalf of the Occupied Territories then turn what was collected over to the Palestinian Authority. Israel is still collecting that money all these years later and, instead of turning the money over so the PA can treat Palestinian and Jewish colonist sewage at the source, Israel lets it contaminate the OPT and tries to clean it up when it reaches the Jewish state.

Israeli Beach Sewage

In the winter of 2016-7 various Israeli beaches were closed for a total of 310 days. On a beach where people were swimming and surfing, the Israeli environmental group Zalul, found fecal coliform to be 69,000 per 100 ml of sea water. That’s over 170 times the level where authorities are supposed to close the beach. Also in 2017 an Israeli main sewage pipe collapsed closing seven beaches near Tel Aviv.

In 2015 six Tel Aviv and Herzliya area beaches were closed until further notice after the authorities decided to deliberately pump 180,000 cubic meters of sewage runoff into the sea while the Israelis were making beach ‘upgrades.’ The following year sewage samples taken around Tel Aviv between December, 2016 and June, 2017, showed 7 of 15 were positive for hepatitis A virus. Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach has closed multiple times because of fecal contamination. The technological solution in 2011 was to run a sewage pipe to a marina where nobody swims and discharge the stuff there.

In 2010 Israel’s Health Ministry shut down fifteen public beaches in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya, and Ashdod because of sewage contamination. Apparently the technological solution to Israel’s aging sewage system is to pump the stuff out to sea when the system becomes overwhelmed. Environmentalists also accuse industrial plants of regularly pumping chemical waste into the sea.

In 2017, years of clean-up work were undone in a few days by a massive deliberate raw sewage discharge into the Yarkon from a treatment plant that, its operators claim, was being inundated by four times more sewage than the plant was designed to treat.

Countries promoting themselves as a tourist destination, find protracted beach closures are terrible for the image. After hearing that surfers at an Israeli beach had burning throats and other symptoms from contaminated seas, Maya Jacobs, Executive Director of the Israeli environmental NGO Zalul developed a Smart phone app, with help from the public, the road-navigation app developer Waze, and the Health Ministry, that sends users a pop-up alert on pollution conditions when they get within 12 miles of a waterway.

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe.
That all was lost.” John Milton 1608-1674, Paradise Lost

Recognition 6: Sewage: Selected Sources

07.17.2013 Sanitation recognized as a basic human right United Nations Israel signed on with 122 other countries to recognize Sanitation for All, as a basic human right.
07.30.2017 Watch: thousands of fish found floating in Yarkon river Jerusalem online by Becca Noy. Fish killed by sewage iand pollution n the river.
5.19.2017 Israel launches criminal investigation into water treatment execs over sewage spill Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat “ongoing illegal pumping of raw sewage into the Yarkon River Basin.”
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.02.28.2011 Sewage without borders Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
11.13.2017 Sewage pours into northern Betzet stream, kills fish and turtles. Jerusalem Post by Max Schindler. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage into Betzet stream.
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.
10.24.2018 Israeli colonists flood dozens of Palestinian olive trees with sewage International Middle East Media Center. Jews from illegal colony of Elon Moreh flooded Palestinian olive trees with Jewish sewage. The Palestinians are only allowed onto their own land twice a year to harvest olives and prune trees. That’s when they discovered the sewage and that Jewish colonists had stolen the crop from many of the trees because the Jews can go on the land at any time.
10.11.2017 Pollution kills thousands of fish in Lachish River. Ynet news. by Ilana Curiel. A local diver reports that this, “happens almost every year.” Authorities diverted river to Mel Ami beach supposedly to make an escape route to the sea for fish that were still alive. Unsure exactly what is killing the fish, authorities warned people to stay away from that beach.
03.17.2016 Gaza Sewage Crisis is a ticking time bomb for Israel The Jerusalem Post by Michelle Maealha Grossman. [nothing could be more Israeli than this headline.]
07.06.2017 Gaza sewage forces shutdown of Israeli beach The Jerusalem Post by Sharon Udasin and Tovah Lazaroff
08.31.2017 Israeli mayors call on U.S. to solve Gaza electricity crisis CNN by Oren Liebermann and Baeer Salman. ‘Electricity crisis’ is the sanitized-for-US-viewers euphemism to describe Gaza’s sewage treatment collapse.
08.20.2017 Al Mezan: Suspected cause of death of child is sea pollution and delayed medical referral International Middle East Media Center A little five-year-old boy, Mohammed Salim Al-Sais, died in Gaza City. Because of extreme heat, and no air conditioning due to the Israeli siege cutting off fuel, the boy’s parents took their kids to the beach, which is rank with sewage, also courtesy of the Israeli siege. The kids got sick. Next morning when the boy wouldn’t rouse his parents took him to hospital. Diagnosis was Ekiri Syndrome—a lethal toxic encephalopathy (brain swelling) from swimming in the water. Doctors didn’t have what they needed to treat the boy—also because of the siege. Parent’s couldn’t get permission cross the Israeli check points to get him to Palestinian hospital in Ramallah. After a week, in intensive care he slipped away, and died.
08.07.2017 Reign of sewage in biblical valley may be coming to an end Reuters. Ari Rabinovich. 12 million cubic meters of sewage per year, [33,000 cubic meters per day], flow down from Jerusalem and West Bank. Some is collected in a large pool that is used to water sewage resistant date trees. [yuk]
0.7.20.2017 Ongoing hepatitis A among men who have sex with men (MSM) linked to outbreaks in Europe and Tel Aviv area, Israel, December 2016-June, 2017 Europsurveillance, Yael Gozlan, et al. of 19cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV), 17 were identified in Tel Aviv area. 7 of 15 sewage samples were HAV positive.
07.03.2017 Israel shuts down beaches along central coastal city over sewage spill Haaretz by Ido Efrati sewage pipe collapse closes eight beaches.
06.25.2017 How safe are Israel’s beaches? The Jerusalem Post by Sigal Ben David.
04.21.2017 Israel pumps sewage water onto lands in Bethlehem. Eye on Palestine. Jewish military camps have been pumping sewage onto Palestinian lands. Landowners have been filing complaints to Jewish authorities since 2002, to no avail. Farmers don’t plant there so as not to contaminate their crops. The sewage harms local plants and animals but encourages rats and flies which spread disease.
05.06.2017 UN envoy warns of dire crisis as Gaza faces power cuts, gallons of raw sewage pouring into the sea. “An environmental disaster for Israel, Egypt, and Gaza is in the making.” Nicolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
05.11.2017 Gordon beach closed after sewage discharge Ynet news Gordon Beach closed again from sewage because of pumping station failure. Article notes the same thing happened last year.
08.25.2016 Gaza is sick of sewage and time is running out to contain it the Middle East Eye by Kiernan Cooke. Ashkelon desalination plant shut down at least four times because of Gaza Sewage this summer.
11.29.2015 Deliberate sewage dump closes 6 Tel Aviv beaches Times of Israel Staff report. Beaches closed because authorities decided to release some 180,000 metric ton’s of sewage while they are making beachfront ‘upgrades.’
09.30.2015 Sewage leak kills thousands of fish near Ashod Haaretz by Ben Zikri. Raw sewage deliberately diverted to stream for 10 hours while workers repaired a pipe. Thousands of cubic meters of sewage killed thousands of fish, stream organisms and animals that drink from the stream.06.18.2015 Baptism by mire? In lower Jordan river sewage mucks up Christian rite.Times of Israel by Melanie Lidman. Christians are being baptized in effluent soup of ‘treated and partially treated sewage, agricultural runoff, fish and pond waste, and saline waters from springs to reduce salinity of the Sea of Galilee.’
11.19.2012 Check this app before you swim in Israel Israel 21c by Karin Kloosterman.
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
07.12.2011 Sewage shuts Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach again Haaretz by IIan Lior Beach closed for third time since May because of high coliform bacteria counts. The city diverted the suspect pipe flow to a marina where nobody swims and reopened the beach.
08.12.2010 Sewage row on Tel Aviv’s beaches The JC by Anshel Pfeffer. Israeli Health ministry closed 15 beaches so far this summer because of excessive sewage. Cities were beaches closed were Haifa, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, and Herzliya.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks.
05.11.2017 Gordon beach closed after sewage discharge.YNet News
07.30.2017 The “apolitical” approach to Palestine’s water crisis al-Shabaka by Muna Dajani.
Gist of the article is that well-meaning donors are helping Israel pull the focus off Palestinian water rights.
09.18.2016 Drowning in the waste of Israeli settlers Al Jazeera by Jaclynn Ashly. Jewish colony of Ariel has fouled al-Matua spring and stream with sewage. Ariel, Ariel West and Barkum colonies’ treatment works break down, or over flow often and when they do the Jews aim their sewage down hill at Palestinian villages and streams.The smell keeps people awake at night, mosquitoes are rampant, children get sick from the sewage, sheep die from drinking the water. Local rabbits, deer, foxes and other species that used to live there and come to the spring are gone.
Abu Dis, at Wadi Abu Hurdi, the Jews built a toxic waste dump on Palestinian land. It’s the largest dump on the WB. Chemical smells make people sick. Liquid waste pools kill sheep.Israel closed the dump in 2015 as part of a plan to forcibly evict local residents.The local Bedouins were forcibly relocated to live near the dump in the 1990’s. Now Israel wants to remove them altogether or, alternatively to flatten out the dump, put dirt on it, and make the Bedouins live on top of the dump itself. Finally, Jewish colonists from Qedar dump their swimming pool water into the valley where Palestinian sheep get sick from the chlorine.
Altogether about 19 mcm/yr of the West Bank’s 83 mcm/yr of waste water/sewage is from the illegal colonies (Knesset Research Institute). About 12% of Jewish colony sewage is dumped untreated into Palestinian streams. In 1967 Israel declared that uncultivated land, hilltops where it’s hard to grow things for example, was state of Israel land. Taking over the hilltops also made it easier for Jews to oversee and control the area. As the Jews built settlements they forced the Arabs further down the hills.
06.09.2017 Swimming in sewage. World ignores Gaza’s waste water crisis Middle East Eye. Because of the Israeli siege there’s no fuel, because of no fuel the power plants can’t operate, because the power plants can’t operate the sewage treatment plants can’t operate, because the sewage treatment plants can’t operate 11 million liters of sewage runs out of Gaza every day, because 11 million liters of sewage goes into the Mediterranean from Gaza the tide carries it north to foul Israeli beaches and into the intakes of Israel’s desalination plants. Gaza has the 13th highest growth rate in the world (4.2%/yr). with a fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman. In 1997 there were 300,000 in Gaza. Today there are 2 million. 75% of the population is under 25 years old.09.02.2015 Most polluted river in Israel and West Bank to stay filthy because of government vacillation Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. ‘Nahal Kidron the most polluted water way in either Israel of the West Bank…’ The river is an open sewer for untreated sewage from illegal Israeli Jewish settlements and Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The sewage flows into a reservoir where part of it is treated and piped to illegal Israeli settlements to water date groves in the occupied Jordan valley.
07.21.2015 Gaza-Cholera Outbreak AP Video Riyad al-Zaanoun, Chief Palestinian health official, confirmed that 20 cholera cases are in hospital. This is the first cholera outbreak in Gaza for 20 years. Officials are worried that the disease could spread rapidly in Gaza’s overcrowded slums and refugee camps.
06.18.2015 Baptism by mire? In lower Jordan river sewage mucks up Christian rite.Times of Israel by Melanie Lidman. Christians are being baptized in effluent soup of ‘treated and partially treated sewage, agricultural runoff, fish and pond waste, and saline waters from springs to reduce salinity of the Sea of Galilee.’
04.18.2015 Parting the brown sea: Sewage crisis threatens Gaza’s access to water Al Jazeera by Jen Marlowe. [Very well done article] Because of the Israeli siege, Israel destroying infrastructure, and choking electrical and fuel supplies, every single day 24 million gallons of raw or partially treated sewage goes into the Mediterranean off Gaza through seven pipes. It has created massive sewage lagoons, destroyed wetlands, plankton, fish and fisheries. Over pumping Gaza’s only aquifer is resulting in sewage laced seawater intrusion of the aquifer. This is a crisis that the UN says could make Gaza 100% of water undrinkable by 2016 (96% is unfit for human consumption now) and Gaza uninhabitable by 2020. [Article doesn’t mention that prevailing currents flow from south to north up the coast. Meaning that what is coming out a Palestinian’s ass goes right upstream to Israeli desalination plants and into an Israeli’s mouth every time he or she drinks water.]
06.05.2012 Sewer runs through river at heart of Israel’s most important Nature reserve. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat. Nahal Sorek is a Wadi that Israel made flow year round with the technological advancement of running Jerusalem’s sewage through it. The Israeli Water Authority came up with a scheme to build reservoirs that would hold treated sewage which would be later be pumped to irrigate Israeli crops.
09.22.2008 ‘Polluted West Bank streams pose threat to a third of Israel’s drinking water’ Jerusalem Post by Ehud Zion Waldoks. Most West Bank sewage from Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages is untreated. Ariel Cohen of Nature and Parks Authority Environmental unit says all nine major West Bank streams are badly polluted. 2007 analysis revealed sewage, salts and heavy metals leaching into the mountain aquifer below the West Bank. Streams are Kishon, Shechem, Kana, Shilo, Soreq, Mod’in, Michmash, Kidron and Hebron. Palestinians produce estimated 56 million cubic meters of sewage per year, Israeli occupiers produce and estimated 17.5 mcm/year of which 31.5% isn’t treated. 43 km. of Hebron stream is untreated sewage water. There are 178 kilometers of sewage stream flows overall.

April 11, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Baseline of a Desecrated Land I: Food Supply

Part 1 of a 12 part series examining the ecological impacts of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

How Israel’s water and agricultural technologies don’t even work for Israel

By Dick Callahan | September 30, 2018

California I hear has a big water problem. We in Israel don’t have a water problem. We use technology to solve it…” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to California Governor Jerry Brown in March 2014.

“If you were planning to grow a new strain of tomato—don’t do it, because there is no water. Stop planting. Stop sowing new seedlings. There’s no water.” Giora Shacham, Chairman of the Israeli Water Authority, to Jewish farmers at a December, 27, 2017 Israeli agriculture conference.

Introduction

A new mythology has it that Israel can save American agriculture and cities from drought. To accept this is to ignore the wilderness instructor’s maxim: “In a survival situation the first thing you need is recognition.”

Our situation is that we in America have 324 million people and our country exports more food every year than any country in the history of the planet. Israel has eight and a half million people, exports almost no food, is entirely dependent on imported food, and every indicator is screaming that the Jewish state ecosystem is a dying patient on the gurney.

We will mostly bypass what suffering Israeli water colonization has caused Palestinians.  Instead, this piece looks at what fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly calls ‘Shifting Baselines,’ where some good thing is degraded over time and each successive generation adopts what is in front of them as their baseline reality. At some point an environment emerges that would terrify our ancestors. We Americans should look hard and honestly at Mother Earth groaning under Zionism in today’s Israel and ask, ‘Does America, or any country desiring a good future, want to follow that road?’

Before we start, it helps to know that Israel is 1,600 square miles smaller than the state of Vermont, the West Bank is smaller than St. Lawrence county in New York state, and the entire Gaza Strip is about the size of Bakersfield, California.

To evaluate Israeli land and water use technologies, these twelve recognitions might serve as jumping off points for discussion.

1) Israel cannot feed itself.
2) Israel pretends desalination impacts don’t exist.
3) Israel takes Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Jordanian water.
4) Israel’s one and only large, natural water body may be gone within twenty years.
5) Over half of the Jordan river valley’s biodiversity is already gone.
6) Israel and the Occupied Territories are awash in human sewage.
7) West Bank/Israeli streams and groundwater are over exploited and drying up so completely that centuries old trees in the nature reserves are dying of thirst.
8) Israel’s water, forestry, agricultural and military technologies have compromised agricultural land to the point where half of it is depleted and at risk, pesticide use is highest in the OECD, the land is absorbing more heat, and, in the long run, drip irrigation may do more harm than good.
9) Israel is the Flint, Michigan of the Middle East with a history of spectacular toxic spills, dumped military/industrial carcinogens, hundreds of contaminated wells, hundreds of millions of tons of contaminated ground water, millions of tons of oil stored right on the beach, massive unregulated hazardous waste sites built above aquifers, and the world’s oldest nuclear reactor, sitting 18 miles from the Syria-African fault line—with 1,537 documented defects in its aluminum core.
10) Wine, war, industrial tourism, and an unwinnable competition with the faster growing Arab population are the water marks on Israel’s self-portrait.
11) Israel is stuck with being the love-child of 1950’s American water engineers and 1800’s ‘make the desert bloom’ fundamentalism.
12) Israel is a cautionary tale.

Baseline Recognitions

Recognition I: Israel can’t feed itself

“Israel is almost completely dependent on imports to meet its grain and feed needs… Total grain, feedstuff and soybean supply will total about 5.06 million tons.” USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Report, Israel Grain and Feed Annual 02.18.2015 by Gilad Shachar & Orestes Vasquez

Humanity uses most of its fresh water to grow food. Current estimates for Israel’s total annual water consumption run between 2¼ and 2½ billion cubic meters per year. An item missing from that buoyant assessment is the fact that life in the Jewish state depends on importing four times as much, over ten billion metric tons, of virtual water every year via container ships. Virtual water is J.A. Allen’s elegant concept that, instead of trying to understand the value of agricultural commodities in terms of carrots, steaks, bushels of wheat, or how much money those bring in, we should view farm products as compact, transportable carriers embedded with all of the water it took to grow them.

If we include the embedded water footprint of millions of tons of grains/feed/soybeans (GFS) as well as meat, dairy, fruit and other commodities to the equation, Israel’s total annual water requirement quintuples.

The agricultural water footprint for a given commodity includes green water (rainfall that ends up in the root zone), blue water (irrigation from surface and ground water), and grey water (water it takes to dilute agricultural runoff). Below are water footprints of some mainstay Israeli food imports for Market Year 2016.

(commodity in 1,000’s metric tons-Mt) X (tons water to grow a ton)=Water footprint

Corn                     1,515                                                   1,222                                   1,851,330
Wheat                  1,758                                                   1,827                                  3,211,866
Barley                     376                                                   1,977                                      743,352
Soybean Meal       135                                                    2,145                                     289,575
Rice, milled           115                                                    2,172                                     249,780
Sorghum                 30                                                   3,048                                       91,440
Rye                             4                                                    1,544                                         6,176
Rape seed meal     140                                                   1,115                                      156,100
Sunflower meal     240                                                 3,366                                     807,840
oil, rape seed           44                                                  4,301                                      189,244
oil, soy bean           374                                                 4,190                                   1,567,060
sugar, centrifugal  518                                                    865                                      448,070

total                                                                                                                               9,611,833
sources: USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Database. and The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products. UNESCO-IHE, Institute of water education, Volume 1: Main Report. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 47.

  • This 9,701,833 Mt water footprint of foodstuffs multiplied by 1,000 tons—because the commodities in the first column are in units of one thousand tons—gives 9,701,833,000 Mt of water.

Now add Israeli beef imports which average over 75,000 metric tons/year. This is in carcass weight equivalent (CWE) which means the cow after it has been gutted and skinned, with the head, tail, hooves removed. About 70 percent of the CWE is red meat. To find the amount of water in 75,000 Mt of red meat we multiply CWE by 0.7, which gives 52,500 Mt of meat. Global average to raise one Mt of red meat is 15,400 Mt of water. Multiplying 52,500 Mt of meat by the 15,400 Mt of water it took to grow them, we get 808,500,000 metric tons of water sent to Israel every year in the form of red meat. That by itself is a third above Israel’s entire annual desalination production.

Add other agricultural imports like 46,000 tons of various protein powders, soup stock, cheese, fresh fruits, 80 million eggs per year, etc and we’re looking at a total virtual reservoir of over 10.5 billion tons of water that Israel does not have to draw from its own resources.

How much is 10.5 billion metric tons of water?

*It’s enough to drain the Sea of Galilee dry more than 2½ times. (when the SoG is full—which it isn’t and hasn’t been for years.)

* It’s around 4 times larger than the entire annual national water consumption of Israel: the whole enchilada including domestic, industrial, meeting Israel’s agreements with Jordan and the Palestinians, etc.

* It’s enough to flood the entire Gaza Strip 28.8 meters (94.5 feet) deep. — [given that Gaza Strip is 365 square km and each square km = one million square meters] 10,500,000,000 cubic meters of water divided by 365,000,000 square meters] = 28.8 meters. 28.8 meters rounds to 94.5 feet.

*And it’s not enough. Israel’s population is growing at a rate of 1.58 percent per year. Grain imports are growing accordingly. By 2021 the country is predicted to require about 5.5 million tons of GFS alone. As the Mideast droughts continue import numbers will only increase.

The Food Security Index
At this juncture the alert Israel supporter might point with satisfaction to the Economist’s 2017 Global Food Security Index which placed Israel at 19th highest of 113 countries. Future factors, like global warming impacts, dropped Israel down to 24th place in the same report, but still, if the index is correct, either 19th or 24th would imply Israel is doing pretty well, wouldn’t it?

Or maybe not counting millions of Palestinians living there shifts the tally. A follow-up 2017 Economist report written with Italy’s Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, on the Food Security Index, gives an Israeli population of 8.5 million. That number implies Israeli Jewish colonists in the occupied territories (where Israel gets a third of its water and grows a lot of food) are included but the report doesn’t count 2.5 million food-insecure Palestinians who live on that same parcel of land, and also doesn’t include 2 million extremely food-insecure Palestinians in Gaza.

Alternatively, Israel’s place on the index may be artificially high because the index doesn’t adequately survey factors in the Jewish state like the scale of water pollution, erosion, and exhausted agricultural lands.
Then again, the list may just reflect the catastrophic condition of the rest of the world’s food supply. Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Hungary, Germany, Brazil and the United States supply most of Israel’s food imports. The index places four of these lower in food security than Israel, raising the question, ‘When your food security depends on distant places that are less food secure than you are, how secure is that?’

Israel’s food suppliers have weathered record breaking droughts on multiple years during the past decade. Their aquifers are dropping. Population stress, economic and political upheavals, and armed conflicts like those between Russia and Ukraine, can be expected to adversely impact grain production and distribution.

Another threat, peculiar to Israeli food security, is the growing worldwide boycott (BDS) of the country because of Israel’s 50+ years-long occupation of the Palestinian territories. If one or more of Israel’s food suppliers joins the boycott it will be a serious loss of calories with few, if any, other nations willing or able to take up the slack.

Before leaving this section, it’s fair to say that America imports agricultural products too, a lot of them, but according the USDA, they’re mostly from nearby Canada and Mexico, and mostly things we could get along without like coffee, spices, cut flowers, nursery stock, etc. rather than food we need to keep from starving.

Whatever happened to the early 1900’s Zionist agricultural model?
A good, simple measure of how well a country’s farming methods work is how well the farmers are doing. How many citizens work in agriculture? Do they earn a decent living? Are they viable? Are they happy with their choice of livelihood?

A hundred-twenty years ago when European Zionists began moving enmasse to Palestine to build their dream of a Jewish cooperative agricultural utopia, optimism was in the air. Most people, young to old, worked on the land. Their collaborative farms, kibbutsim and moshavim, were Jews-only community collectives. Other than the racist aspect it was a progressive experiment in many ways.

That social landscape has changed. In 2016 Yaron Solomon, Agricultural Union Settlement Department Director, pointed out that only 15,000 Israelis still live by farming and 20 percent of those are part-time.

That’s less than a third as many farmers as there were in the 1980’s. The average Israeli farmer now is 62-years-old. Young people are leaving the land for better prospects. Says Solomon, “While the Israeli government is crowing about Israeli farmers in order to attract foreign investment, so that doors will be opened to them overseas, in Israel they are being trampled. Israel is using agricultural knowledge to promote its diplomatic relations and foreign relations, but its policy in recent years has a price, and in the future, Israel will have nothing to offer the world… The Government’s policy is slowly eliminating the small growers, and when there is no renewal of fields, there is a shortage of produce and the land becomes arid.”

Israeli farmers hold lively (for farmers) protests where they do things like smash tomatoes on the road out in front of the Knesset (Israeli parliament). Or, a bunch of them drive tractors through the streets of Jerusalem. Or, they hold up traffic at intersections. Their main complaints are inevitably water costs and water allotments.

Israel depends on other countries to grow its food even on farms inside Israel

If most Israelis are getting out of farming, who is working the remaining farms? Heavy, dangerous agricultural grunt labor, like planting, weeding, spraying pesticides, herbicides (commonly with no protective gear), setting up irrigation equipment, harvesting, and loading trucks, is accomplished by some 25,000 ‘guest workers’ from Thailand, who come to Israel on five-year contracts.

They work through extreme summer heat—greenhouses can be over 120 degrees Fahrenheit—and winter cold, especially at night, which the Thais aren’t adapted to. One hundred twenty-two Thai workers died in the five years between 2008 and 2013. Of those, 22 died for unknown causes because no autopsy was done. Five committed suicide. Forty-three formerly healthy, young Thai males died from something Israelis call, “sudden nocturnal death syndrome.” During the same period only 32 Israeli occupation troops died in military conflicts. Chances of dying at work, then, were about four times higher for Thai farm workers than Israeli soldiers.

Noa Shuer from the worker’s rights group Kav LaOved, said her organization did a survey of 500 Thai workers. None of them was being paid minimum wage. Instead Thai workers are told to sign a time sheet they can’t read because it’s in Hebrew. Almost none of them get a copy. They work up to seventeen hours a day, seven days a week with four days a year off. Workers have to pay a fee, sometimes over $10,000, to brokers to work in Israel. Room, board, income taxes, and national health care fees come out of their wages. Living conditions are often squalid with workers being packed into former animal sheds or sheds where farmers keep pesticides and other chemicals.

Jewish farm owners have tremendous power over Thai workers because they know the workers have to pay back broker fees and don’t want to go home with no money. Someone who makes trouble, like asking to be paid what he or she is supposed to get, can be sent packing back to Thailand with no way to collect what they’re owed. Workers might be assigned other duties besides farming. There are many allegations of dangerous living situations and abuse, including sexual abuse. Some workers had no toilet and were told to use the field out back. In one case there was a single female living among forty male workers with a shared shower. Another woman was awarded $53,000 after she proved the farmer she worked for used her as a sex slave.

Clearly the Thais aren’t counted in the 15,000 Israeli farm workers statistic. Neither are thousands of Palestinian workers who, bereft of their own lands, are forced by economic necessity to work on farms in Israel and the occupied territories. The Palestinians also work under bad conditions for lower pay, plus they have to wait at Israeli checkpoints, both going to the fields and returning home, some rise at 3 in the morning to get in line. Palestinians working for Israelis are supposed to have Israeli-issued permits. Those without permits can be paid less money and they can’t complain because they’re working illegally and they might get carted off to jail. For the most part the Israeli government looks the other way.

Hydro diplomacy
Israel’s water technology media stream flows across the digital landscape like the Amazon River. Its headwaters are a combination of hyperbole, wishful thinking, and putting a new hat on old technologies. Headlines like, “… Israel overcomes an old foe, drought’, ‘Israeli innovation could feed the world…’ ‘12 top ways Israel feeds the world’ are the sort of nonsense Americans expected from the National Enquirer back in the 1970’s but people still buy it. So much so that it would be no surprise to read, “Israeli scientists invent fish that can breathe underwater.” or “Israeli scientists discover a plant that makes its own food from sunshine.” AIPAC leader, turned pro-Israel water author, Seth Siegel provides a simple explanation for the media stream. An interviewer asked Mr. Siegel,

Q: “Do you think Israel’s use of water saving technology can help its relationship to the outside world?”

Siegel replied: “Absolutely. I make that point in the book. There are countries that vote against Israel in the UN but when it comes to water, they invite Israel in. It is hydro-diplomacy.”

This is pretty much what the Agricultural Union’s Yaron Solomon quoted Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel saying, “Israeli agriculture is among the most advanced in the world, and we are taking steps to leverage this, both economically and politically…”

How realistic are claims that Israel has solved its water problems with technology? We need look no further than Israeli Agricultural Minister Uri Arial in December, 2017, when he called on the Israeli public to assemble at the Western Wall to PRAY FOR RAIN! Yes, as the fifth straight year of drought came knocking at the Damascus Gate, the country’s agricultural front-man was out there channeling Steve Martin in Leap of Faith. Nothing wrong with a good prayer, but ten thousand years of agriculture has shown we don’t want to bet the farm on it.

And yet here comes undaunted Israel with the audacity, the chutzpah, to claim that they can bail us out of water shortage at the very same time we are shipping them billions of tons of embedded water. American water infrastructure, especially in the West, is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers. The time approaches when we’ll have to evaluate the growing harm of sending Colorado River water, what’s left of the Ogallala Aquifer, and other precious dwindling water resources overseas.

Baseline 1 Selected Sources:

10.2018 Tony Allen. Bio. King’s College, London, website. Good thumbnail description of the virtual water concept and the good Professor, who was awarded the Stockholm World Water Prize (2008), the Florence Monito Water Prize (2013), and the Monaco Water Prize (2013).
03/05/2014 Netanyahu Offers to Help Brown Manage California Drought Bloomberg News by JonathanFerziger  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-03-05/netanyahu-offers-to-help-brown-manage-california-drought
02.18.2015 USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: Israel Grain and Feed Annual: Prepared by Gilad Shachar & Orestes Vasquez. Approved by Ron Verdonk, Minister-Counselor [From the Executive Summary: “Israel is almost completely dependent on imports to meet its grain and feed needs…Total grain, feedstuff and soybean supply will total about 5.06 million tons.”] *Note that Gilad Shachar did excellent work and his graphs and charts were clear and concise. After 2015 another author took over. [I found subsequent reports are not as clear or complete on imports and, in 2016, contain odd biblical references that I’ve never seen in technical writing.] As a work-around, you can access import/export data for most commodities from any country at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s amazing database here: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/app/index.html#/app/home There’s a row of blue bars across the screen. Choose ‘Custom Query’. There are four boxes on the new screen: Commodities, Attributes, Countries, Market Years. Click on the commodity you want to see in the first box, that brings up the Attributes menu in the next box over. Click on ‘Imports’, for Country click on ‘Israel, then select the year you want. Click the green Run Query button on lower right of screen. When you want to search for other commodities, there is a red Back to Query button to click on the upper right screen.
02.12.2016 Will beef export volume increase in 2016? Beef Magazine, by Joe Schuele,(75,000 tonnes beef.)
The National Water Carrier (Ha’ Movil Ha’ Artsi) Shmeil Kantor Formern Chief Engineer and Head of Planning Dep. Mekorot Water Co.
http://research.haifa.ac.il/~eshkol/kantorb.html
Also see: Fanak water: Israel Dr. Clive Lipchin, Director of Transboundry Water Management, Arava Institute for Environmental studies, Israel.
The Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint of Crops and Derived Crop Products. UNESCO-IHE, Institute of water education, Volume 1: Main Report. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 47.wfn.project-platforms.com/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf
2017 Global Security Index: Measuring food security and the impact of resource risk The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Dupont. Countries lower on the list than Israel, that supply food to Israel: Hungary-30, Brazil-38, Russia-41, Ukraine-63.
2017 Fixing Food: The Mediterranean Region The Economist/Intelligence Unit with Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition.
11.20.2014 Exporter Guide USDA Foreign Agricultural Service—GAIN Report. Prepared by Gilad Shachar, Approved by Orestes Vasquez, Sr. Agricultural Attaché’. damage to Israeli crops from Protective Edge.
2015 data from USDA Economic Research Service Agricultural Trade page https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/agricultural-trade/
10.18.2012 Israel to label all egg imports Green Prophet: sustainable news from the Middle East Israel imports around 80 million eggs/year from Turkey.
12.24.2017 Israeli Agriculture Minister’s solution to drought: mass western wall prayers for rain. Haaretz by Zafrir Rinat.
01.21.2015 A raw deal: abuse of Thai workers in Israel’s agricultural sector. Human Rights Watch Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Division.
Israeli Casualties of War Wikipedia  is the source of 32 combat casualties.
11.22.2016 Israel’s farmers: an endangered species Globes: Israel’s Business Arena. by Yaron Solomon, Agricultural Union Settlement Department Director. Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel quote, “Israeli agriculture is among the most advanced in the world, and we are taking steps to leverage this, both economically and politically…”
08.12.2015 How Israel will save the world: (sic) an interview with Seth Siegel. Orthodox Union by OR staff. Hydro-diplomacy quote and assertions about drip irrigation.
01.19.2018 Dry, dry, again: After several wet years, big drought is back again in Israel Haaretz by Hagal Amit. This article has the Gioria Shacham quote about don’t grow new tomatoes.

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 2 Comments

‘Majority of Scottish Public Opinion Opposed to Nuclear Weapons on West Coast’

Sputnik – April 4, 2019

Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found that the storage of obsolete nuclear submarines has cost the UK taxpayer £500m because of “dismal” failings in the government’s nuclear-decommissioning program. Sputnik spoke about it to Arthur West, the Chair of Scotland’s CND.

Sputnik: Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found that the storage of obsolete nuclear submarines has cost the UK taxpayer £500m because of “dismal” failings in the government’s nuclear-decommissioning program. How significant are these findings?

Arthur West: The figures are remarkably high, unfortunately, it’s not that surprising given the Ministry of Defence’s track record. Certainly, it’s very worrying from a health and safety point of view, but it’s also very worrying about the east coast possibility getting out of hand in the future. So, there obviously has to be some action taken and taken pretty quickly.

Sputnik: What effect will this have on efforts for nuclear disarmament both in the public and political consciousness?

Arthur West: Yes, I think one of the main reasons for getting rid of nuclear weapons is not only the cost of maintaining but then the cost of disposing of them, the submarines and the nuclear waste material left over. So I do actually think this will emphasize to the public the cost and that I think might see most people questioning whether we actually need to renew the current range of nuclear weapons that we’ve got that the government seem intent on doing.

Sputnik: From a Scottish perspective the arguments are very different from the ones in England. Could we see a massive shift in public opinion going forwards across the whole of Britain rather than just say Scotland on the West Coast?

Arthur West: Yeah, I think that could be the case. Obviously, it’s very much an issue for ourselves because 25 miles down the road from our biggest city we have these nuclear weapons, these weapons of mass destruction, and it’s an astonishing and sad fact of life but that obviously helps to galvanize in the majority and the evidence is there. A majority of Scottish public opinion is opposed to these nuclear weapons. I think these revelations over the cost and the difficulties of disposing of the waste will bring further people to our position across the UK. It certainly encourages us to double our efforts to stop the replacement of the current nuclear weapons and get rid of them completely.

Read also:

UK Nuclear Submarine Almost Crashes Into Passenger Ferry in Irish Sea – Reports

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment