Swimming in Troubled Waters

Posted on October 27th, 2009

water-drop-aI swim in a pool five minutes from my house several times a week. I enjoy swimming and include it as part of my workouts that will hopefully lead me to an Iron Man competition. Yet now, Amnesty International says that I really have no right to swim because my Palestinian neighbors can’t drink. As part of the Evil Occupation Force, I am automatically assumed to be a violator of Palestinian human rights – especially when I swim.

So the question is: Should I feel guilty that I use more water than an average Palestinian? While Amnesty International just published a report claiming that I should, they left out a few inconvenient facts from their manifesto:

First: In the famous war-ending Oslo Accords, Israel and the Palestinian Authority negotiated how much water would be provided to each side. Israel routinely violates this agreement by providing the Palestinians with more water than agreed to.

Second:Israel continues to invest my tax dollars into increasing the water supply. More wells are being dug, desalination plants are being built, and sewage treatment plants are converting waste water to agricultural uses. On the other hand, the Palestinians are using some of the billions of dollars in aid they receive from American and European tax payers each year to build water purification plants pay bloated salaries to bureaucrats.

Third: Israel has launched a huge public information campaign to reduce water consumption. The Frankls are now limited to 5 minute showers even after 30 kilometer runs. The Palestinians meanwhile  have launched a public campaign to save water blame Israel for water shortages.

Fourth: Israel is trying to stop water theft from pipelines and aqueducts so that there is enough water to go around. The Palestinians also try and stop are the ones stealing it.

Fifth: while Israel continues to build sewage treatment plants and has offered to help the Palestinians build their own, this would involve recognizing the legitimacy of Israel. So instead the Palestinians continue to dump sewage into streams and rivers which:

  • Wastes water
  • Creates a public health danger
  • Makes a really obnoxious odor when I ride through certain areas.

According to the stats provided by Government spokesman Mark Regev:

Israeli fresh water use per capita had gone down since 1967 due to efficiency and new technologies, while the Palestinians’ use had increased and more than a third of their water was wasted.

For some strange reason, none of the above made it into the Amnesty International report. Instead, the media are eating up the report (because human rights groups must always be right, right?) with headlines such as:


No, couldn't be a set-up BBC photo of a thirsty kid.

Report: Palestinians denied water (BBC)

Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.

Palestinians’ Water Cut ‘To A Trickle’ (SKY NEWS)

Amnesty International has launched a scathing attack on Israel, accusing it of rationing Palestinians to a “trickle of water”.

And my personal favorite from the Times of London (Thanks Backspin)

Palestinians suffer under Israeli water torture

There’s a lot more from all those journalists whose mission in life is to get to the facts show how miserable Israel is. But you get the picture.

So can I possibly risk being labeled a human rights abuser by going to the pool tonight? In the words of the linguistically concise Sarah Palin:

“You Betcha!”

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  1. Paul Goldstein says:

    Enjoy your swim, and feel guilty because had not Arafat died, he surely would have built an Olympic-sized pool for his cronies with his stolen money.

  2. Moshe says:

    FYI: Many years ago the Gush used to get very high-quality water from a well near Herodion. The aim was to provide water to East Jerusalem, as well as villages and settlements along the way.

    Of course that led to a complaint to the UN.

    The results: The well was closed and we now get water of much lower quality from Adullam at twice the distance and at enormous expense as it must be pumped up some 500+ meters from the valley.

    Another example of the approach taken by Arab leaders for the welfare of their people Cut their noses to spite their face!

  3. Sharon says:

    Yarden, keep training, and go for the gold. Just as Am Yisrael loves its land, it loves its water. That’s why we try to save it. When the Arabs waste and putrify the water, they are just proving once again, that they have no attachment to the water or the land.