Archive for July 21st, 2009

Israel, Palestine, and Water

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Anyone who has been to “the Holy Land” or even been in a drought knows how important water is. Biblical images of life-giving streams take on richer theological and practical significance upon reflection on such experiences.

My friend and colleague Carole Burnett recently returned from another trip to Israel and Palestine. Today she has an eloquentt letter in the Washington Post responding to Monday’s op-ed piece by Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister of Israel, arguing that growth within Israel’s already-existing settlements should not be seen as problematic.

Carole claims that Israelis are diverting water that rightfully belongs to Palestinians, that Israelis are polluting Palestinian land, and that many Palestinians are not getting the safe water they need (and, I should add, that is a basic human right).

She concludes the letter as follows:

So let us hear no more about the alleged necessity of allowing the settler population to expand. Even if Israel begins to abide by its agreement to halt its confiscation of Palestinian land, its ever-encroaching appropriation of Palestinian resources must also be stopped if there is to be any hope for a viable Palestinian state and, thus, for the two-state solution that Mr. Olmert professes to support.