The myth of the thirsty Palestinian

The issue of water rights in the West Bank is constantly raised in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, appearing again and again in public discourse around the world. According to critics of Israel, the Jewish state selfishly exploits the area’s water supplies and denies access to the local population. In doing so, the critics say, Israel is not only abandoning its responsibilities to the West Bank Palestinians, but ruthlessly and illegally abusing the natural resources of the occupied territory. This idea has become extremely widespread in the international media, and was recently voiced from the Knesset plenum by the President of the European Parliament, Herman Schultz, causing a minor scandal in Israel and abroad.

Water from the Mediterranean Sea rushes through pipes en route to being filtered for use across Israel in a process called desalination, which could soon account for 80% of the country’s potable water

As with all attacks on Israel, the truth is much more complicated and, to a great extent, precisely the opposite of what the critics claim. When one examines the relevant data, it becomes clear that, under Israeli rule, the Palestinian water supply has become larger, more technologically sophisticated, of higher quality, and much easier to access; almost entirely due to Israeli efforts.

The truth is, most of the claims made against Israel on this issue are nothing but empty propaganda. They are based on claims that are simply untrue and/or based on a lack of basic knowledge of the topography of Israel and the West Bank. The latter in particular often creates total confusion in regard to everything connected to the legal issues surrounding West Bank water sources, and especially its important underground aquifers…

Share