Israel/Palestine

The ecopolitics beneath the world’s hottest conflict.

Reuters/Mohammed Salem

Whatever political slant people assume on the Israel-Palestine issue, no one can deny that Israel has carved out a mighty little name for itself over the past sixty-five years. The tiny country’s political gravity is so immense that all discourse on the Middle East tends to magnify itself onto the global stage—usually through an Israeli lens.

But the Israeli-Palestinian strife long ago surpassed the petty ancient arguments over who settled where, when and for what reasons. As seasons grow more extreme by the year, the issue has become a prescient case study on the lengths people will go in order to secure their future. In a climatic terror zone, Israel secured its existence by assuming control of major water sources. And it’s up to the leaders to defend that, and their global sway—with nukes if need be.

Unlike its Arab neighbours of similar febrile religiosity, Israel consistently managed to receive passes at the UN for full governance over whatever lands they deemed necessary for a secure state. No UN representative dared to question Israel’s 1967 expansion to the Golan Heights, in which they secured the Sea of Galilee, and 30 percent of Israel’s water supply today.

The redrawn borders gave no water to the Syrians, but the concessions gave Israel a much needed moral facelift. They played another concessionary note and pulled out of the Gaza Strip after water desalination technology reached a world-class standard in Israel—and Gazans were put under crippling sanctions to ensure Tel Aviv could have its afternoon coffee without imminent rocket-propelled death. Now, Gazans are free to suckle on whatever dregs trickle out of the Coastal Aquifer.

In the West Bank, on the other hand, we have an administrative and geopolitical clusterfuck. Below the IDF-controlled Area C which occupies 60 per cent of the West Bank … where all Israeli settlements are, but only four percent of the West Bank Palestinians reside … there lies 50 percent of Israel’s water supply. Areas A and B house the vast majority of Palestinians who buy inadequately rationed water from state companies.

In the merciless desert, existential security means guaranteed and uncontested access to water. And for that sole reason, there may never be peace in Israel—nor a two-state solution—because Israel’s regional and global power is inextricably linked to the life juice beneath the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank.

On this over-sullied planet, secure access to clean drinking water is an absolute survivalist necessity … you are either flourishing or withering. The morality behind ostentatious floral arrangements outside of settler homes or the bombing of “illegal” Palestinian wells in AREA C is purely subjective material for career politicians to mull over.