The Annenberg Space for Photography in California is presenting National Geographic photos examining the dangerous state of the world’s fresh water. Most of the photos are amazing. A few are infuriating.
Of 65 photographs on display, 10 photos by Paolo Pellegrin (2009) are dedicated to Israel. Had Pellegrin stuck to photography the situation wouldn’t be so bad. His lame attempts at writing captions allow a glimps into his political agenda and his attempt at image manipulation to serve this agenda, even without using Photoshop. Pellegrin’s captions warp reality and try to create a picture in which Israel hoards water, steals from its neighbors and uses water to abuse Palestinians.
Paolo my dear, Israel has been blocking Syrian access to Lake Kinneret, The Sea of Galilee, since 1967 because in 1967 Syrian leadership began shelling and air raids into northern Israel and the civilian towns and villages on the shores of Lake Kinneret. Strengthened by false Egyptian claims of a crushing victory against the Israeli army in the 1967 Six-Day-War, Syria made a fatal mistake in enetering the war. Israel captured the Golan Heights and all Lake Kinneret shores and and has been in a state of war with Syria ever since. The non-democratic Assad regime, in control since 1970, and the declared ‘state of emergency’ since 1962 suspending constitutional rights from it’s citizens, consider it more important to harbor terror and side with Iran and Hezbollah rather than promoting peace in the region, coming to terms with Israel, and perhaps regaining access to the shores of lake Kinneret.
Quoting from Israel’s Consul General for Los Angeles, Jacob Dayan’s letter to to the Annenberg Foundation:
Israel, with a 75% water recycling rate, is the world’s number one water recycler. The second largest water recycler is Spain, with a rate of 12%.
Israeli-invented Drip Irrigation helped achieve 70%-80% of water efficiency in agriculture -the highest rate in the world.
Israel is home to the world’s largest Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant, annually producing 100 million m3 at the low cost of approximately $0.52 per m3 of water – the most cost-efficient of its kind in the world.
Israel’s total water consumption has remained the same since the 1960s, despite a growing population, rising water requirements and increasing agricultural production.
Since 1958, MASHAV – the Center for International Cooperation of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, has trained almost 200,000 course participants from approximately 140 countries and has developed dozens of demonstration projects worldwide in fields of Israeli expertise including water resource management.
And (produced by http://www.standwithus.com):
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have made joint decisions about water issues through the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Commission since 1994. Palestinians’ consumption of fresh water in the West Bank grew dramatically between 1967 and 2008.
• Overall consumption in the West Bank rose 300%, from 60 million cubic meters to 180 million cubic meters per year.
• Consumption per person grew almost 20%, from 86 million cubic meters to 100 million cubic meters per year.
The gap between Israeli and Palestinian water usage is closing. While Palestinians in the West Bank are consuming more fresh water, Israelis are consuming less and less because of conservation, recycling, and desalination.
• Israelis used 422 million cubic meters more water per person than the Palestinians in 1967; this gap fell 600% by 2008 when Israelis consumed 70 million cubic meters more per person that the Palestinians did.
• The water from the Mountain Aquifer flows naturally into Israel. Before 1967, Israel used almost 100% of the water. Today, Israel uses only 83% of it.
• Israel’s per capita consumption of fresh water dropped 300% from 508 million cubic meters in 1967 to 170 million cubic meters in 2008, while West Bank per capita use rose 20% in the same period.
Israel has been giving water to Palestinians, over and above the supplement agreed on during the Oslo Accords.
• Israel has given the West Bank 70 million cubic meters per year, three times more than the agreed amount of 23.6 million cubic meters per year. Israel also pumps 5 million cubic meters into Gaza annually. Israel does not use water from the West Bank or Gaza.
• Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not use Palestinian water. They are connected to Israel’s water system, not to the Palestinian Authority’s water system.
• Israel uses the same aquifers for its water today that it used before 1967, with the exception of the eastern aquifer, which provides only marginal amounts of water to the West Bank.
• Israel does not impede the flow of water to Gaza from the Gaza aquifer. The aquifer water flows from east to west. Gaza’s access to this water is unaffected by how the water flowing further north, in Israel, is used.
To the National Geographic and Annenberg Foundation editors and curators I say “You have failed!”
And to you, Pellegrin – Stick to Photography, your writing stinks!