The vast majority of literature around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been expressly focused on negotiating a peace treaty that satisfies the nationalistic urges of both parties in the conflict. Many prominent authors have simply designated the "right to exist" as an independent state as the most important feature that Palestine and Israel has sought after.1 While this claim does have its merits, many authors have failed to acknowledge the complexity of the situation; while the satisfaction of nationalistic urges are certainly important for negotiations, above all the Palestinians want to have the right to exist as a nation that is not "oppressed" by the Israelis. The question of the Israel's right to existence in international law is certainly an interesting topic; however, this paper will refrain from addressing that question in order to prevent possible bias. That being said, it is certainly necessary to understand both sides of the arguments to better understand how to craft an effective peace treaty between the two nations.
This paper argues that the lack of a fundamental right to existence, what Palestine seeks to fix the most, is attributed to the lack of water in the Arab region. By delineating the damaging aspects of the water problem, this paper even furthers that aside from the hard, numerical aspects of water, much of the competition over water serves an intangible purpose to the Palestinians in its struggle for autonomy. Using surveys that have been conducted over the past few years, this paper will identify how water extends beyond just economics but also pervades throughout the many actions of the Jews and Palestinians, which has prevented effective negotiations.
[...] "Leak Detection FAQ." Department of Water Resources, State of California Accessed July http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/faq/faq.cfm. "LI 861 Project." LI 861 Project. Accessed July http://academic.emporia.edu/abersusa/gis/students/meyer/. Lowri, Miriam. "The Politics of Water: The Jordan River and the Riparian States." McGill Studies in International Developement, 35th ser. (September 1984): 1-49. Maoz, Ifat, and Clark McCauley. "Psychological Correlates of Support for Compromise: A Polling Study of Jewish-Israeli Attitudes toward Solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." Political Psychology 26, no (2005): 791-808. doi: 10.1111 /j.1467- 9221.2005 .00444.x. [...]
[...] While it is argued that the War of 1948 was vital in the guarantee of Israel's status as a state12, this paper argues that at the end of the War of 1948, Israel had the alternative goal of securing land masses rich with water. The result of the war also led Israel to claim much of the land of Arabian Palestine. Aside from that Israel also pushed out all the Palestinians in these areas and effectively left more than half a million Palestinians as refugees.13 This flagrant abuse of human rights has yet to be solved. [...]
[...] One of the biggest problems is that Hamas has control over schools and brainwashes students to believe the hardliner ideology of the Hamas themselves.44If this continues, Gaza's youth generation will not have a positive perception of Israel, which will ultimately lead to a fundamental incompatibility between the generation and peace talks. And yet, all of this was caused by the Israel, initially wanting to push Palestinians away for more access to water. The sixth aspect of agreement is the removal of the threat of behaviors and attitudes of opposing sides. [...]
[...] For example the Mekorot, Israel's water system, currently supplies approximately 75 MCM of which come directly from the West Bank.18 In fact, the access to fresh water in Israel is 4 times that of Palestine per capita and its GNI is 18 times larger than that of Palestine.19 If current level of use were legitimate, the problem would not be so severe. However, in accordance to the Oslo II agreements, the Israelis have exceeded the withdrawal levels by up to 1.8 times and are currently using the mountain aquifer 50% above its safe capacity. In comparison, the Palestinians are severely restricted from using it. [...]
[...] Nominally there are institutional supports, the JWC. However, because there is limited water, the JWC has been used for every purpose but promoting interstate peace. As mentioned before, the JWC, while a committee comprised of both Palestinians and Israelis, slants largely in the favor of the Israelis because of informal agreements and an asymmetric balance of power. As a result, the institutional support, if anything has only exacerbated the possibility of agreement because of the issue of water. In a hundred page survey conducted by the World Bank, one of the key conclusions that it reaches is that the JWC, in congruence with the lack of infrastructure and instability, is ruining any possibility for foreign investment in the Western Bank's infrastructure. [...]
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