Blog: The intricacies of Israel
February 3, 2017
Hello, my name is Adi Mayer. I am a sophomore at the high school, and if there is one thing I have noticed about this school, it is that there is a lot of the same opinion being heard. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does not leave a lot of space for other opinions. Different people have varied perspectives on life, and therefore, have contrasting beliefs, and all of them deserve to be advocated for. One perspective that I would like to hear more of is the pro-Israel stance. As someone with an Israeli background, this topic is very important to me and by writing this piece, I was hoping to begin to build a voice for this stance in Brookline High School.
It is hard to think of a country that has experienced more diplomatic isolation than Israel, despite the fact that Israel has managed to combat and find solutions to so many crises that many countries share. While Israel is not very rich in natural resources, it has a vast wealth of intellectual resources and can share its knowledge in areas such as agriculture, medical research, technology and others with other countries. This is why it is so surprising that it doesn’t have many allies. An example of an issue that Israel has made incredible strides to solve is the water crisis that will soon begin to plague the rest of the world. Even though Israel is mostly desert, it has managed to gain an abundance of water due to its water technology programs. According to businessman, activist and writer, Seth M. Siegle’s book, Let there be Water, the United States government predicts that in the near future, 40 of our 50 states, along with 60 percent of the earth, will be experiencing a large gap between the supply and demand for water in general. If this goes unacknowledged, our country and many others, will fall victim to rising food prices, political instability and slowing of economic growth. That is why we must seek advice and help from a country that has already found a solution to this problem. If the US approaches Israel for guidance and support in this water crisis, it can eliminate many of the future problems that will come to be.
According to the Stratfor, Israel provides about 265 cubic meters of water per person annually from natural sources. This is much lower than the U.N.’s definition of water poverty, which is anything below 1,000 cubic meters per person per year. Before it began to create alternative ways to obtain water, Israel had to get most of its water from outside its borders. It got 310 million cubic meters from Lebanon, 375 million cubic meters from Syria and 345 million cubic from the West Bank. All of the countries in this dry region competed for the water. It was even more difficult for Israel, as many of these countries did not support a Jewish state and would not give Israel the water they needed. This is why the country had to resort to other solutions, jump-starting the new innovation in water technology.
Israel has various methods and techniques of increasing the water supply. One of these methods was successfully turning sewage into water that can be used in farming. Over 85 percent of Israel’s sewage is reused. Siegel calls it, “a parallel water system in an arid region” it has played a significant role in fighting the water shortage in Israel. They also took many actions to improve the water quality in rivers. Much of it used to be undrinkable, but after repair, restoration and enforcement of environmental laws, the water is now safe to consume. This is greatly due to the fact that much less sewage is ending up in the river because it is being reused. Israel has also found a way to “desalt” seawater in an inexpensive way by pumping seawater through several feet of sand. This was an incredible achievement, as doing such in the rest of the world was mostly theoretical. They have the solutions, now America just has to go and get them.
In fact, Southern California, which is experiencing their fourth consecutive year of drought, has already begun to seek Israel’s help. According to an article on the Huffington Post, written by Adam Milstein, the chairman of the Israeli American Council, California delegates will be meeting with Israeli leaders and scientists to learn about the innovations and methods Israel has been using to solve their water problems. Israel and Southern California have created a partnership that, according to Milstein, “will foster research collaboration and enable the sharing of strategies in areas of mutual interest in urban development, safe cities, community diversity and in particular, on sustainability projects, such as water conservation and sourcing alternative energy.” I have faith that this alliance will lead to new ideas and solutions that will lead to a prosperous environment for the people of Israel and Southern California.
In this world of so many problems, it is important to find those who have similar issues and work together to solve them. There are some things that you simply cannot or should not have to do alone. That is why I so strongly believe that the rest of the US should follow in California’s footsteps and work to solidify its alliance with Israel. The two countries share so much common ground on their issues and beliefs. They both are democratic nations who want peace and prosperity for their people and there is a lot that they can do to help each other achieve this. The water crisis is only one of the many battles that the two countries must fight together and perhaps it can even be a stepping stone to a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship between them.