Here's a little rambam* that until now had slipped under my radar, probably because, as far as I'm aware, it received zero attention in the Australian ms media. The rambammed were a gaggle of Lib-Lab student politicians whose knowledge of the Middle East conflict appears to be zero, no doubt making them ideal material for a rambamming. Their essential cluelessness, and the wide-eyed innocence with which they appear to have taken the lolly waved at them by a certain unmentionable with a jutting agenda, surely marks them out for political office in this great nation of ours. [*For a definition, see my previous post.]
The extract below comes from a Jewish National Fund (JNF) press release, Young Australian politicians visit KKL Negev water projects, published in The Jerusalem Post on August 8. My comments in square brackets bold:
"'Many Middle-Eastern experts are of the opinion that future wars in the Middle East will be caused by the region's severe water shortage, which is why the issue is so high on Israel's priority list'. Tania Levi, a KKL-JNF tourist guide, was explaining the importance of KKL-JNF's water projects to a group of young Australian politicians who were visiting Israel as part of a fact-finding mission [!] to the Middle East. Members of the group included Duncan McDonald, John Shipp, Xavier Williams, Jesse Overton-Skinner, Eloise Howse, Jesse Marshall and Joel Burnie [of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)]. The organizers of the group's trip to Israel [Obviously, AIJAC] asked that the group visit KKL-JNF sites in the Negev desert where they could see Israel's water conservation efforts firsthand and understand their geopolitical significance. This was the first time that the group had heard about KKL-JNF [!!], so Tania briefly reviewed KKL-JNF's history and described the organization's unique position in Israel, emphasizing the fact that KKK-JNF is Israel's largest and and oldest green organization [!!! Just click on the JNF tag at the bottom of this post and check this one out. If you've only time for one post, read A Certain Jewish Tree Planting Group (14/6/08)] and leads the country's water recycling efforts. The site chosen as an example of a large-scale water recycling project in the desert was the recently dedicated Arye Pools near Beersheva, which is part of the Bnei Shimon region water reclamation project and is sponsored by JNF Australia. The building of the Arye Pools was made possible thanks to a contribution of Tom and Rae Mandel, also from Australia. Tania opened a map of Israel and showed the group where the Arye Pools and the Negev desert are located: 'To get an idea of how important water is to any agreement reached between the countries of the Middle East', Tania continued, 'let's look at the peace agreement Israel signed with Jordan. One of the stipulations of that contract is that Israel must provide Jordan with nearly 75 million cubic meters of water per year. This is quite an undertaking for a country with very limited freshwater resources. In order to be able to meet this obligation, Israel through KKL-JNF, has become the world leader [!!!!] in recycling purified sewage water for agricultural purposes. Almost 70% of our sewage is recycled, freeing up precious drinking water for domestic usage'." [What a wonderful neighbour Israel is! Sewage is recycled merely to please Jordan! Did our budding apparatchiks chorus 'Awesome!'?]
I interrupt young Tania for a minute to pose a question: What is the JNF really up to in the Negev?
In a word, Judaisation: "The [Israeli] government has several reasons for developing the Negev. It wants to bring jobs to rural Israel, more evenly distribute the country's population and tip the Arab-Jewish democratic balance in the Negev and Galilee regions - where there are heavy concentrations of Israeli Arabs - more solidly in favour of Jews. This is part and parcel with how Israel's leadership envisions the Jewish state. Not only must Israel as a whole be mostly Jewish, but every major region within it should be majority Jewish too... While the Negev is roughly 60% Jewish, the Arabs who live there - most of them Bedouin - have much higher birthrates than the local Jews. The government has tried to shore up the Jewish population of the Negev by encouraging new [Jewish] immigrants to move there... The JNF is investing $600 million [Tax free? but of course!] over 10 years in a plan called Blueprint Negev to build new communities in the rural desert, improve Beersheva's infrastructure, invest in the city's hospital, university and cultural institutions, and increase employment opportunities in the area." (The Negev's 21st-century pioneers, Uriel Heilman, B'nai B'rith Magazine, Winter 2008-2009)]
To return to Tania's greenwash: "KKL-JNF has built over 220 water reservoirs throughout the country over the past few years. In any future agreement with Palestinians, water will be a major issue. Water knows no political borders. If, for example, the Palestinian city of Nablus does not treat its sewage, it flows over the green line towards the Israeli city of Netanya [Is there no end to Palestinian terrorism?]... [T]he group was fascinated by Tania's detailed presentation, and asked many questions about KKL-JNF and the water crisis. They were especially interested to hear about recycling, desalination, and the proposed Dead Sea-Red Sea Canal. Their schedule, however, was very tight, and Tania wanted to show them how recycled water made the desert bloom... [An oldie, but a goldie. For the dirt on Israel's incredible reputation as a bloomer of deserts, see my 25/11/08 post Sir Bob Wows JNFaithful at Galah Dinner.]"
Dashed pity about the kids having such a tight schedule. I'm sure that's all that prevented them from popping into Beersheva's Ben-Gurion University and hearing from academic Neve Gordon a first hand account of Israel's other method of tipping the Arab-Jewish demographic balance more solidly in favour of Jews: ethnic cleansing: "The signs of destruction [in the Bedouin village of Arakib] were immediately evident. I first noticed the chickens and geese running loose near a bulldozed house, and then saw another house and then another one, all of them in rubble. A few children were trying to find a shaded spot to hide from the scorching desert sun, while behind them a stream of black smoke rose from the burning hay. The sheep, goats and cattle were nowhere to be seen - perhaps because the police had confiscated them. Scores of Bedouin men were standing on a yellow hill, sharing their experiences from the early morning hours, while all around them uprooted olive trees lay on the ground. A whole village comprising between 40 and 45 houses had been completely razed in less than 3 hours." (Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev: The razing of a Bedouin village by Israeli police show just how far the state will go to achieve its aim of Judaising the Negev region, guardian.co.uk, 28/7/10)