Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Worldwide Water Crisis

VIDEO Of The Week - Is the world going into a water crisis?

Israel 21 C, By Abigail Klein Leichman - For the full article go to -

A visit to the country’s largest desalination and wastewater-treatment plants reveals smart technologies and policies to keep the water running.

Israel has solved its water crisis! That’s a typical headline about Israel’s world-leading smart water management and advanced water technology.
Five years into a severe drought, it’s more accurate to say that Israel is constantly inventing and implementing practical solutions to a problem that is not entirely solvable.

Due to climate change, Israel’s October-to-March rainy season has been reduced to a handful of torrentially rainy days, causing most of the precious liquid to be lost to runoff. The North’s waterways are no longer an abundant trickle-down source for much of the country; the Sea of Galilee is approaching its lowest-ever level.

Since 2005, wastewater reclamation and seawater desalination have become key in assuring an adequate supply — 2.1 billion cubic meters annually — to Israeli households, industry and agriculture.

Some 31 percent of irrigation water originates from wastewater treated at more than 150 plants. Treated brackish water (not as salty as seawater) is supplied from 45 plants for both agricultural and non-agricultural needs.
Sixty to 80% of Israel’s municipal water, adjusted according to season and real-time demand, flows from large coastal desal plants in Sorek, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Palmachim and Hadera.

“In 2014, we thought we had enough [desalinated water] capacity, 600 million cubic meters, that it didn’t matter how much [rain] God will supply in the winter,” says Yaacoby, chief of staff to the CEO of Mekorot, Israel’s national water carrier. “That was a mistake. We are lacking 100 million to 200 million cubic meters of water per year in Israel these days.”. Two more desalination plants are to be completed in the next few years. “Altogether, in 2025 we will be getting 1.1 billion cubic meters of desalinated water,” Yaacoby says.

Sorek, world’s largest desal plant

Operational since 2013, Sorek is the largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant in the world. It is operated for the government by water-treatment pioneer IDE Technologies, established in 1965 by Technion-trained scientists. IDE is now a multinational company with 400 desal and wastewater treatment installations in more than 40 countries.
Mekorot distributes the desalinated, quality-tested water (after essential minerals have been re-added) to 57 municipal water utilities throughout Israel. From Sorek, it costs about 55 cents per cubic meter; somewhat more from the other four plants.

By comparison, it costs 10 cents to get a cubic meter of freshwater from Israel’s natural sources – whose supply is fast declining. In some other countries, desalinated water costs as much as $3 per cubic meter.
Desalination normally uses chemicals, which present an environmental problem when the brine is discharged back to the sea. IDE uses chemical-free biological and physical processes customized for each installation.

To avoid harming the little fish and fish eggs that pass through the screens on the intake pipes bringing in 40,000 cubic meters of seawater per hour, IDE is developing “nursery” tanks where the creatures are harbored until they choose to swim back to their habitat via rotating doors.

Wastewater reclamation

Covering 250 acres, Shafdan is the biggest wastewater treatment plant in a country that recycles more water (85-90%) than anywhere else. The reclaimed water, which is close to drinking quality, is pumped to Negev farms for irrigation. Shafdan uses biological and mechanical means to treat all sewage effluent from the Dan (Greater Tel Aviv) region, home to approximately 250,000 to 300,000 people, Shafdan, established in 1955, receives 470,000 cubic meters of raw sewage daily. Reclaiming the water from this sewage supplies 140 million cubic meters to Israeli farms annually just from this one facility.

Clouds and leaks

Mekorot’s WaTech runs several R&D centers that collaborate with industry and academia. One of these centers is at Shafdan, where there is an urgent need for more compact treatment methods in order to free up some of the valuable real estate on which the plant sits. A variety of pilot projects will determine the best path forward.

Cloud seeding was once thought a promising procedure for squeezing more rain from the skies. But experiments have been disappointing so far. Right now there is only one small cloud-seeding experiment over the Sea of Galilee.

That sea – actually a lake, called the Kinneret in Hebrew — today supplies a mere 50 million cubic meters of water to area villages in Israel and 50 million to Jordan every year. There is a new plan to take desalinated seawater from the new plants to enrich the Sea of Galilee by 2030,

More helpful in boosting available water supply is Israel’s exceptionally low rate of leakage, he adds. In most countries, an average of 30% of expensive treated water is lost through leakage before reaching customers. “Israel’s leakage rate is lowest in the world, on average 7-8%,” says Yaacoby. This is partly because Israel’s distribution infrastructure is relatively young and isn’t subject to extreme temperature fluctuations that can burst pipes.

The Israeli startup Utilis

 is revolutionizing leak detection, using satellite-mounted radar — developed originally to find water on Mars and Venus — to map out where drinking water is escaping from the system. Since 2016, Utilis technology has been employed in 27 countries including China, US and UK.

Assuring a wet future

While Israeli knowhow and technology have a well-deserved place in the world spotlight, conservation and awareness are critically important in assuring adequate and affordable water, emphasizes Oded Distel, director of Israel NewTech in the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

“Whatever we eat or wear is tightly connected to water consumption,” he says. “Every cup of coffee takes 130 liters to produce from the phase of growing the beans to our cup. A pair of jeans takes 1,320 liters. One kilogram of steak takes 15,400 liters.”

The coming generation will only have enough access to safe water if countries stop wasteful practices like flood irrigation, get leakage under control, and incentivize conservation by charging consumers the actual cost of water.

“People have long expected to get water for free, and that is a big obstacle to building sustainable systems and leads to people not getting any water or low-quality water. When people pay for something it has a value and they are motivated to use it more efficiently.”

Distel believes Israel can serve as a role model for its reliable, sustainable, centralized water system in an arid land where there is no private ownership of water and everyone gets a monthly water bill.

“The outcome is that wherever you are in Israel, when you open the tap you get high-quality drinking water, which is not something that happens everywhere in the world,” Distel says.

Click here to find out about WaterLine, Israel NewTech’s English-language podcast dealing with water issues in the global arena.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

REAL Co-Existence In The Jordan Valley

Video Of The Week - REAL Co-Existence - Arab And Jewish Medics-

ISRAEL21c visits Israeli farm country, where a revived and thriving agriculture industry benefits Jewish and Arab residents.

By Abigail Klein Leichman  19-9-2019

They couldn’t believe we were living on a rocky hill. They said, ‘You cannot eat from this land! You won’t last long.’ But now my grandchildren are here too,” Rozenblum told a group of journalists in the herb-packing house at Moshav Naama, an agricultural community of 50 families.

Premium Medjoul dates are the main crop grown on the 21 Israeli communities of the Jordan Valley, including Moshav Naama. According to the Israel Plants Production and Marketing Board, farms in the Jordan and Arava valleys provide the majority of the Medjoul dates in the world market.

“Thirty-five years ago, you didn’t see one date here. It was all desert,” says Rozenblum.

The pioneers used Israeli agricultural advances, including drip irrigation with purified wastewater, to turn the valley into an oasis of date orchards, reviving a crop that thrived here in biblical times.
Long since moved off the hilltop, Moshav Naama has 5 hectares (about 12.5 acres) of date palms, annually producing between 50 and 70 tons of fruit sold through cooperatives under various brand names.

The families here also grow herbs, organic vegetables and table grapes. Rozenblum’s son raises tropical fish for export.
Not only did the original residents happily prove their friends in Jericho wrong, but they shared their cultivars and ag-tech expertise. As a result, several Jericho families were able to revitalize the city’s prosperous ancient date industry that had lain dormant for many years despite its abundant natural springs, Rozenblum says.

Ruled by Jordan from 1949 to 1967, and by Israel from 1967 to 1994, Jericho now is administered by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli citizens may enter only with a special permit.

But the warm working relationships forged in the 1980s and early 1990s continue to bear fruit. Jericho residents are among the 6,000 to 9,000 Palestinian Arabs – depending on the season — who rely on the Israeli farms of the Jordan Valley for employment.

Harvesting and packing dates, peppers, grapes, herbs and even pineapple in these 21 communities pays double the money they would earn doing agricultural work in Palestinian villages, Rozenblum says.

Jordan Valley Regional Council Mayor David Alhayani puts it this way: “We want them to work with us and they want to work with us.”

On his own farm, Rozenblum grows sweet basil and tarragon all year in greenhouses.

Because temperatures in the Jordan Valley can climb to 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) on summer days, the packing house is air-conditioned to keep workers comfortable while they sort and box the herbs for export.

“We ship via air to Europe, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. By the next day it’s in the supermarket,” says Rozenblum.

In the past few years, a new crop of young Israelis began moving to the area, some of them returning to where they were raised. Although 70% of adults in the Israeli Jordan Valley communities work in agriculture, not all the newcomers are interested in farming.

“It’s a wonderful place to live and to raise children, and we are only 45 minutes from the center of Jerusalem and one and a half hours from Tel Aviv,” says Rozenblum. “Our children are coming back for the quality of life.”


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Israel’s Budding Relationship With Group of Arab States

Video Of The Week  Danger! - No entrance for Jews -

The Algemeiner - by Roie Yellinek – 26-08-2019

For the full article go to -

Though it is largely motivated by mutual concerns about surging Iranian imperialism, the strengthening of Israel’s relationship with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) monarchies could ultimately help reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, most Arab states have refused to grant it any form of recognition. It was not until March 1979 that Egypt breached this rejectionist wall by signing a peace treaty with the Jewish state, with Jordan following suit in 1994. The rest of the Arab world remained uniformly hostile to the idea of any warming of relations with Israel.

Recent events indicate, however, that this monolithic hostility may be on the wane. Developments over the past year suggest that there may be a future in which Arab states and Israel can engage in diplomatic and security cooperation, and reduce their mutual animosity.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), in a meeting with leaders of Jewish communities in the US in April, said in response to Hamas’ year-long violent clashes along the Gaza-Israel border fence: “The Palestinians need to accept [Trump’s] proposal or stop complaining.” Later, in an interview in The Atlantic, he acknowledged the right of the Jewish people to their own country and land.

In May, cyclist teams from Bahrain and the UAE participated in the Giro d’Italia cycling competition, which was held in Israel. In July, an Israeli delegation participated in UNESCO’s annual international conference in Bahrain. Last October, Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev visited Abu Dhabi for the Grand Slam World Tour. Then, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu visited Muscat, the capital of Oman.

The day after Netanyahu’s visit, Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs called on GCC members to recognize Israel. On November 6, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Yisrael Katz visited Oman to attend an international conference on transportation, and was greeted with a heavily publicized formal diplomatic greeting. In December, Israel hosted a delegation of 30 Muslim clerics from Bahrain to participate in religious discourse. Last year also saw the establishment of Dubai’s first synagogue.

The Israeli delegation’s participation in UNESCO’s annual international conference in Bahrain took place after Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa gave a speech at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in which he condemned the Arab boycott of Israel and publicly declared that Bahrain’s citizens are allowed to visit Israel. Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, tweeted that Israel has the right to protect itself after Iran’s violation of the local status quo. These statements by prominent Arab figures about Israel are nearly unprecedented.

The visit in October by Netanyahu and the director of the Mossad to Muscat. The last time an Israeli premier publicly met with a leader of an Arab country that does not maintain formal ties with Israel was in April 1994, when Yitzhak Rabin met with Qaboos. Netanyahu’s visit was lauded by Saudi Arabia, Oman’s highly influential neighbor. Riyadh’s role in coordinating the visit lent it historical significance.

The rapprochement developing between Israel and the GCC states has prompted a rare unity between Hamas and Fatah, with both making official statements rejecting any rapprochement until their demands from the international community and Israel are fully met.

The refusal of some GCC leaders to allow the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations to dictate when relations with Israel should move forward is first and foremost a corollary of Iran’s rising security threat to the GCC (and, of course, to Israel). Still, both the Palestinians and the Israelis may eventually benefit from this rapidly warming relationship.

Concern over the Iranian threat has been a core element of relations between Israel and the GCC for many years; indeed, it was discussed by Qaboos and Rabin when they met in 1994. Iran is now even more aggressively offensive vis-√†-vis Israel, the US, and neighboring Arab states, as can be seen in its engagements in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen via paramilitary militias. To face this challenge and defend themselves, Iran’s neighbors seek to cooperate more closely.

Cooperation among the US, Israel, and the GCC monarchies against Tehran’s actions includes several elements: condemning Iran in the international arena and institutions, intelligence sharing, tracking economic activity, and coordinating other confidential security aspects.

It is important to recall that even if GCC leaders are positive about improving ties with Israel and have decided the Palestinian problem is no longer a roadblock, their local populations still feel animosity toward Israel. Public opinion is not yet interested in changing the relationship. One indicator of that resistance to change can be seen in an informal survey conducted by the Israel Foreign Ministry, which showed that public opinion in the Arab world was more hostile toward Israel during the last cycle of military escalation in Gaza than in similar previous conflagrations.

It seems that without any progress (or even a semblance of progress) in the dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, the GCC states and Israel will be unable to establish official ties. The international community should assist the GCC and Israel in expanding their cooperation against Iranian imperialism, and then use the budding relationship to help the Palestinians and Israelis find a solution.

The most recent development in the Israel-GCC interface was the economic summit that took place on June 25-26 in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. The summit’s main object was to launch the economic aspect of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century,” and its location was chosen with care so as to send the message that the cooperation among the US, the Gulf states, and Israel is strong, and that the sides are all working toward closer collaboration.

The summit could only take place after the granting of Saudi approval, as the kingdom is Bahrain’s most important patron. The summit signaled to the Palestinians that assistance greater than that received from Iran and/or Qatar will only be given to them if they adopt the peace plan. Riyadh wants to be seen, both internally and externally, as a power that is working for the benefit of its Sunni Palestinian brethren and in opposition to Shiite Iran and the Qataris, who have been funding Hamas on a monthly basis for the past year.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Video Of The Week -Leaked Report Reveals UNRWA Corruption -

Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh – 18-08-2019;

As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Sunday, the Palestinian Authority is concerned that the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will not be renewed next month at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

US President Donald Trump decided last year to stop funding UNRWA, depriving the organization of its major donor. Now, Abu Toameh noted, the Palestinian leadership is worried about the recent temporary suspension of UNRWA funding by the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, following the serious allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct among UNRWA’s top brass.

The PA fears the current scandal might prepare the ground for ending the agency’s mandate or seriously reducing its scope.

UNRWA was created in 1949, and its mandate is renewed every three years by the UN General Assembly. However, the relief agency was supposed to be a temporary solution until the “Palestinian refugee problem” was resolved. Instead of helping solve the problem, UNRWA has contributed to it. All other refugees around the globe are cared for by the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, while the Palestinians were granted the privilege of having an agency dedicated only to them. Furthermore, while refugee status should be something transient, the Palestinians have been granted the right to pass on their refugee status in perpetuity.

As a result, the number of “Palestinian refugees” has ballooned from the original 700,000 or so Palestinian refugees from 1948 – who either left their homes by choice or were forced to leave – to what UNRWA claims today is five million. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren, even those with citizenship in another country such as Jordan, are still considered refugees. By comparison, the approximately 850,000 Jews who left their homes in Arab countries do not consider themselves “refugees” in Israel, and certainly are not considered refugees more than 71 years later by the UN.

Fourteen years ago this month, Israel disbanded all the Jewish communities in Gush Katif (and has suffered ever-worsening violence as a result.) Paradoxically, the thousands of Jews who left Gaza (and four communities in Samaria) in the 2005 disengagement were never considered refugees, even though they lost their homes, livelihoods and community support systems. There is no refugee reciprocity.

UNRWA – which employs more than 30,000 workers – has no motivation to end the “refugee crisis.” And since UNRWA’s mandate to resettle the Palestinian refugees was rescinded in 1965 without a serious reform, the numbers will keep on growing, to be used as a political tool against Israel.

The PA has reason to be concerned about UNRWA’s future, but it plays a double game, and it is time it is called out. On the one hand, the PA claims to represent the State of Palestine (which has observer-state status in the UN. and is recognized by more than 135 UN members), yet on the other hand it protests that the Palestinians continue to be refugees.

Alongside the status of perpetual refugeehood, UNRWA also perpetuates a culture of entitlement. Instead of fostering self-sufficiency, it is undermining the Palestinians it professes to care for. And that is without relating to the hate-filled nature of the education being received by Palestinian children, which deprives both the Palestinians and Israelis of hope for peace in the future.

UNRWA needs to be drastically reformed, with the aim of later closing it down and moving responsibility for the relatively small number of genuine refugees to the auspices of the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. The Palestinians themselves would be the first to benefit from UNRWA being revamped. UNRWA has done nothing to build a sustainable, peaceful Palestinian state. On the contrary. The report containing allegations of serious flaws could be the wake-up call the UN needs to reexamine UNRWA’s status. It’s time for the absurdity to end.


Monday, August 19, 2019


Video Of The Week - Druze's amazing loyalty to Israel -

Jerusalem Post, By Anna  Ahronheim   APRIL 11, 2019 -

 Col. Ala Abu Rukon has been appointed military secretary to the president of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin, the IDF announced Thursday.
Abu Rukon, who is currently serving as the IDF military attaché to China, will replace Brig.-Gen Boaz Hershkovitz Рwho has served in the role for the past three years Рand be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
He was appointed following a decision by Rivlin together with Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Aviv Kochavi.
Congratulating Abu Rukon on his appointment, Rivlin said “he is an impressive and professional addition to the team of advisers at Beit HaNasi. I am confident that his experience and skills will further deepen the strong ties with the IDF and the whole security establishment.”
While Druze in the Golan don’t need to serve, those in the Galilee like Abu Rukon do serve. Over 85% of Druze voluntarily serve in the IDF with a large majority in combat positions or in special units and border police, with many reaching senior positions in the military and police.
The 47 year-old Druze resident of Usfiya holds a PhD in Middle East Studies from Bar-Ilan University and is a married father of four children.
Abu Rokun has served in the IDF for the past 25 years beginning as a soldier and commander in the Paratroopers Brigade, and continuing in a series of command posts in the Intelligence Branch for many years.
In addition, Abu Rukon has commanded the Havat Hashomer base which helps soldiers who are part of populations at risk.
In January, Rivlin visited the base and thanked the commanders for their hard work in dealing with “some of the most complex educational and command challenges.”
“Your determination not to give up on any soldier – ‘no soldier left behind’ – the persistence, the mental resilience required from you when you are sowing and reaping seeds of hope, are an example to us all,” he continued.
During his visit, Rivlin also asked soldiers who had criminal records to talk to their commanders and to begin the process of clearing their records and that he as President “will look at each application seriously.”

Abu Rukon is not the first member of a minority community to be appointed as military secretary to the President of Israel. Hassan Hassan, a retired brigadier general made history by being the first member of the Druze community to be appointed a military aide to the president of the State.  He was appointed by President Shimon Peres, and stayed on for two years with Rivlin.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Swastika Flag on Gaza Border

Video Of The Week - Nazi Propaganda In Palestinian Incitement -

     A Nazi swastika flag raised on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.

6-8-2019 - by Algemeiner Staff -
Israel continued on Tuesday to call out Hamas for the placing last Friday on the Gaza border fence of a Nazi swastika flag by Palestinian demonstrators.
“When #Hamas-led rioters in #Gaza raise the #Nazi flag, they expose their true intention — to annihilate the Jewish State. But Hamas will never have its way,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted.
On Monday, it was reported that Hamas had instructed rioters to not use the swastika “so that the Israeli occupation cannot take advantage of it.”
Elad Strohmayer — spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC — tweeted on Tuesday, “Hey #Hamas, I get your concern about your PR but banning Nazi symbols just won’t do it. As long as you call for the destruction of the Jewish State, using swastikas is simply you being honest. It’s not the swastika that makes us think you want to kill all Jews, it’s your charter.”

The findings of research show that the PA schoolbooks' attitude to Jews, Israel and peace is based on three fundamentals: De-legitimization, demonization and indoctrination to violent struggle instead of peace. Based on these fundamentals, a narrative has been built that presents the conflict in a distorted manner historically, and does not leave any hope for ending it in a peaceful coexistence of the two parties involved.