Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Israelis and Palestinians join together to pray for rain.

(From Haaretz.com 23 November 2010)

Amidst the stalled peace negotiations and continuous regional turmoil, Israelis and Palestinians are uniting around the need for rain in the region, with groups gathering to pray for a wet winter.

Forecasters have predicted drier than average winter months – December through February – and expect precipitation to fall below the 30-year average.

"We use the term 'a little below average,' but it could be more than 20 percent below average," said Dr. Henia Berkovich, Director of the Israeli Meteorological Service.

On Tuesday, over 30 Israeli, Palestinian, and Druze women took part in a silent walking meditation dedicated to bringing rain to the area. Women came out to the Haas Promenade in Jerusalem with umbrellas for the walk.

Earlier in the month, Jewish and Muslim worshippers gathered near a water spring in the West Bank village of Walajeh to pray for rain.

{{{Again, it will be water and the need to manage it that will bring them together.}}}

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Comment posted to Economist

‎(Comment posted by me at Economist)
It is not security that Israel needs so badly. It is water. They will never give up control of West Bank water. Ever. That means sovereignty. Everything else is tap dancing.
The Palestinians are/have been trying to solve the dilemma, not only of what to do to create a viable sovereign nation, but how to achieve a lasting future for all those displaced so many decades ago. Add to this the ever changing political drama of every other Arab country/faction/proxy militia bordering Israel/Palestine and you have just what you have today. Peace proposals taped together with duct tape and baling wire based upon demands that should have been discarded long ago.
Any lasting solution will mean people will have to move or be allowed to continue to live as equal citizens in a sovereign homeland that perhaps did not exist five years ago. They key is who will move and how secure will those who do not move be to live lives of equality and dignity.
Any lasting solution will have to take into account, not borders or agreements now long filed away in history books, but where the water is now and how to equally share it and all the other resources of the region. The solution is not in the past. It is in where the water is now.
The phrase "land for peace" really needs to be "water and land for peace". And more than Palestine and Israel need to be a part of that trade. It needs to include Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. There can also be no lasting peace agreement unless all the Arab neighbors can find peace among themselves as well.
To my way of thinking it is also not just a "one state" solution or a "two state" solution that will work but a hybrid of both. And I truly believe that all parties, if allowed to truly think about it, would find a "one state/two state solution" makes very good sense. More precisely it is a "one water shed/two water shed solution".
And it will be to find the answer to the water that will, in the end, bring them all to the table. Not land, not guns, not threats. Water.

Monday, November 15, 2010

26 Governorates of Wadis Arabia.

Governorate (Capital) Population

1. Capital, Legislative, Royal (Amman) 2,027,685

2. Capital, Judicial (Al Quds) 230,000

3. Irbid (Irbid) 950,700

4. Daraa (Daraa) 916,000

5. Zarqa (Zarqa) 838,256

6. Hebron (Hebron) 542,539

7. Gaza (Gaza City) 505,700

8. Rafah Sinai (El Arish) 490,000 {Combines Rafah Gov and North Sinai Gov of Egypt}

9. Gaza Ashkelon (Ashkelon) 450,000 {North Gaza Gov + greater Ashkelon area}

10. Balqa (Salt) 349,580

11. Aqaba Sinai (Aqaba) 348,000 {Combines Haql, Aqaba, Eilat, Taba municipalities and South Sinai Gov)

12. As Suwayda (As Suwayda) 346,000

13. Khan Yunis (Khan Yunis) 330,000 {additional former Israeli terr added}

14. Deir al Balah (Deir al Balah) 258,716 {additional former Israeli terr added}

15. Beersheba (Beersheba) 250,000

16. Mafraq (Mafraq) 245, 671

17. Kerak (Kerak) 214,225

18. Bethlehem (Bethlehem) 180,000

19. Jerash (Jerash) 156, 675

20. Quneitra (Quneitra) 150,000 {Quneitra Gov + Marjeyoun and Hasbaya Dist of Lebanon}

21. Madaba (Madaba) 135,890

22. Al Muweileih (Al Muweileih) 120,000 {former northwest region of Saudi Arabia}

23. Ajloun (Ajloun) 118,496

24. Ma'an (Ma'an) 103,920

25. Rahat (Rahat) 100,000 {area of Israel bounded by Hebron, Beersheeba, Gaza Ashkelon, Gaza and Deir al Balah}

26. Tafilah (Tafilah) 88,000 {includes Wadi Araba department from Aqaba Gov}