Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

May 27, 2010

Water Diversion and its Environmental Consequences

The Jordanian Friends of the Earth Organization met recently near the Dead Sea in Jordan. The organization reported that the Jordan River is drying out due to the diversion of more than 90% of its water into Israel. This process began in the 1960s in violation of international laws. The laws clearly state that the flow of water of rivers which cross international boundaries should not be diverted to the benefit of one state without consensus with others who share the same source of water flows. Israel, as usual, has ignored international laws and its actions produced serious negative consequences. First, Jordanian farmers in the Jordan valley no longer get enough water for their farms. They get 6% of the water flow and this portion is highly polluted. Israel mixed its polluted water starting south of the Sea of Galilee with the meager Jordan River water flow to increase the Jordanian share. The meager water flow is not even suitable for cultivation. Second, the diversion of a big portion of water is causing dryness in the Jordan River bed. Third, due to the lack of fresh water flow from the Jordan River since Israel began diverting water in the 1960s, there have been severe consequences on the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the harvest spot below sea level worldwide and it is drying out. The Jordanian Friends of the Earth reported that the Dead Sea water level has dropped 25 meters and the sea has lost one-third of its original size.

In previous posts, references were made to Israel’s aggressive policies, especially in regard to the control of water resources in the occupied West Bank, as well as tapping underground water resources within Lebanese boundaries. Such aggressive Israeli policies are in violation of international law.

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