“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, August 05, 2016

The US Media is lined up condemning the alleged “racism” of Donald Trump. Are they as indignant and vocal about US support of the Israeli State that practices legalized racism and Apartheid practices?

Israel’s Hydro-Apartheid Keeps West Bank Thirsty

A Palestinian woman fills a jerrican with spring water on June 27, 2016 in Salfit, north of Ramallah, where some of the West Bank village's inhabitants have been without water for days. Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have gone without water in recent weeks, victims of the latest dispute between Israeli and Palestinian officials over the region's most valuable resource. Photo by Nedal Eshtayah
A Palestinian woman fills a jerrican with spring water on June 27, 2016 in Salfit, north of Ramallah, where some of the West Bank village’s inhabitants have been without water for days. Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have gone without water in recent weeks, victims of the latest dispute between Israeli and Palestinian officials over the region’s most valuable resource. Photo by Nedal Eshtayah

Water shortages are not new for Palestinians. Whether in the occupied Gaza Strip or the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the supply of water flowing into Palestinian homes is strictly capped or obstructed by Israel.

As temperatures climb during the summer, taps run dry. Clemens Messerschmidt, a German hydrologist who has worked with Palestinians on their water supply for two decades, calls the situation “hydro-apartheid.”

This year, Israeli journalist Amira Hass published data proving that the Israeli Water Authority had reduced the amount of water delivered to West Bank villages.
In some places, the supply was slashed by half. Her records contradict official denials that water supplies to Palestinian cities and villages are cut during the summer, even though that too is not new.

Cities and small villages have gone as long as 40 days without running water this summer, forcing those who can afford it to haul in water tanks.
When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it also seized control over the West Bank Mountain Aquifer, the territory’s principal natural water reserve.
The Oslo accords of the early 1990s gave Israel 80 percent of the aquifer’s reserves. Palestinians were supposed to get the remaining 20 percent, but in recent years they have been able to access only 14 percent as a result of Israeli restrictions on their drilling.

To fulfill the population’s minimum needs, the Palestinian Authority is forced to buy the rest of the water from Israel. But even then, it’s not enough.
Israel is only willing to sell a limited amount of water to Palestinians. As a consequence, Palestinians use far less water than Israelis, and a full third less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 100 liters per person per day for domestic use, hospitals, schools and other institutions.
The Electronic Intifada spoke with Clemens Messerschmidt, who has been working in the water sector throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1997, about the engineered water scarcity for Palestinians in the West Bank.

Charlotte Silver: Is scarcity of water in the area driving the water crisis in the West Bank? Or is the scarcity engineered?

Clemens Messerschmid: Of course there is no water scarcity in the West Bank. What we suffer from is induced scarcity – it’s called the occupation. This is the regime imposed on Palestinians immediately after the war in June 1967.
Israel rules through military orders, which have the direct and intended result of keeping Palestinians short on water. It is not an ongoing gradual dispossession as with land and settlements, but was done in one sweep by Military Order No. 92, in August 1967.

The West Bank possesses ample groundwater. There is high rainfall in Salfit, in the northern West Bank, now known for especially hard water cuts.
The West Bank is blessed with a treasure of groundwater. But this is also its curse, because Israel targeted this immediately after taking control.

What we need is simple: groundwater wells to access this treasure. But Israel’s Military Order No. 158 strictly forbids drilling or any other water works, including springs, pipes, networks, pumping stations, irrigation pools, water reservoirs, simple rainwater harvesting cisterns, which collect the rain falling on one’s roof.
Everything is forbidden or rather not “permitted” by the Civil Administration, Israel’s occupation regime. Even repair and maintenance of wells requires military permits. And we simply don’t get them.

It is a simple case of hydro-apartheid – far beyond any regime in history that I am aware of.

CS: Israel has increased the amount of water it sells Palestinians, but it is still not enough to prevent villages from running dry. Putting aside the fact that Israel’s control over the aquifer’s resources is very problematic, why won’t Israel sell the Palestinians enough water?

CM: Israel first of all has drastically reduced the amount of water available to Palestinians. It has prevented all access to the Jordan River, which is now literally pumped dry at Lake Tiberius.

Then, Israel imposes a quota on the number of wells and routinely denies permits for much-needed repair of old wells from the Jordanian days – Jordan administered the West Bank from 1948 until the Israeli occupation – especially agricultural wells. That means the number of wells is constantly shrinking. We have fewer than in 1967.

Now, the only thing that has increased is the dependency on buying water from the expropriators, Israel and Mekorot, Israel’s national water company.
This is reported over and over in the western press, because it is the point Israel stresses: ‘See how benevolent we are?’

So, yes, since Oslo, purchases from Mekorot have grown steadily. Ramallah now receives 100 percent of its water from Mekorot. Not a drop comes from a single well field we have.

The supply of villages by Israel was not done as a favor. It was initiated in 1980 by Ariel Sharon, then agriculture minister, when rapid settlement growth was starting. The water supply was “integrated,” in order to make the occupation irreversible.

What is important here is the structural apartheid, cemented and cast in iron in these pipes. A small settlement is supplied via large transmission pipes from which smaller pipes split off to go towards Palestinian areas.

Israel is very happy with Oslo, because now Palestinians are “responsible” for supply. Responsible but without a shred of sovereignty over resources.
The current so-called water crisis is not a crisis at all. A crisis is a sudden change, a new turn or a turning point in development. The undersupply of Palestinians is desired, planned and carefully executed. The “summer water crisis” is the most reliable feature of the Palestinian water calendar. And the amount of annual rain, or drought, has no bearing whatsoever on the occurrence and scale of that “crisis.”
I should stress that however routinely this occurs, in each and every single case, it is a conscious decision by some bureaucrat or office in Israel or the Civil Administration. Someone has to go to the field and turn down the valve at the split off to the Palestinian village. This, like every summer, was done in early June. Hence – water crisis in the West Bank.

CS: What factors may be contributing to the worsening water cuts this year?

CM: It seems settler demand rose drastically since last year. The Israeli Water Authority found 20 to 40 percent higher demand, which is quite remarkable.
Alexander Kushnir, the Water Authority’s director general, attributes this to expansion of settler irrigation in the mountains of the northern West Bank settlements, around Salfit and Nablus.

CS: How is it that people in present-day Israel are reportedly enjoying a surplus of water since the country has started using desalination, while the people under occupation in the West Bank are left with so little? Even Israeli settlers have reportedly experienced water cuts.

CM: It’s true that Israel declared for the first time a few years ago that it had a surplus water economy and is keen to sell more water to its neighbors, from whom it expropriated water in the first place.

Palestinians are already buying water Israel stole, but as noted, not reliably or at sufficient rates.

Frankly, I don’t know. Why this special, elevated and aggravated desire of Israel not even to sell enough water to the West Bank?

In some areas, water is actively used as a weapon for ethnic cleansing, like in the Jordan Valley. Agriculture was always targeted from day one of the occupation.
But this logic does not apply to the densely populated Palestinian towns and cities in so-called Area A of the West Bank, that are still struggling. After 20 years, this still leaves me puzzled.

Another element is important to understand: Israel needs to constantly teach Palestinians a lesson. Any water procurement, any drop delivered should be understood as a generous favor, as an act of mercy, not as a right.

Israel has augmented water sales to the West Bank from 25 million cubic meters per year in 1995 to around 60 mcm/year now. Why does it not sell much more? It certainly could afford it waterwise – it has a gigantic surplus.

One of the material issues I can detect is the issue of price, and therefore meaning of water.

Israel wants to eventually get the highest price for desalinated water it sells to Palestinians. While we are only speaking about a few hundred million shekels a year [a few tens of millions of dollars] – which is not a lot for Israel – Israel wants to end the debate once and for all over Palestinian water rights.

Israel demands nothing short of a full surrender: Palestinians should agree that the water under their feet does not belong to them, but forever to the occupier.
By demanding full prices for desalinated water, Palestinians would admit and agree to a new formula.

A word on the Gaza Strip – unlike the West Bank, Gaza has no physical possibility of access to water. The confined and densely populated Strip can never supply itself. Yet, Gaza does not get such water deliveries from Israel. Only recently did Israel start selling to Gaza the five million cubic meters per year agreed in Oslo. A tiny cosmetic increase has been enacted.

In a way you could interpret this differential treatment between Gaza and the West Bank as an Israeli admission of a certain degree of hydrological dependence.
Israel receives the bulk of its water from the territories conquered in 1967, including Syria’s Golan Heights, but not a drop from Gaza.

Waterwise, Gaza has no resource to offer Israel. This is the same as with the main resource: land. Hence a very different approach to Gaza right from the start in 1967. Israel does not depend on Gaza in any material form. Ever since Oslo, Israel has demanded Gaza supply itself by its own means, such as through seawater desalination.

CS: How have donor countries acted in all this? Have they defended global minimal water standards or have they affirmed and bolstered Israel’s control over the water resources in the occupied West Bank?

CM: Unfortunately the latter. When Oslo started, we all were under the illusion that a phase of development would start. Wells that were forbidden to be drilled for 28 years would finally be put in place.

Soon, we learned that Israel in fact was never willing to give “permits … for expanding agriculture or industry, which may compete with the State of Israel,” as then-defense minister Yitzhak Rabin said in 1986.

What was needed then and now – and everybody knew it – was political pressure to extract the minimum well-drilling permits guaranteed under Palestinian-Israeli accords. This pressure never came. Never did the EU or my German government issue even a public statement in which it “deplores” or “regrets” the obstructions in the water sector. This is a true scandal.

But even worse, what was our Western answer to this? All donor-funded projects actually abandoned the vital branch of well drilling. The last German funded well was drilled in 1999.

As for the current so-called water crisis, we as donors are now busy generously funding anachronistic water tinkering in the cut-off Palestinian towns and cities – adapting to and stabilizing the status quo of occupation and water apartheid.

Charlotte Silver is an independent journalist and regular writer for The Electronic Intifada. She is based in Oakland, California and has reported from Palestine since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @CharESilver.
First published in the Electronic Intifada


  1. A plus for the economy but a big negative in this report is a decline in inventories which pulled down GDP by 1.2 percentage points in the quarter. But lean inventories point ahead to new accumulation which is a plus for future production and employment.

    An unequivocal plus is strength in net exports which, reflecting the first gain in exports since the second quarter last year, rose at a 1.4 percent rate.


  2. Why comment for the thousandth time on Deuce's slanders of Israel ?

    I pass.

    But Quirk is a different matter. While collecting my winnings at the Casino a short time ago I had a long conversation with a guy I know well, whose name is a variant of Elijah.

    He has lots of beautiful kids, and works his heart out for them. He is the opposite of a 'Dead Beat Dad'.

    They are heading back to school soon. I was asking him about their swimming and hunting and fishing. They are really big time into these outdoor sports.

    We got to talking about the wolves and the elk. He, of course, and his kids too, know what they are talking about, unlike Quart and an unnamed other here.

    The Nimiipuu have a program to breed elk now, as they have been doing with bison for a long time. Once in a while you can buy bison steaks in the local grocery stores here. There big place for raising bison is up in the Wallowas.

    His opinion was just like mine.....what a total fuck up. Only a dumb fuck like city slicker Quart could support introducing those Canadian wolves in our back yard. The Tribe is trying to do something about it, breeding elk, and hunting wolves. His kids take part in these activities.

    It's odd. This fine fellow knows the Bible much better, and with more understanding, than our two lapsed Catholics.....

    He has no prejudice against whites whatsoever. It's Uncle Sam always fucking things up that's gets him down.

    People from 'back east' should shut their stupid mouths about things they know nothing of......all Quart can do by mouthing off is make things worse, a talent of his....

    Just stay in The Barber Shop and listen to mafia stories, Quart, that is 'your speed'.....

    1. When you were studying English, did the word “slander” ever cross your path? Let me help you out:

      SLANDER: the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

      Do you think the video is false? The nine year old on her bike screaming for her mother, was that slander, was it false?
      How about the IDF running up to the young boy and kicking him, slander and false ? The IDF soldier putting a bullet in the head of a wounded man lying in the street, slander , false?

      Are your eyes lying to you?

    2. .

      His opinion was just like mine.....what a total fuck up.

      Well, it's hard to argue with that.


    3. Hie thee back to The Barber Shop.

      His opinion was just like mine.....what a total fuck up. Only a dumb fuck like city slicker Quart could support introducing those Canadian wolves in our back yard. The Tribe is trying to do something about it, breeding elk, and hunting wolves. His kids take part in these activities.

  3. Hillary short circuits -

    Clinton tries to 'clarify' email comments – and adds to confusion

    Published August 05, 2016

    Hillary Clinton tried Friday to “clarify” her widely disputed claim that the FBI director had declared her statements on her email scandal “truthful” – but may have ended up adding to the confusion, delivering a lengthy and at-times conflicting explanation that the Donald Trump campaign later called “pretzel-like.”

    The Democratic presidential candidate addressed the controversy when she fielded questions from reporters with the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

    She was asked early on about her statement, on “Fox News Sunday,” that FBI Director James Comey had affirmed her answers on her email controversy “were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people.”

    Fact-checkers have roundly slammed that claim, noting that’s not exactly what Comey said.

    Clinton, however, seemed to stand by her comments on Friday, saying she was referring to her answers in her FBI interview -- while also acknowledging she may have “short-circuited” her explanation....

    By the way, her 'convention bounce' isn't going to last.

  4. Deuce with all your millions you do nothing for your favorite charity..

    The water denied palestinians...


    1. Maybe instead of spending BILLIONS on terror tunnels the palestinians could build water treatment plants?

    2. .

      They'd never get the permits. You know that.


    3. Why should I subsidize Israeli apartheid? If it was’t for the Jewish State created ghettos, Gaza and Palestine would flourish. There are about 6.5 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. All the responsibility of US backed European Jews that colonized Palestine, then created ghettos and will not stop until who knows when or how.

  5. " Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have gone without water in recent weeks"

    Now that's rich...

    Now the Palestinians in SYRIA have gone without food and water and are starving to death....

    Now this is a picture of Abu Abbas NEW MANSION..

    13 millions dollars..

    Dare to look at the photo...

    1. .

      Kind of ostentatious looking to me. And do they really need two heli-pads? $13 million? Hmmm. Well, I guess everything is relative.

      Israeli Cabinet Okays Purchase of Jet, New Residence for PM

      Based on recommendations of Goldberg panel, approval given to expenditure of over 1 billion shekels for plane, shared with president, and for constructing new residence...

      1 billion shekels. According to currency converter I checked out 1 billion Israeli new shekels amounts to about $260,593,110. I wonder how many heli-pads it has.


  6. Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:
     Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations.
     Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
     Meeting humanitarian needs.

    And yet they cannot afford a cup of water...

  7. Deuce ought to attack me, not the Israelis.

    I'm up front about wanting to withdraw the 'Welcome' mat from the moslems.

    The reason is simple enough.....they want, deep down, to overthrow the Constitution and our way of life.

    I don't want to live on the same continent with them.

    The Jews have been dealing with them for 1400 years.

    I want to save us the trouble, the bloodshed, the horror, the sadness of it all.

    It's the only group I feel that way about.

    It's tough enough putting up with Quart.

    That taps me out.....

    1. August 5, 2016

      Brawl erupts at Muslim refugee asylum reception center

      By Thomas Lifson

      Hillary Clinton wants to increase the number “Syrian refugees” the United States accepts by 550%. She ought to be made to view this video from an asylum reception center for Muslim refugees in Dortmund, Germany. Via Breitbart:


      My, my: chairs flying, men and women jumping ugly. Just the kind of people we want to add to our population.

  8. Sebastian Gorka is soon up on Fox, Quirk.

    Check him out. Sooner or later you might learn something.

    They must have a TV at The Barber Shop.

    Curiosity leads me to ask, what is programmed there ?

    1. If you're lucky you might catch Hillary 'clarifying' her most recent 'short circuit'.

    2. Trump ought to start calling her 'Short Circuit'.

    3. Bob, that's pretty good, Short Circuit.

      Ha ha !

      Wish I'd thought of that.