Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Turkey run

But an intriguing cover story in the Jerusalem Report also highlights some much neglected incentives to reach an agreement:

"A grandiose plan that would put an end to the acute water shortage plaguing Israel and its neighbours has been tossed on to the table as part of the tangle of fact and fiction, hype and spin, reality and fantasy, surrounding the dramatic late May announcement of the official renewal of Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations under Turkish mediation."

The plan envisages that two to three billion cubic meters of water a year would be diverted from two rivers in southeastern Turkey to Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority:

"The water would be channeled from Turkey, which enjoys a huge water surplus, in underground pipes and overland canals through western Syria to the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, where it would flow into a dam along the length of the northern stretch of a new Israeli-Syrian border, providing hydro-electric power and serving as a major obstacle against a tank blitz from the Golan Heights, which would be returned to Syria as part of the projected peace package. Some of the water en route would be diverted to Lebanon and water from the dam channeled to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority."

1 comment:

Helena Cobban said...

This is an old proposal, periodically re-floated by those in Israel who want to make sure that the Mashreq's currently existing water resources never get distributed in anything like a fair or equitable manner among its peoples. Many Israelis hate the idea that Syria, like Lebanon, is upstream of some of the water resources they currently use in an often wasteful fashion.