Friday, July 29, 2011

The water war won't take place. As for the gas war, this is another issue

Laila has kindly translated my article from Al Akhbar

Water Wars

There will be no water war between Israel and the Arabs, in spite of the expert studies and the warnings of international research centres, particularly those concerned with global warming. The need for water in our modern and globalised societies does not justify the outbreak of an open war. For one, decision makers believe that the consequences of such a war would reach far wider than the consequences of a water shortage. In addition, the countries surrounding Occupied Palestine use most of their water resources for agriculture, sometimes as much as 80 per cent in Lebanon and Jordan. Moreover, the agriculture sector has historically been neglected, today accounting for only 6 per cent of Lebanon’s gross national product.

Although producing local food and preserving the rural culture is obviously important and has a clear symbolic value, it is also evident that governments will sacrifice the entire agricultural sector in order to avoid war, even if Israel controlled all the water sources. This explains why Jordan has accepted an inequitable water treaty with Israel. It also explains why the Lebanese government has remained silent about Israel’s encroachments on the waters of the Hasbani. Moreover, most of Lebanon’s water resources are renewable and there is always the option of desalinating sea water, which Israel has adopted. Additionally, Israel’s agriculture sector is in decline, after having played a major role in rallying support for the Zionist colonialist project and having improved Israel’s image in the West.

Therefore, there will be no water war, simply because there are alternatives.

However, a gas war is another matter. The discovery of huge offshore gas fields between Lebanon and occupied Palestine represents a historic opportunity for economic and social development.

We in Lebanon must prepare ourselves to fiercely defend what is rightfully ours from the grasp of the Zionist occupier. But Lebanon today is not the Lebanon it was before: our resources are safe in the hands of the Resistance.

No comments: