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Students for (Environmental) Justice in Palestine:

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Brady Forrest

on 6 March 2015

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Transcript of Students for (Environmental) Justice in Palestine:

Israel's 2014 Assault and International Law Cont.
The Russel Tribunal found evidence of the following war crimes:
1. Willful killing
2. Extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity
3. Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population and civilian objects
4. Disproportionate use of force
5. Attacks against buildings dedicated to religion and education
6. The use of Palestinians as human shields
7. Employing weapons, projectiles, and material and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering which are inherently indiscriminate
8. The use of violence to spread terror among the civilian population (16)
So now what?
Mekorot is Israel’s national water company and illegally appropriates Palestinian water
, diverting it to illegal Israeli settlements and towns inside Israel, and imposes severe obstacles to Palestinians accessing their own water.

Mekorot is now seeking to export its discriminatory water practises and is bidding to take over water supplies all across the world as they are being privatised.
Authorities in Argentina, Netherlands and Portugal have cancelled cooperation deals with Mekorot following BDS pressure.
Israel's 2014 Assault and International Law Cont.
In the latest Israeli military operation in Gaza this meant Israeli aircraft targeted the sewage pump station and
F16s disabled pumps that sent 25,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day
to Gaza’s main sewage treatment plant. Further Israeli shelling east of Gaza City hit a main water pipeline, disconnecting areas east of the city so that
450,000 were completely cut off from municipal services
, and the more than 1.5 million residents of the strip suffered massively reduced access. (15)
Israel's 2014 Assault and International Law Cont.
The estimated cost of reconstruction does not taking into account the massive toll on health, with
100,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage flowing through the streets of Gaza and into the sea
, causing widespread health problems. This meant over-burdened hospitals, without water themselves, were dealing with digestive ailments, skin allergies, water-borne and respiratory diseases. (15)
Palestine-Al Nakba
Mass violence and destruction
Creation of refugee camps
Within Israel
Legal inequality
West Bank
The Wall
Systematic assault from "Israel"
(0) http://www.incite-national.org/page/palestine-points-unity
(1) http://www.jnf.org/work-we-do/our-projects/water/
(2) http://www.jnf.org/work-we-do/our-projects/forestry-ecology/
(3) http://www.israelilaundry.org/2011/11/23/greenwashing-introduction/
(4) http://resistwithus.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/to-be-washed-pink-with-palestines-water/
(5) http://www.ewash.org/en/?view=79YOcy0nNs3D76djuyAnkDTT
(6) http://www.ewash.org/en/?view=79YOcy0nNs3D76djuyAnkDDT
(7) http://www.irinnews.org/report/96209/opt-gaza-s-water-could-be-undrinkable-by-2016
(8) http://www.ewash.org/files/library/Gaza%20water%20disaster%20info%20graphic.pdf
(9) http://www.cesr.org/downloads/Palestine.RighttoWater.Factsheet.pdf
(10) The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe pg xi
(11) http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/palestine/wall-illegal-adop-sum.htm
(12) http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a13
(13) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E29F7195C53CDDA905256729005035
(14) http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml
(15) http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/219512-israels-water-war-crimes
(16) http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/sessions/extraordinary-session-brussels/press-corner/russell-tribunal-finds-evidence-of-incitement-to-genocide-crimes-against-humanity-in-gaza
(17) http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-jets-destroying-gaza-water-and-sewerage-systems-284613778
(18) http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/freedom-and-justice-for-gaza-boycott-action-against-7-complicit-companies-12386

Additional Resources:
Visualizing Palestine http://visualizingpalestine.org/infographic/wb-water
Electronic Intifada http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/water-disaster-hits-every-single-person-gaza and http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/pinkwash-greenwash-hogwash-ali-abunimah-israels-use-sex-and-marketing-distract
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) http://www.ochaopt.org/index.aspx and http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/gaza_humanitarian_dashboard_september2014.pdf

for (
) Justice in
The Anti-Colonial Struggle for Water

Brand(ing) "Israel"
It is this theft of water that enables Israel to attempt to market itself as a unique westernized country
, without adequate water it would be impossible to present itself as a state with all the modern amenities expected by western tourists. The foundation of pinkwashing lies in Israel’s attempts to appear modern, accepting, and liberal to queer people of western countries, especially the United States." (4)

West Bank
"Israel retains control of all underground and surface water resources in the West Bank...
Average Palestinian consumption of water is of 50 lpcpd, well below the 100 litres recommended by the World Health Organization
(WHO)...Marginalized communities in the West Bank survive on less than 20 litres per capita a day, the minimum amount recommended by the WHO in emergency situations to sustain life....Around
200,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have no access to water
network connections....Restrictions on access to water, in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law have increased the risk of displacement of Palestinians from certain areas....Raw sewage from settlements often flows through the West Bank valleys and serves as a public health and environmental risk....Settlers often vandalize Palestinian water infrastructure, contaminating wells and springs as well as destroying infrastructure and livelihoods." (5)
for (
) Justice in
The Anti-Colonial Struggle for Water

Gaza: pre "Israel's" 2014 assault
90 to 95 percent of the Coastal Aquifer
, on which Gaza inhabitants are dependent for water,
is contaminated due to over extraction and sewage contamination making it unfit for human consumption
...Due to the Israeli-imposed blockade on Gaza, restrictions on import to the Gaza Strip of materials and equipment necessary for development and repair of infrastructure have led the water and sanitation situation to reach crisis point...Small-scale desalination plants have emerged to meet growing demand for water although their reach is very limited...The irregular supply of electricity has led to some families going without electricity for up to 12 hours at a time." (5) "Gaza’s rapidly growing population of about 1.64 million - expected to increase by 500,000 by 2020 - could soon lose its main source of fresh water, the underground coastal aquifer, which could become unusable by 2016, with the damage irreversible by 2020, it says." (7)

Gaza: During "Israel's" 2014 assault
"Right now, none of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip has access to a safe and secure supply of water...
90% of wells, wastewater treatment plants and desalination plants cannot operate
due to power cuts and lack of fuel...Seven water technicians killed on duty. Gaza’s water utility company suspended operation due to increased security risk...Gaza Power Plant was hit, not functional and fuel stock burnt. Entire population of Gaza face severe shortage of electricity, water and sanitation...
44% of Gaza declared as no-go area
during hostilities, causing lack of access to operate, maintain and repair water infrastructure...Water experts estimate the damage to be at least $20 million." (8)

Both absolutely and proportionately, Israelis use
a far greater amount of the region’s total water
resources. Settlers use nearly 600 litres of water
each day. Palestinian water use does not even
meet the minimum daily standard of 100 litres as
recommended by the World Health Organisation. (9)
International Law
Why? cont.
It is crucial to also understand that
the situation in occupied Palestine is not an accident, a coincidence, or a mistake
– it is due to the "Israeli" government implementing policies, made possible through occupation and state violence, that enables Israel to use more water than it has or more water than is possible to maintain long term, which leads to water theft. (4)

"I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it."
-David Ben-Gurion, "Israel's" first Prime Minister to the Jewish Agency Executive, June 1938 (10)
for (
) Justice in
The Anti-Colonial Struggle for Water

So what do we call this?

Greenwashing is a term that is used to promote the perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly when the company is engaged in work that is actually destructive to the environment.
A well-known example would be British Petroleum which re-branded itself with a shorter name, BP, which they said now meant “beyond petroleum”. They adopted a sun-like green and pale yellow logo as well to signify their new, eco-friendly brand and policies.. But BP was still an oil company and was responsible for the biggest oil spill x,y,z. (3)

In the case of Israel, Greenwashing describes the way Israel tries to cultivate an image of being environmentally responsible in order to deflect attention from the daily realities of discrimination and restricted freedoms among Palestinians, including the degradation of natural resources that by right belong to Palestinians. In some cases, programs or Israeli government bodies appropriate the language of environmentalists to justify actions that violate the rights of Palestinian and Bedouin communities. In other cases, the environmental interests of Palestinian and Bedouin communities are actually x,y,z (3)

Green "Israel"
Jewish National Fund
Over the past three decades, JNF has worked to help alleviate Israel’s chronic water shortage, leading to a 12% increase in water availability by constructing some 250 recycled water reservoirs. The JNF Parsons Water Fund was established to expand upon this vital work. The Fund supports initiatives that address water treatment and quality issues, pollution and trans-boundary water challenges, with a focus on recycling, developing alternative water sources, education, stream and aquifer restoration, and research. (1)

Today, JNF and its partners must grapple with the challenge of balancing the phenomenal growth and development Israel has experienced in the last decade with the maintenance of an ecologically sound environment. JNF has been increasingly responsive to the rapidly evolving needs of the country: new water resources, including finding alternative techniques for utilizing waste water as well as brackish and flood water sources, soil conservation issues and river restoration.
JNF, historically committed to strengthening the ties between man and land, has led successful efforts to ensure the legislative protection of designated areas and forests.
With today's technological advances, JNF's role as guardian of the land becomes ever more critical. (2)

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”
-Frantz Fanon

According to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), “the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated regime are contrary to international law." (11)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13 states, “
everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each
…everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." (12)

According to the UN General Assembly’s application of the Fourth Geneva Convention to occupied Palestinian territory, the establishment and expansion of settlements “….in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially settlement activities…remain contrary to international law and cannot be recognized, irrespective of the passage of time." (13)

Israel's 2014 Assault and International Law
On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292,
the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights.
The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. (14)
Israel's 2014 Assault and International Law Cont.
Connecting the Struggle:
Hawaii to Detroit to Palestine
Human right to water
UN Resolutions
Occupation and resistance
Water contamination
Racist colonial state
Full transcript