Apr 30, 2008

Johann Hari's shitty little story

Looking ahead to Israel's 60th anniversary:
When you hit your 60th birthday, most of you will guzzle down your hormone replacement therapy with a glass of champagne and wonder if you have become everything you dreamed of in your youth. In a few weeks, the state of Israel is going to have that hangover.

She will look in the mirror and think – I have a sore back, rickety knees and a gun at my waist, but I'm still standing. Yet somewhere, she will know she is suppressing an old secret she has to face. I would love to be able to crash the birthday party with words of reassurance.


But I can't do it. Whenever I try to mouth these words, a remembered smell fills my nostrils. It is the smell of shit. Across the occupied West Bank, raw untreated sewage is pumped every day out of the Jewish settlements, along large metal pipes, straight onto Palestinian land. From there, it can enter the groundwater and the reservoirs, and become a poison.

HonestReporting responds.
  • In a modern day "poisoning the wells" libel, Hari accuses Israel of sole responsibility for polluting West Bank groundwater supplies. It is no secret that Israel has a chronic water problem and lags behind many other developed nations in environmental protection. However, the Palestinians are equally to blame for polluting the environment in the West Bank, which has, in turn, also caused damage to Israel's own water supplies. The West Bank mountain aquifer is one of the largest freshwater sources supplying both Israelis and Palestinians. Indeed, Israelis and Palestinians have jointly tackled such pollution and Israel has used its own expertise to provide Palestinian population centers with sewage treatment facilities. Why would Israel purposely destroy its own limited water supply?

  • Continuing his sewage analogy, Hari simplisticly accuses Israel of punishing Gaza's population for voting "the wrong way". Has Hari forgotten the continuing terrorism and missile attacks on Israeli population centers such as Sderot? Or the refusal of Hamas to conform to the international community's demands to renounce terror, recognize Israel and adhere to previously signed agreements?

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