US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Ramah Kudaimi, March 22nd, 2014
Support Palestinian Water Rights
Today marks the start of the first International Week Against Mekorot, Israel’s state-owned water company that is responsible for implementing "water apartheid" on Palestinians.
Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s, depriving Palestinian communities from access to water. It provides vital support to Israel’s settlement enterprise, commits war crimes by pillaging Palestinians’ natural resources, and is a proud partner of the Jewish National Fund’s "Blueprint Negev" campaign to displace around 40,000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel in the Negev.
In 2005, Mekorot established a business arm to begin a process of international expansion. Several lucrative contracts have been signed in countries like the U.S., Cyprus, India, and Uganda. But civic groups are fighting back against rewarding Mekorot for its involvement in violations of international law and human rights. In Argentina, activists recently announced they succeeded in suspending the construction of a $170 million water regeneration plant. Vitens, the largest water supplier in the Netherlands, ended a contract with Mekorot just days after it was signed.
Starting today, World Water Day, through March 30, when Palestinians mark Land Day, PENGON/Friends of the Earth Palestine, the Palestinian BDS National Committee, and the Land Defense Coalition are asking people worldwide to say no to water apartheid!
Take the following actions targeting Mekorot and other companies like SodaStream that are complicit in depriving Palestinians of their right to water by operating in a settlement:
Watch Mekorot: An Apartheid Adventure. Share with your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.
On Twitter? Join the Twitter storm! Use #WorldWaterDay, #StopMekorot, and #BoycottSodaStream to share facts and links about Israeli violations of Palestinian water rights and the companies that support these abuses. We have put together sample tweets that you can use here.
On Facebook? Post this image on your profile by clicking here.
Find other graphics to post here.
1. Mekorot operates a system of water apartheid: Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s when it built Israel’s national water carrier, which is diverting the Jordan River from the West Bank and Jordan to serve Israeli communities. At the same time it deprives the Palestinian communities from the possibility of access to water: Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much.
Mekorot has refused to supply water to Palestinian communities inside Israel, despite an Israeli high court ruling recognising their right to water. A French parliamentary report called these policies water apartheid.
2. Mekorot’s vital support for the illegal settlement enterprise: Mekorot support for colonial settlement has continued since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. The company took monopoly control over all water sources in the occupied territories, implementing policies that bolster Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian communities.
The United Nations report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the implications of the Israeli settlements on the rights of the Palestinian people as well as the latest report on the settlements by the Secretary-General of the UN denounce Mekorot’s role in the settlement enterprise.
All cooperation with Mekorot inherently benefits from or contributes to the illegal settlement enterprise. Dutch public water company Vitens states that “Whether it comes to knowledge about extraction of water or to the benefits that can be achieved with smart grids, these cannot be separated from what the UN writes about the policy of Mekorot (*) towards the Palestinian territories and the settlements.”
3. Mekorot participates in the international crime of pillage of natural resources and wanton destruction of water infrastructure:
Mekorot operates some 42 wells in the West Bank, mainly in the Jordan Valley region, which mostly supply the Israeli settlements.
Mekorot works in close partnership with the Israeli military, confiscating irrigation pipes
from Palestinian farmers and destroying the water supply sources of Palestinian communities. In 2012 alone the Israeli army demolished 60 water and sanitation structures belonging to Palestinians.