It’s World Water Day! Say No to Water Apartheid

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 MekorotIsrael’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.

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Rafah Prep School Water Filter

Girls Preparatory School A, Rafah

A gift from the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project and others, Dedicated to Karin Sandvik


More on the Maia Project from the Middle East Children’s Alliance:

  • Completed Maia Project Water Purification and Desalination Units, January 2014
  • Maia Project Photo Album

    Palestinian non-violent resistance leader speaks in Madison

    Veena Brekke, December 19, 2012

    On Sunday afternoon, December 16, citizens of the Madison area were fortunate to hear a presentation by Iyad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer and leader in non-violent protests currently on a four-month speaking tour of the United States. About 60 people gathered at Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg to view photos and videos and to listen to stories of successful organizing of grassroots non-violent protests against Israeli occupation in a West Bank farming village called Bil’in.

    Bil’in has recently become famous as the subject of the award-winning film, “5 Broken Cameras,” by Burnat’s brother Emad Burnat and Israeli director Guy Davidi.

    Since the 1967 war, Israel has illegally occupied and expanded its military presence in the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in defiance of UN Security Council resolution 242 and many others which demand “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the (1967) conflict.” It has placed nearly 500,000 illegal Israeli Jewish settlers on Palestinian land in direct violation of international law.

    In 2003, Israel began building a hugely controversial “separation wall” primarily on the Palestinian side of the “green line” between the West Bank and Israel proper. Burnat reported that the wall, which is 8 meters high in some places, has taken over half of Bil’in’s farm land.  It was in opposition to this wall that Bil’in citizens began their weekly marches to the fenced area.  Since 2005, Bil’in farmers have been joined by Israeli and International peace activists and protests have spread to about 20 other villages in the West Bank.  

    The videos showed creative methods used by from 200 to 4000 demonstrators every Friday and the violent response from Israeli soldiers. Demonstrators repeatedly endured injuries from tear gas rockets, chemical infused water, and rubber-coated metal bullets.  Burnat reported 40 deaths and 1,300 injured among all the villages. He argued that the goal of Israel’s separation wall is not security but the confiscation of Palestinian land for Israeli settlers, the theft of Palestinian water to supply them, and to put more Palestinians in prison.

    In a soft-spoken voice, Burnat explained that the “olive tree is the life of farmers in this area.”  He showed videos of demonstrators chaining themselves to olive trees and of the burning and bulldozing of olive groves, noting sadly that many Palestinian farmers who used to sell olive oil now have to purchase it.  As a result, over 60 percent of Palestinians are unemployed in Bil’in.

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    Interfaith Peace-Builders, November 5, 2012

    November 5, 2012 – Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) is pleased to announce that our 21 member delegation to the Gaza Strip passed safely through the Rafah Crossing Monday morning and is now safely in the Gaza Strip.

    Interfaith Peace-Builders has sent more than 44 delegations to Palestine/Israel since 2001. This is the first IFPB delegation to enter the Gaza Strip since 2003. Like other IFPB delegations, its purpose is to educate North Americans about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts.

    On the eve of the Presidential Election in the United States, the US-brokered peace process continues to show few results and US military aid to the region continues to flow unabated.

    This delegation focuses on the realities of Palestinian life in the Gaza Strip. Participants have the unique opportunity to hear directly from Palestinians throughout the territory regarding their hopes for peace and the role of the United States, the US government, and other international actors, in promoting a resolution to the conflict.

    The Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation to the Gaza Strip is led by Michael Brown and Cindy Corrie. Michael Brown worked off and on in the Gaza Strip between 1993 and 2000 for the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. A former IFPB board member, Michael continues to work today on the media and Palestine. Michael led an IFPB delegation in 2008. Cindy Corrie is the mother of human rights activist and observer Rachel Corrie who on March 16, 2003, was killed by an Israeli military Caterpillar bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.  Motivated by her daughter’s work and sacrifice, Cindy Corrie has dedicated herself to the pursuit of justice and peace in the Middle East and has visited Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza on numerous occasions. She is also president of the board of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, inspired by her daughter.

    a photo of the delegation in Gaza City

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    March 18, 2012
    Third Annual Rachel Corrie Commemorative Benefit Dinner

    The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project invites you to the

    Third Annual Rachel Corrie
    Commemorative Benefit Dinner

    Sunday, March 18, 5:00 pm
    The Nile Restaurant [Map]
    6119 Odana Road, Madison, WI

    Featured guests: Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel
    (Program information to follow)

    Cost: $20 per person/$35 per couple for a Middle Eastern dinner of hummus, falafel, salad, lentil spinach soup, fool moudamas, spinach pie and warbat dessert

    All proceeds go to the Maia Project water filtration system for the Al-Shuka Girls Preparatory School in Rafah, Palestine

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    Children at the Tuyar Al-Jena Kindergarten in Rafah turn on the tap

    Here in Wisconsin we’ve hardly been hibernating. So much is happening at the state and local level, to say nothing of the 2012 presidential campaign.

    But now and again we need to stick our noses out of our local dens and act as citizens of the wider world.

    So for GROUNDHOG’S DAY we suggest that you check out our “CLEAN WATER FOR RAFAH’S CHILDREN” campaign and for VALENTINES DAY, turn on the love with a contribution towards a water filter/desalinization system for the Al-Shuka Preparatory Girl’s School in Rafah.

    MAIA is Arabic for “water.” The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) began the MAIA campaign when children at a UN school in Gaza were asked what they wanted most for their school. The children replied, “clean water.”

    Madison-Rafah Sister City Projct (MRSCP) has joined with MECA to provide water filter/desalination systems for schools in Rafah. We have already provided money for a system at the Tuyar Al-Jena (Birds of Paradise) kindergarten (see photo) and the Rafah’ Girls’ Preparatory School A.

    Al-Shuka Preparatory Girl’s School, which serves over a thousand students, will be our third school. We’ve already raised over $4,000 of the $11,500 needed to pay for a system there.

    In 2010 the UN General Assembly declared that “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights.” Please help us provide this very basic human right to the children of Rafah.

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    March 22, 2011
    Ziad Abbas at MATC

    MATC Downtown Education Center
    211 N. Carroll Street, Room D240
    Madison [Map]
    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Ziad Abbas will speak on Water and Solidarity with Palestine. He will discuss Palestine’s water crisis in the broader context of ongoing displacement, military occupation, and the current political events in the Arab world.

    He will tell you about the Middle East Children’s Alliance’s MAIA Project, which provides clean, safe drinking water for children in Palestine by installing water purification and desalination units in kindergartens and schools. To date, more than twenty-seven units have been installed serving nearly 30,000 children.

    Ziad Abbas is from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank. He offers listeners his own experience growing up under Israeli Occupation, along with sharp political analysis and inspiration to take action. He will discuss Palestine’s water crisis in the broader context of ongoing displacement, military occupation, and the current political events in the Arab world.

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