The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project


October 7, 2009

Dear Governor Doyle:

According to The Business Journal of Milwaukee, you plan to lead a trade mission to Israel this November on sciences, water technology and agriculture. You will speak at a water conference and are urging Wisconsin businesses to join you. You have directed the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to promote this trip.

Israel practices systematic, widespread racial discrimination in the allocation of water resources, both for human consumption and for agricultural use.

This is true inside Israel proper, where the 20 percent of citizens who are Palestinian Arab in origin are severely impacted by government water policies which discriminate against them in favor of Jewish citizens.

The situation is much worse in the West Bank and Gaza, where Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation are being deprived of their own water to the point where their lives and health are in jeopardy, in order to provide Jewish residents of illegal colonies built on Palestinian land with virtually unlimited water use.

The result is that the average Israeli uses 330 liters of water per day while Palestinians average 60 liters per day, below the minimum World Health Organization requirement of 100 liters per day.

This situation is in violation of many international laws, and of basic human decency. Wisconsin cannot “learn” anything of value from Israel regarding water use, nor should you be encouraging Wisconsin businesses to profit from the human suffering caused by such severe racism and discrimination. Please stay home.

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