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February 15, 2018 4:07 pm
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Is Refusing Israeli Help Worth a Drought?

avatar by Daniel Pomerantz

Opinion

A South African flag. Photo: Achim Raschka via Wikimedia Commons.

Is refusing Israeli help worth a drought? According to South Africa’s Rumana Akoob, writing in the Daily Vox and Mail & Guardian, the answer is (apparently): yes.

It’s a horrible fact: South Africa is running out of water. Cities like Cape Town are already cutting access and more cities are set to follow. South Africa has already declared the situation a national disaster.

It’s also a fact that Israel has offered to provide vitally needed assistance through its role as a world leader in drought prevention — through desalination.

But Akoob says:

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This is not true. If Israelis have sufficient water, it’s only because they deny water rights to Palestine.

She then embarks on a screed about Israel’s supposedly harmful activities toward Palestinians in the area of water supply, referring to:

The colonial, apartheid state of Israel which continues to use water as a method of colonization and segregation.

There’s just one problem: the “water libel” against Israel is simply untrue.

In fact, Israel works closely with the Palestinian government to upgrade water infrastructure. Israel also supplies the Palestinians with amounts of water far in excess of that agreed to by the parties under the Oslo Accords. While Palestinians themselves frequently steal, divert, and damage their own water system, Israel continually works with the Palestinian Authority to address these issues.

Unfortunately, HonestReporting has been forced to address the water libel again and again and again. But no matter how many times Israel’s enemies repeat this lie, it just isn’t true.

Akoob claims that maybe South Africa can learn from Israel while simultaneously boycotting Israel — simply by taking Israeli design specifications, but never interacting with Israeli scientists or engineers.

Again, Akoob gets it wrong: according to a whole range of scientists, experts, and engineers (as summarized in this report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), there is simply no substitute for working together when it comes to water.

Based on all these misstatements of fact, Akoob concludes:

South Africa does not need the help of Israel to solve our drought.

And just to make her point, Rumana Akoob is — apparently — willing to bet the very safety of the South African people on her views.

For more information, see HonestReporting’s water resources page HERE.

And for some additional interesting insight on the topic, check out Israelly Cool.

This article was originally published by HonestReporting. Follow the author on Twitter at @DanielSpeaksUp

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