Check facts first

On May 25, Herb Rothschild cited several fake facts — in particular his statement that Israel performs “ongoing theft of Palestinian land and water.” Because of the short scope of this response, I’d like to refer to only one accusation — stealing Palestinian water. This is an utterly false accusation.

Facts are: Israel supplies the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank 115 million cubic meters (MCM) yearly, 74 MCM of which are pumped from within the Green Line (the ’67 border the PA agrees is Israel) and 41 MCM of which are pumped from within the West Bank. All the water from the West Bank goes to the PA.

Of the 115 MCM, Palestinian villages and cities consume 64 MCM, which creates a deficit (64 MCM-41 MCM=23 MCM). Israel provides the additional 23 MCM from its own sources. This is the opposite of stealing. The remaining balance of 51 MCM is pumped to Jewish settlements.

The PA is paying 79 cents per cubic meter (some Palestinian farmers are charged 14 cents per CM for the 4 MCM they receive). The price Israelis pay is $1.10 per CM. Simple arithmetic shows that Israel subsidizes the PA with $22.1 million yearly in water supply alone.

Can that be considered “theft”? Please check the facts before making false accusations.

Emanuel Ben-David