Part 10 of a 12 part series examining the ecological impacts of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
A synopsis of the findings is here.
by Dick Callahan, reposted from DickCallahan.net
Behind a curtain of wine, war, and industrial tourism, Israel is losing a pyrrhic population race with the more fertile Arabs.
“We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster, urging Jews to move to his country.
“Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University on Israel’s population explosion.
The Demographic Threat
Israel has been in an officially declared State of Emergency since 1948. The word ‘crisis’ is as expected in their daily news feeds as fish is expected on seafood restaurant menus. Threat after threat. The population scarcely has time to digest the crisis du jour before the next is on the doorstep.
In this environment, the fact that Israel’s population is growing at 1.58 percent compared with 2.71 percent for Palestinians, is known in the Jewish state as, ‘the demographic threat.’ To forestall this dire eventuality Israel has brought millions of Jews and Jewish-when-it-suits-them people from Russia, Europe, the Bronx or wherever, and they’re always recruiting for more. Any Jew from anywhere in the world can hop on a plane to Israel and be handed citizenship, a gun, help finding a job, and an apartment. Then there’s one more person sucking up a couple hundred liters of water a day. Still, the demographic threat continues to increase because: Jewish recruitment to Israel is slowing down, many Jewish immigrants leave Israel after a few years, and Israelis on the whole are quite a bit older than Palestinians.
The median [half are over, half are under] age of females in Israel is 30.6 years-old. Female median age in the Occupied West Bank is 21.3 years-old. Female median age in Gaza is 17.5 years-old. And so, as Israeli women are aging out of their child bearing years, Palestinian women are just moving into their peak child bearing years. This means that even though Palestinian life expectancy is ten years less than Israeli life expectancy a few miles away, and, even though Palestinian infant mortality rates are five times what they are on the Israeli side of the segregation wall, Palestinian women have more children than Israeli women at total fertility rates of 3.91 children/woman and 2.92 children/woman, respectively. In addition, there are another 5.5 million Palestinian refugees in the diaspora.
One of three core demands of the Palestinian (BDS) movement is that Palestinians–and their descendants–who the Zionists drove off their land in 1948, have the same right to return under international law as say, German Jews have the right to return to Germany. At the end of World War II Germany passed a law that any Jew who fled the Nazis–and their descendants–could get citizenship in Germany. This is why Israeli Jews are “…the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” So Israelis get the concept, at least when it’s applied to themselves.
When success arrives for the BDS movement, as it eventually must, how will the land fare? Right now the Israeli Jewish population and the Palestinian population inside Israel and in the OPT are even at about 6.85 million each, (although the Jewish number counts Israelis living outside the country, including up to a million living in America, who probably won’t settle back to Israel). If all the Palestinians in the diaspora return there will be 19.2 million people in that small arid parcel.
Population density in perspective
What would America look with the population density of Israel, the West Bank or Gaza? America has 327 million people on about 3,797,000 square miles. Israel has 8.45 million people on 8019 square miles. The West Bank has 2.7 million Palestinians on 2,183 square miles—except Israel has effectively annexed two thirds of the West Bank Area C, so the Palestinians get 742.22 square miles. Gaza has 2 million people on 141 square miles.
Doing the math as simple ratios, if Amerca had Israel’s population density we would have over 4 billion people. That wouldn’t be viable. We’re already strapped with less than a tenth of that population If America had the full West Bank’s population density we’d have about 4.7 billion people. If America had the West Bank’s population in Area’s A and B but not including Area C, we’d have 13.9 billion people. If America had Gaza’s population density we’d have 53.86 billion people.
Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza have a combined area of about 10,343 square miles. Combining the three populations and the diaspora (about 19.2 million total) on that 10,343 square miles, would give a population density of 1,856 per square mile. Applying that same population density to America’s 3.797 million square miles, would give us a population of 7.081 billion people. That’s more than the entire 2011 human population of earth.
At the end of the day, if you could snap your fingers and make everybody in Israel and the OPT either Jewish or Palestinian, it wouldn’t matter. They’d still be high and dry, water-wise.
American support for Israel, especially among college students, has been going down like a tire iron in a swimming pool. It took less than ten years of social media to break the dam holding back a reservoir fifty years deep in carefully crafted Zionist narrative. Today anyone with the inclination can see unfiltered truths about what’s going on in the occupied territories. That, combined with the Trump/Netanyahu bromance culminating in the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has created what Israelis view as a public relations crisis. How can Zionism sell American college students on Israel and the embassy move at the same time? They’ve allocated something over $120 million on a tourism campaign called; ‘One Break, Two Cities.’
At some level you’ve got to hand it to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism for trying. Where’s the embassy going? Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. You can go too.
‘One Break, Two Cities’ has a 30 second commercial with two girls, who are clearly majoring in bums and boobs, snapping selfies at the beach, the fountains, the bars, and a boat at sea. What strikes a viewer, after the bums and boobs, is how much clean water there is. Tourists expect water and use more of it than they do at home. They commonly take multiple showers per day. Higher rated hotels use more water than lower rated hotels. The websites want visitors to know that Israeli beaches have public showers.
A typical tourist to Israel spends $1,500 in 8.2 days. Even if they only averaged 300 liters of water per day, the 3.6 million tourists in 2017 soaked up 8,856,000 metric tons of water, which has got to be hard to watch from Gaza or the West Bank where people pay high prices for water and get less than 70 liters per day.
A little glass of wine
Growing wine for the European market in what is now Israel goes back to 1870 when Barron Rothschild funded Mikveh Israel, the first Jewish experimental agricultural station in Palestine. Today, freed by imports from needing water for growing grains and feed, Israeli entrepreneurs use the water for more lucrative crops like cut flowers and wine. The water footprint of that 148 ml (5oz glass) glass of wine on the table is about 130 liters. Over a million Palestinians get less than 60 liters of water per day and in West Bank Area C thousands get by on as little as 20 liters of water per day. (20 liters is what Americans use for every flush of an older toilet.) So, each glass of Israeli wine you pour represents between two and six days worth of water taken from some destitute Palestinian.
In spite of that, or because of it, Israel has built an archipelago of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They’re lucrative and they suck up phenomenal amounts of water that formerly went to Palestinians. Because of mounting European’s concern about the plight of Palestinians, and Israeli concern that the Boycott over Israel’s occupation will cut their market, Israelis attempt to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the OPT by claiming tiny Israel has five grape growing regions some of which overlap between occupied territories and areas inside the Green Line. Westerners are increasingly aware that Jewish wineries in Palestine are given special concessions by the Israeli government in the form of subsidies, seized [Palestinian] land, extra water, and military troops to protect them. In return, many wineries normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc. Advocates have filmed grapes harvested in the OPT being trucked straight to a major wine maker inside Israel. With no way to be sure that an Israeli wine didn’t come from the occupied territories Americans and Europeans increasingly boycott Israeli wines.
The Zionist’s perpetual ‘State of Emergency’ has overwhelmed water infrastructure, and contaminated ground water, surface water, and sea water with petroleum, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, ordinance, radioactive isotopes…and that’s just inside their own country. They’ve invaded all the neighbors multiple times commandeering their water supplies when they can and damaging them when they can’t, in the process making millions of people refugees in over-crowded, water-strapped refugee camps.
Because the United States government has made it a law that Israel will always be the dominant military power in the region, the Israelis brandish the latest American weapons systems with the predictable result that their neighbors try to keep up which creates an endless cycle of water wasting escalation.
Footnote on populations”
Population: 5,04,041 (West Bank and Gaza plus about 1.1 million in Israel and 300,000 thousand in E. Jerusalem. Not to mention over 1.5 million Palestinians in camps in neighboring countries, plus 4 million in neighboring countries outside refugee camps.)
Median age Gaza both: 17.2 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age Gaza: 16.8 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age Gaza: 17.5 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Median age West Bank both: 21.1 years (CIA factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median Age West Bank: 20.9 years
Female Median Age West Bank: 21.3 years
Palestine growth rate 2.71% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 361
Life Expectancy male 71.83 years
female 75.74 years
both 73.73 years
Mean age at childbearing 28.86 years
Total Fertility rate 3.91 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.05 males per female
Infant mortality rate 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births (Gaza)
Infant mortality rate 14.1 deaths/1000 live births (West Bank)
Under 5 mortality rate 20.827 deaths/thousand
*40% of the Palestinian population is under 14 years old.
Population: As of February 2018, 8,404,916. (Israeli census includes the 650,000 Jewish colonists in the OPT as Israeli citizens but does not include the millions of Christian and Muslim Arabs that live there.)
Median age both: 29.9 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 29.3 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 30.6 (CIA Factbook, 2017 est.)
Israel growth rate 1.58% (as of 2017)
Net change per day: 355
Life Expectancy male 81.03 years
female 84.31 years
both 82.74 years
Mean age at childbearing: 30.698 years
Total Fertility rate: 2.92 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth: 1.053 males per female
Infant mortality rate: 2.732 deaths/1,000 live births
(infant mortality among Arab Israeli babies is about 3 times higher than Jewish babies)
Under 5 mortality rate: 3.361 deaths/thousand
*Jewish people from former Soviet Union and Europe and their Israeli born descendants (Ashkenazi) are 50 percent of Jews in Israel. About 6.5 percent of Israel’s Jewish population lives in OPT colonies.
Median age both: 38.1 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Male Median age: 36.8 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
Female Median age: 39.4 (CIA Factbook 2017 est.)
US growth rate 0.93 (as of 2010)
Net change per day: 6,298
Life Expectancy male 77.34 years
female 81.88 years
both 79.62 years
Mean age at childbearing 29.514 years
Total Fertility rate: 1.886 children/woman
Sex ratio at birth 1.04 males per female
Infant mortality rate 5.195 deaths/1,000 live births
Under 5 mortality rate 6.079 deaths/thousand
MLA Citation Palestine population: (2017-12-20) Retrieved 2018-01.07, from http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/palestine-population/
(*Graphic at top by artist Kari Dunn http://kdunnart.weebly.com)
Recognition 10: Demographic Threat Wine, War, Tourism: Selected Sources
04.30.2017 This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz Editorial Haaretz calls the annual Israeli population report “a ludicrous piece of propaganda” that includes the 650,000 Jewish settlers in the occupied territories but excludes the millions of Palestinians who live there. Article shows a map of Israel published in the report that doesn’t include any borders of the occupied territories, so it looks as if the Palestinian territories have been absorbed into Israel.
02.16.2015 Leaders reject Netanyahu calls for Jewish mass migration to Israel The Guardian by Peter Beaumont. “We say to the Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster
09.25.2015 Israel’s soaring population: promised land running out of room? Reuters by Tova Cohen & Steven Scheer. “Israel is on the road to an ecological, social and quality of life disaster as the population rises it becomes more violent, congested and unpleasant to live in and absolutely no room for any species other than humans.” Professor Alon Tal, Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University.
04.08.2012 Jews stream back to Germany Forward by Donald Snyder.
Dr. Sima Saltzberg of Bar-Illam University ‘says over 100,000 Israelis have applied for and received German passports.’ “This is the largest group of German passport holders in the world outside Germany.” says Emanual Nashon, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israeli embassy in Berlin. Article notes that ‘under German law, since 1949 any Jew—or the decendents of a Jew, who fled Nazi Germany has the right the right to become a naturalized German. (emphasis added)
05.01.2017 Editorial/This is how Israel inflates its Jewish majority Haaretz
08.01.2017 Can Israel bring home its million US expats? Jerusalem Post by Ben Soles. Article says hundreds of thousands, up to a million, Israelis have moved to America.
08/0213Average Tourist Spends $1,500 in Israel Y Net news, Israel Travelhttp://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4412806,00.html
Water footprint of wine is 125 ml (4.2 oz glass) costs 110 liters of water to grow.
08.21.2012 Wine Talk: Deep in the desert Jerusalem Post by Adam Montefiore.
Yatir winery close to the Dead Sea.
Tel Arad wineries in the the Negev:
Boker Valley—on route 40, lodge and cabins, hot tub, gift shop. About 15 miles from Eqypt border.
Midbar Winery—in Arad.
Rota Winery—in Erez Rota.
Kadesh Barnea—Nitzana near Egypt border.
Sde Boker Winery—at Kibbutz Sde Boker off route 40
Carmey Andat Winery—off Route 40 near Adat
Neot Smadar Winery—southernmost winery 60 km from Eilat
Israeli Wine Direct
04.2011 Forbidden Fruit: The Israeli Wine Industry and the Occupation Aprilhttp://whoprofits.org/content/forbidden-fruit-israeli-wine-industry-and-occupation-0
Coalition of Women for Peacewhoprofits.org The Israelis have built hundreds of wineries in the West Bank, Syrian Golan Heights and within Israel itself. They try to disguise the origin of grapes and wines from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) by claiming Israel has five growing regions some of which overlap occupied territories with Israel areas inside the Green Line. Wineries are given special concessions by the government in the form of subsidies, land, and extra water. In return, many of them normalize the occupation by promoting themselves as tourist destinations and offering tours, lodging, hot tubs, etc.
01.17.2018 Israeli’s wine industry grows better with age. Jewish News Syndicate by Elina Rudee.“A big part of what we are trying to do is sell Israel as a product.” Vera Ben-Sadon, founder of Tura Winery in the OPT.
03.12.2013 The Best Kosher wine in Israel may not be from Israel Smithsonian, by Yochi Dreazen. “Everything we do is about settling more Jews in Israel.” says Daniella Weiss (chief backer of West Bank Winery, who indicates she thinks the West Bank is part of Israel)