Fresh Water Conflict in Middle East Essay

Decent Essays
Water is a finite and limited resource in the Middle East of inestimable value. As such, competition for control of rivers, basins, and valleys with water flow is inevitable. Due to this, long-term peace between Israel and its neighbors, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon will be partially contingent on the allocation of freshwater. Israel has shown in the past that it will attempt to control and source water with its interest first rather than on the region as a whole. As such, any long-term peace is highly dependent on how Israel and its neighbors handle their limited water resources.
Of the vast quantities of water on this planet, only about three percent is freshwater and thus suitable for human consumption. The largest portion of that is
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However what is considered fair or respectful is vastly open to interpretation. The Israeli interpretation is Israel first; ensuring it has the water it needs to not only survive but grow economically. From the beginning, even before the foundation of the Jewish state, Zionists had plans on how best to use water from both the Jordan and Litani rivers. They expected a Transjordan state including both banks of the Jordan River along with land in modern-day Lebanon which includes the Litani River. These two rivers were central to plans of how to support the expected Jewish National Homeland. Once the borders were set in 1948 however, the east bank of the Jordan and the Litani River were in foreign countries and as such beyond reach. Further exacerbating this was the young nation of Transjordan which also relied heavily on the Jordan River for its water supply. Resentment over the newly formed Jewish state was strong in the Middle East especially after the mass removal and migration of Palestinians either fleeing or being forced out by operations such as Plan Dalet. As Haddadin states, the resulting war was demographic and territorial in nature but the water issue was also dragged into the “geography of the conflict.” Water become part of the issue in the conflict and as such was necessary
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