Israel and Jordan have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in the rehabilitation of the Jordan River, which after decades of neglect has become more polluted, has suffered from the diversion of fresh water that previously flowed into the river and has also endured years of drought, all of which have led to a loss of biodiversity and a decrease in the volume of water.
Who could oppose such a project that fosters cooperation between Israel and Jordan in a joint effort to rescue the river from further degradation and drought, and restore an estimated half of the biodiversity that has been lost? Who could oppose this project that will help the natural environment recover, provide greater access to water for thirsty Jordanians, and create a more attractive site for tourists, including Christian religious pilgrims, whose spending will be especially welcomed by Jordanians? and Palestinians?
Well, BDS might, because it sees this cooperation between Israel and Jordan in an environmental project, one that will also require the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, as a sinister Zionist plot to push for “environmental normalization” (between Israel and Jordan), which BDS it denounces as “cooperating with the Zionist entity under the guise of improving the environment, whether that means reducing pollution, recycling, increasing access to water, or reversing climate change.”
“Under the pretext of improving the environment”? Those crafty Zionists don’t mean to disguise themselves. On Israel’s part, there is simply a direct desire to improve, to rehabilitate, a river whose constant degradation has been ignored for too long, a river that should concern both Jordan and Israel.
EcoPeace, which helped achieve this agreement, is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists. You can find more about EcoPeace’s statement on the MOU, and BDS’s bitter reaction to the MOU, here: “‘Progressive’ BDS opposes Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians working together to save the Jordan River”, Elder of Ziyon, November 18, 2022:
From the EcoPeace website:
EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists.
Our main objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In doing so, we seek to promote both sustainable regional development and the creation of the necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Ramallah and Tel Aviv.
on thursday they Announced that Israel and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding to rehabilitate the Jordan River, an initiative that will also require cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.
“The rehabilitation of the Jordan River is a critical climate adaptation measure that can help restore 50% of biodiversity lost due to decades of pollution and freshwater diversion,” the group said. “With the river basin experiencing back-to-back years of climate-related drought, a rehabilitated river can be the foundation for building regional climate resilience. The river, which is sacred to half of humanity, can provide much-needed jobs through tourism and pilgrimage, especially for the Jordanian and Palestinian communities.”
Sounds like a win-win, right? Helping the environment, helping the Palestinian and Jordanian economies, even helping tourists and pilgrims who want to visit Jordan. Who can oppose?
The Jordanian branch of the BDS movement issued an angry statement of its own, saying the project “works to integrate Jordanian and Palestinian youth into environmental programs and joint workshops, alongside Zionist groups from the occupied territories.”
What a sinister plot by the Zionists, cajoling innocent “Jordanian and Palestinian youth into environmental programs and joint workshops” with “Zionist groups”. Will the Zionists stop at nothing in their attempts to undermine hostility towards them by offering to help the Arabs in rehabilitating the natural environment, in this case, the reclaiming of the Jordan River that will help both Jordanians and Palestinians?
It’s [the BDS] accused EcoPeace of “environmental normalization,” which they define as “cooperating with the Zionist entity under the pretext of improving the environment, whether that means reducing pollution, recycling, increasing access to water, or reversing climate change.”
They said that Israel “uses environmental normalization as a means of public relations and as a cover to hide its violations of human rights and to cover up its environmental crimes against Palestinians and their land.”
So according to BDS, anything Israel does to help the environment is terrible because it covers up the horrible things Israel does to the environment.
In other words, better for the Jordan River to dry up than to allow Israel to get involved in saving it.
There is no sinister Zionist plot. Israel would like to cleanse and revive, and bring more fresh water to the Jordan River for good enough reasons of its own. And he is glad that he can, at the same time, help the country of Jordan to join him in the same effort to rehabilitate the river and increase the abundance of water that the river can provide for both agricultural use and human consumption. . That effort will also require the cooperation of the Palestinians. EcoPeace is an organization that does not have a political agenda, but is dedicated exclusively to repairing environmental degradation. Israel is trying to undo the damage that has been done to the Jordan River over many decades, and it is not trying to hide its responsibility for some of that damage. Most of the river’s pollution appears to come from Jordanians and Palestinians, though Israel will quietly refrain from pointing it out.
BDS has shown, not for the first time, its deranged hysteria and its hatred of anything that can unite Jews and Arabs for the common good. Apparently, the movement would prefer that Jordanians and Palestinians living on the east and west banks of the Jordan continue to put up with the increasing pollution of the river and the diminishing volume of water. BDS doesn’t really care about the welfare of the Palestinians; their only interest is to prevent Israel from doing anything that might make the Jewish state look good. Fortunately, this EcoPeace-supported project is unlikely to go off the rails. And the river will be rehabilitated thanks to the joint efforts of riparians on both banks—Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians—who will quite sensibly dismiss the ridiculous complaints of the Jordanian branch of BDS with added hate.