Restoring river could improve peace relations
Sharing resources could lead to more peace in the Middle East, say leaders of Friends of the Earth Middle East, an organization active in environmental peacemaking in the Middle East.
The three directors of group — Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director; Nader Khateeb, Palestinian director; and Munqeth Mehyar, Jordanian director — visited campus Oct. 8 to talk about the importance of reviving the Jordan River.
They spoke to students and employees at an event sponsored by the UIC Jewish-Muslim Initiative in the Institute for the Humanities, Stevenson Hall.
The presentation served as a faith-based initiative to engage Muslims, Jews and Christians to discuss the restoration of the Jordan River, which is at 3 percent of its historical flow.
The Jordan River is disputed in the withstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The presentation focused on the fair resource distribution and collective conservation efforts to bring peace. The directors stressed the importance of the water resources being shared, thus this shared resources will decrease conflict.
“The way we’ve dealt with the issues needs to be different,” Bromberg said.
One solution was to stop using drinking water as toilet water and instead replace it with greywater, which would save a third of the water supply — giving each Palestinian home more water.
Sharing water historically was an issue for the Israeli state because it meant less water for Israeli farmers, but that would not be the case anymore, Bromberg said.
All three directors stressed the importance of sharing and sustaining environmental resources.
No one country has priority over the other, especially in terms of the water supply.
“Water is a basic human right – no one can deny that,” Khateeb said.