Israel, war and water…and the U.S.

The Israeli’s have always wanted the full landscape of Eretz Israel, purportedly for religious reasons, but geopolitically the scarce water resources have had significant influence on their actions towards limiting access to the Jordan, the annexation of the Golan Heights, and the occupation and attacks on Lebanon.  Combining the geographic narrative with the Paskal presentation, Israel sits in a precarious yet powerful position.

With the strongest military in the region, one of the strongest in the world with many nuclear devices, with its need for control of water for a burgeoning population – the Palestinian population growth rate is higher – and its short lines of access to oil and gas resources for energy and industry, Israel is well situated to take advantage of any turmoil caused by the intersection of global environmental catastrophes and  geopolitical catastrophes of its own or others making.  Should the rest of the world devolve into chaos without taking Israel with it, the water is there for the taking, the oil is there for the taking, and the Palestinians are there for removal.

This is a rather grim finale to the interpretation of these two items.  However, both geopolitics and the global climate are unpredictable, with many unexpected occurrences and outcomes.  Again Iran enters the picture, not as an imminent threat, but as a created threat that will allow Israel to rationalize more authoritative action of whatever kind it wants in order to secure its future needs.

The U.S. plays a large role in this, but as per Paskal, “power is imperceptibly shifting away from the United States….there is a growing movement away from overt alignment with the States….Authoritarian regimes benefit from having an enemy….the US military is becoming [?] unpopular and politically marginalized globally….”  China and India are taking up the slack.

Israel is powerful, yet at the same time extremely vulnerable, sitting in a precarious geopolitical situation.  Surrounded by hostile yet compliant neighbours – ranging from the U.S. supported Egyptians, Saudis, and Jordanians, and the more antagonistic governments of Lebanon and Turkey – relying on power alone, as seen with the U.S. and its attempts at global military control, creates many unexpected feedbacks, many distortions in the economy and social/cultural fabric of the country.  Israel has recognized the environmental threat, and is using its military to control as much of it as it can.

The lessons of history, natural history and geopolitical history, would indicate that a different approach is needed.  Restoring the rights of the Palestinians in either a functional contiguous independent state or in a truly democratic bi-national state, would relieve enormous geopolitical pressure, and make the quest for environmental survival that much stronger.

[1]Paskal, Cleo.  Global Warring – How Environmental, Economic and Political crises Will Redraw the World Map.  Key Porter Books, Toronto, Canada. 2010.

[2] __________  “Water – Our Thirsty World.”  National Geographic, April, 2010.

[3] Belt, Don.  “Parting the Waters,” National Geographic, April, 2010. pp. 154 – 171.