OpinionOpinion | How Biden Can Help Save the Middle...

Opinion | How Biden Can Help Save the Middle East

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Second, the bend within the Jordan River the place we had been standing — the spot the place custom says John the Baptist baptized Jesus — was roughly 100 meters large, with dashing rapids. At present it’s solely 5 to 10 meters large, with no rapids, which was why we might watch Christian pilgrims comfortably standing in the midst of the Jordan being baptized by their priest.

The connection? It’s now so sizzling down right here for a lot longer annually (nearly 115 levels final August) that basically the one crop that may be reliably grown anymore is dates. However that’s potential provided that the palms have numerous water, and that’s now in peril.

With out a wholesome Jordan River, even date palms gained’t be capable of survive right here. Center East Eye just lately quoted a Jordanian farmer about how haywire his planting season has turn out to be: “We used to begin planting in July, however now we begin in September and even October” as a result of the summer season months are too sizzling. “However then it will get chilly in a short time” — too rapidly generally for greens to outlive.

Easy methods to get extra water? The previous technique was resistance, zero-sum considering — “everybody simply grabbing water for what they thought had been their reliable safety wants,” defined Bromberg. Again within the Nineteen Sixties, Israel constricted the circulate of the Jordan from the Sea of Galilee so it might divert extra water by means of a nationwide water provider to thirsty Tel Aviv and right down to the Negev to make the desert bloom. Syria choked its Jordan River tributary the Yarmouk River, and Jordan restricted what was left of its portion of the Yarmouk and different tributaries feeding the river from its territory.

The as soon as mighty Jordan changed into a freshwater trickle, which episodic droughts solely exacerbated, resulting in a big swath of the Useless Sea drying up. Worse, they used the Jordan as a dumping floor for human waste.

The excellent news is that Israel and Jordan acknowledged that this was self-defeating and as a part of their 1994 peace accord agreed that Israel would flip the faucet again on from the Sea of Galilee and provides Jordan an even bigger allotment of water from the river. However the Jordan River couldn’t sustain. With the local weather getting hotter and drier within the valley — and 700,000 Jordanians, 30,000 Israelis and 60,000 Palestinians making an attempt to make a dwelling from agriculture there — a extra sustainable answer was wanted.

In October 2021, I wrote in regards to the outlines of what I hoped might turn out to be a brand new type of peace treaty between Arabs and Israelis — a treaty fostering resilience among the many events moderately than simply ending resistance between the events.

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