Water – Bridge over Troubled Mideast or Bridge to Peace?
The Arab-Israeli need for water can be a bridge to peace and not a reason for bloodshed, says Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
Speaking at the international WATEC 2011 conference on water being held in Jerusalem, Ayalon said, "Many times in the history of our region, water was a reason for conflict and bloodshed. Today, I want to change this equation, together with you to turn water into a bridge to peace.”
The WATEC conference covers water technologies, in which Israel is a leader, renewable energy and environmental control. More than 30 heads of state and ministers as well as 150 business delegations are attending the conference.
Ayalon addressed the leaders of the Arab states, reminding them, “Israel will benefit from a peace agreement, but you will also gain a genuine partner for development and the assured welfare of future generations in the region."
“Israel is among the leading states in the world in water technologies and is willing to share its knowledge and experience with other countries so that together we can provide for the increasing needs of the world’s ever-growing population."
Syria, Jordan and Israel share a common lack of water. Lebanon has diverted much of the water from the Litani River, reducing the amount available to Israel as it flows southward and empties into the Jordan River and the Kinneret.
The Golan Heights’ rich water resources are one of the reasons Syria has been adamant to claim sovereignty over the strategic area.