UPDATES 8 am Israel time, Wednesday, August 21 2013:
*The Red Sea to Dead Sea project kicked off yesterday. As you may not remember from previous israelstreet blogs (click here for more details), this project will eventually take water from the Red Sea near Aqaba northward through piping and tunnels over a route of 180 km to the Dead Sea. All of the piping and tunnels will be in Jordan.
The first phase of the project will be to pipe water to Al-Risha in southern Jordan where it will be desalinated and then sold both to Jordanians at a reduced price and to Israelis at a pricey 1 dinar (approximately $1.40) per cu. ft.
In return for Israel’s purchase of this water at that price, the Jordanians will then purchase more freshwater from the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) at a price of .3 dinar (approximately 40 cents) per cu ft. Jordan already takes 55 million cu. ft. of water from the Kinneret each each under the terms of the 1994 Israel-Jordanian peace treaty.
In essence, the plan is for greater amounts of water to be pumped out of the already stressed Israeli Kinneret to the northern part of Jordan, and for desalinated water to be piped into Israel’s Negev region.
*Turkish Islamist PM Erdogan’s announcement yesterday that he has “evidence” that Israel initiated the military coup against deposed Egyptian Islamist President Morsi has been greeted with ridicule from almost every quarter–including the U.S. which is home to one of Erdogan’s best friends, Barack Obama. Of course, none of us should be too surprised–any country that would arrest and interrogate a bird on suspicion of spying for Israel (which Turkey did last month) will see an Israeli conspiracy at every turn.
Another meeting took place yesterday between Israel’s wannabe celebrity peacemaker, Tzipi Livni, and the ever radiant Palestinian interlocutor, Saeb Erekat. Neither side revealed what concessions Israel offered this time, but whatever they were, they were not as dramatic as what Livni wanted.
In fact, a rather testy Livni appeared afterward on Israel Radio to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the First Oslo Accords–the agreement engineered by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres with Yasser Arafat and the PLO which set in motion the wholesale slaughter of more than 1000 Israeli men, women, and children by Palestinian suicide bombers from 1994 until 2008.
According to Livni, Israeli concessions are not being offered as rapidly as she would like because of the presence of Naftali Bennett and Bayit Yehudi in the government. In fact, she finds Bennett so objectionable that she proceeded to call on PM Benjamin Netanyahu to dump Bennett and his party out of the government and replace him/it with Shelly Yachimovich and the Labor Party.
Talk about chutzpah. Here we have Livni, who with her tiny Hatnua party (also known as the Tzipi Livni party) hold exactly 6 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, dictating to Netanyahu who should be in the government.
What was Bennett’s response to Livni? Just one word: “Titgabri”–which loosely translated in Hebrew means “Get over it.” In other words, Bennett doesn’t have any plans to leave the government any time soon.
But don’t be surprised, dear readers, if Benjamin Netanyahu is not already cooking something up. If we wake up one morning and find Bennett out and Yachimovich in, no one will be less surprised than your humble servant.