Water distribution is part of the history of the State of Israel, along with its conflicts. Indeed, the question of water coincided with Jewish national aspirations. Water is necessary for agriculture, and Jewish nationalism initially saw agriculture as essential to its project. All planning on community and state levels looked to acquire the greatest possible stores of water. These acquisitions contributed directly to disputes with neighboring Arab countries, as well as local Arab neighbors. This talk will assess the current water situation in Israel, explain its historical roots, and propose ways in which water management could support a new peace movement.
Rachel Havrelock is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (University of Chicago Press). After writing about how the contested borders of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict formed, Rachel became invested in water sharing as an approach to Middle East peacemaking.
Lecture preceded by a community brunch at 9AM.