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Jerusalem News-754
Date 7th April 2008, 2 Nissan 5768
1. German News Agency Pays Arabs to Riot
2. Water Usage and Israel
3. Evangelist
Hagee pledges $6 million to Israel


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1. German News Agency Pays Arabs to Riot
 by Ezra HaLevi
( The Arab Mukhtar or elder of Silwan, the notoriously Islamist neighborhood just to the east of the Old City, says a German news agency pays Arab youths to riot against City of David excavation.

The City of David (Ir David) organization has purchased several properties in Silwan, also known as Shiloach due to the Temple-era spring located in the valley. In addition to the vast archeological and tourist sites currently located there, excavations are ongoing - though they are often disrupted by groups of Arabs and left-wing Jews who have claimed that they are disturbing the lives of local Arabs.

Hussein Siyam, the Mukhtar of Silwan, is the tribal leader of the two largest clans in the valley to the east of Jerusalem?s Old City. He says that he has been involved in negotiations with Ir David since the beginning. "Anyone who tells you that there is new digging going on below the houses is lying," he said. "The dig existed already and they are just cleaning it out."

He blames two entities for the disturbances. "The Committee for the Protection of Property in Silwan is a group that gets money from Arab states and the Palestinian Authority," he said. "And so, it is interested in spending that money on conflict."

The second source is more nefarious. "A German news company recruits activists here and gives them money to make problems in order to report on them," he claimed.

A German journalist, also at the Mukhtar's home, told his colleagues that the claim seemed a bit "Middle Eastern" to him, but he conceded that local Arabs were hired by foreign agencies - conceivably able to get the news fastest because they are involved in producing it.

Siyam says that three Islamist groups are active in his village  "Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizb a-Tahrir. Fatah is also involved", he said.

All the groups work against the Mukhtar in many ways, saying his ties with Israel make him a sell-out. They encourage local Arabs to boycott municipal elections and point out that the Mukhtar receives his salary from the Israeli government.

Siyam says he stopped getting paid from the Interior Ministry years ago. He also laments that the police no longer come to him with communal issues. He admits that he has little control over the youth however. "Born into Intifada, they feel they have reached a dead end," he says. He says that peace can be brought about through dialogue, but the Islamist groups threaten anyone who has anything to do with "the Jews."

2. Water Usage and Israel

Gov't study: Water usage from natural sources down since 1967
by Zafrir Rinat Haaretz 6 April 2008

Contrary to established opinion, water consumption from natural sources in Israel has actually decreased since the Six-Day War, even though the population more than doubled, a recent study found.

The state Water Authority conducted the study, among other reasons, to refute a claim made by international water experts that Israel launched the 1967 war to increase its water pumping capacity.

The main factor in the study's findings is the major increase in use of purified wastewater for agricultural irrigation. Half of the consumption in recent years has been met also through two large desalination plants.

Despite this, Israel is in a severe crisis because several cycles of draught years over the past two decades created steep drops in the level of Lake Kinneret and groundwater reservoirs, even though overall water consumption did not go up.

According to the Water Authority's data, the annual natural water consumption for 1967 was 1.4 billion cubic meters. In 2006 it was 1.23 billion cubic meters. The rest, some 600,000 cubic meters, were supplied through purified wastewater and desalination plants.

"That figure refutes the claim that we started the war to utilize more water," the official in charge of water issues with the Palestinians and Jordanians, Baruch Nagar, said.

Nagar is referring to a contention made last month in an interview with Haaretz by the German hydrogeologist Clemens Messerschmid, who serves as a consultant on water projects for the Palestinians in the territories: "For Israel to consume all the water it does, it must keep that water away from its neighbors and from the people it is occupying - and this is evident in the Golan, Lebanon, Jordan and the occupied territories."

When the total natural water consumption is divided per capita, it yields another surprising statistic: Annual consumption in Israel decreased from 508 cubic meters per capita in 1967 to 170 cubic meters today. The latter figure also reflects changes in agriculture, since household water consumption rose steadily.

Use of treated wastewater for irrigation also influences the existing thinking on saving water. At an Israeli Water Association conference last month, the Water Authority's director, Prof. Uri Shani, said that Israeli household consumption is "perfectly reasonable." Most household water winds up being recycled for irrigation, Shani claimed, but this is not the case with water for public parks and gardens, so that is the area where savings measures are most in need.

3. Evangelist Hagee pledges $6 million to Israel,7340,L-3528404,00.html
Rally held by group founded by controversial American Christian leader backs Israeli sovereignty over entire unified capital while donating millions to public causes. 'Turning part or all of Jerusalem over to the Palestinians would be tantamount to turning it over to the Taliban,' Hagee says

American evangelist John Hagee on Sunday announced donations of $6 million to a number of Israeli causes and declared that Israel must remain in control of all of Jerusalem.

Hagee, who has been in the news lately for his endorsement of US Presidential candidate John McCain and his criticism of the Catholic Church, brought hundreds of backers on a solidarity trip to Israel.

Hagee's group, Christians United for Israel, held a colorful rally at Jerusalem's convention center. The mostly American audience waved Israeli flags and cheered as Hagee joined keynote speaker Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel's hardline opposition Likud party, to insist Jerusalem remain united and under Jewish control.

''Turning part or all of Jerusalem over to the Palestinians would be tantamount to turning it over to the Taliban,'' Hagee said. Palestinians claim the eastern part of the city, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as the capital of their future state.

Among the 16 causes Hagee supported with the contributions he announced were divided the Magen David Adom emergency service and a conference center in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel.

The fate of Jewish settlements like Ariel is one of the issues at the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Support of evangelicals for Israel's maintaining control of all of the West Bank endears them to Israeli hardliners but troubles more dovish activists.

''If they're giving money to mainstream causes it's hard to object,'' said political analyst Yossi Alpher, who edits an Israeli-Arab online newsletter.
But he added, ''When they give money to extreme right-wing causes and when they direct their political support there, they are damaging the peace process.''

Hagee's statements about Catholicism caused McCain to distance himself last month. The San Antonio pastor suggested that Catholic anti-Semitism shaped German Nazi ruler Adolf Hitler, among other comments.
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