PARTNERS FOR PROGRESSIVE ISRAEL ENDORSES
THE GREEN BLUE DEAL FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
Amid the gloom in so many quarters over the stalemate regarding the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is now underway an ambitious and visionary plan that has the potential to reinforce the still-fragile peace among Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, that will bring environmental rehabilitation and economic development to the neglected Jordan Valley and create a healthy and sustainable regional interdependence.
The author and driving force behind this plan is EcoPeace-Middle East, a tripartite NGO, with offices in Tel Aviv, Amman, and Ramallah, that has pioneered environmental peacemaking in the Levant for almost three decades. The plan, dubbed the “Green Blue Deal for the Middle East” was devised and elaborated during the last year and is now being rolled out as a realistic blueprint for regional cooperation in dealing with the climate crisis.
Partners for Progressive Israel enthusiastically endorses the Green-Blue Deal and will be working with EcoPeace Middle East to build support from the American public.
Today we are delighted to discuss the first chapter of the plan – the Water Energy Nexus, designed to take advantage of a fortuitous distribution of natural resources among the three partners. With its large and expanding array of desalination plants on the Mediterranean, Israel now desalinates 70 percent of its drinking water, with a surplus which can start to restore the Jordan River and sell water to parched Jordan to meet its needs. The Palestinian Authority is also planning to build large desalination plants in Gaza that could be incorporated into a regional desalination program.
What Israel and Palestine are deficient in is the huge amount of energy needed to power this operation sustainably and at a reasonable price. Fortunately, Jordan, with its vast desert expanses and abundant sunshine, has the potential capacity to produce enough renewable solar energy to sell to both Israel and Palestine.
The result would be a regional desalinated water solar energy community among Israel, Jordan, and Palestine that would result in healthy and sustainable regional interdependencies. This project would be financed by private investors, as it is expected to generate a healthy profit.
As idealistic as the GBD might appear, it’s not pie-in-the-sky. The results of a prefeasibility study commissioned by EcoPeace and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to explore the technical, economic, and geopolitical viability of the proposed exchanges concluded that this concept could indeed offer substantial economic, environmental, and geopolitical benefits to all three sides, with strong incentives for sustained cooperation. Once fully implemented, it would be a game-changer for the entire region.
Last August, Partners held a webinar during our Israel-Palestine Symposium 2021 with the three directors of EcoPeace Middle East, Gidon Bromberg (Israel), Nada Majdalani (Palestine) and Yana Abu Talab (Jordan), where they discussed in detail the Green Blue Deal. Watch it here.
Partners looks forward to working with Eco-Peace in helping to create both a physical and a political environment that can both help protect the region from the worst ravages of climate change, as well as lead towards a two-state solution to the long-lasting Israel-Palestine conflict.
We will keep you updated as to how you can support this important initiative.