Since Barack Obama, and his fart-catcher John Kerry, don’t seem to give a damn about Israel, I thought, today, I would add to my years-long series on what we would lose if we lost the Jewish state.
From Christa Case Bryant’s June 21, 2015 article at Christian Science Monitor:
Israel ended its driest year on record with a water surplus. Lessons from a desert nation on how to get more out of EIN YAHAV, ISRAEL — Even at night, the ground of Israel’s Arava desert pulsates with heat. For decades, the vast expanse of bleached hills looked like a mountain biker’s paradise and a farmer’s torment. With only about an inch of precipitation per year, not even Israeli vegetation had the chutzpah to grow here.
But that slowly began to change when Israeli pioneers came here in the mid-1960s. True, they didn’t come for the soil or the weather. But farming was vital to staking out the young state of Israel’s claim to this land along the Jordanian border. In between fending off attacks from Palestinian militants, the settlers worked the unforgiving soil.
They grew roses when others said it was impossible. They created naturally air-conditioned greenhouses by setting up “wet curtains” – honeycombed walls that allowed water to seep through slowly. They planted flowers in trenches of volcanic ash instead of the sandy soil. Later they switched to dates and peppers, using an Israeli-invented drip irrigation system.
Today this former moonscape, though still barren, has become an agricultural Eden: Rows of greenhouses stretch across the land, harboring everything from apricots to mangoes, avocados to pomegranates. Other crops are grown outside with plastic stretched over them to reduce evaporation. This narrow strip of land along the Jordanian border produces 65 percent of Israel’s vegetable exports – mainly tomatoes and peppers – and helps feed the Jewish state itself. It’s one of the most productive salad bowls in the Middle East.
More than anything, the transformation of the desert here is a testament to Israel’s innovative approach to water. Driven by a combination of necessity and inventiveness, the country has become one of the world’s leaders in how to wring the most out of parsimonious amounts of rainfall and turn a parched landscape into a productive garden.
The United States, which has chronic droughts in places (like California) where much of this country’s farming takes place, can certainly use Israel’s technology. That we have not done so yet is, frankly, stupid.
But when we eventually decide to, the fact is that this technology will be there. And the one and only reason will be Israel.
That is one of the countless things we lose if we lose if we lose Israel.
Add it to the top of the pile… and then call Obama and Kerry to let them know.