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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 PAGE 5A HERITAGE encourages readers to send in their opin- ions for the Viewpoint column. They must be signed; however, names will be withheld upon request. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit, if neces- sary. Opinions printed in Viewpoint do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the paper. Israel's potential role in fixing the global water crisis By Ben Suster We are undeniably blessed to live in a first-world nation like the United States and it's not because of the copious amounts of WiFi hotspots and unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden. Nor is it because of our incomparable military and massive economy. We are the most fortunate population of people to ever exist because of our access to the most important entity life has ever known: Water. It is absolutely intolerable that 660 million people or 1 in 10 live without access to clean water in the 21st century. What's more outrageous is that this number may jump in the coming years with water supplies across the world being in severe jeopardy of vanishing. From Central Africa to Flint, Mich., access to water is a basic human necessity. However, the sole region that can least afford such an overwhelming crisis is next in line to face one. The Middle East is on the verge of an apocalyptic situation and its only hope is the sole nation in the region not facing acute water stress and whose existence is perpetually denied. After years of continuous conflict, Israel and the Arab nations have the potential to build organic relationships. The nations of the Middle East must put their irrational differences aside and come to grips with the outlook of their region. With willpower being their greatest resource, the Jewish people transformed a desolate desert into a world-power of thriving agriculture and sprawling cities. Green technology and strong environmental policies propelled the desert state to become one of the greenest nations on the planet. Israel is the global leader in water recycling. Israel recycles 86 percent of its water with Spain coming in at a distant second at 19 percent. Furthermore, Israel remarkably has a surplus of water and this is in large part due to Israel's emphasis on reverse-osmosis desalination. Forty percent of Israelis rely on desalination techniques for clean water and this number may jump to 70 percent by municipalities were forced to repair their pipe systems. Today, Israel generates 55 percent of its domestic water supply from desalination- based techniques, and it's leaving the Israeli government scrambling to find an answer for their water surplus; undoubtedly an incredible problem to have. The state of California has been victim to a historic drought that has brought about water conservation initiatives and legislative amendments; yet California still needs a miracle for any chance of a turnaround. "Now more than ever, the Middle East cannot afford to fall into a state of irreversible chaos..." 2050. Such an unorthodox method to sustain life did not arise from a situation of convenience. The Middle East endured a horrific drought in 2008 and Israel was out of options. With her freshwater sources reaching the "black line," Israel was forced to turn to the more saltwater ocean for an unconventional water supply. Affordable water quotas were enacted on civilians and farmers alike and Enter Israel. With the state of California using 80 percent of its water on agriculture, Israel is advising on how to exploit crops that require little water and how to best implement drip-water irrigation. Additionally, the U.S. is being introduced to Israeli companies in order to promote collaboration on a series of industrial water technology projects. It will take four years for the Sierra Nevada snow pack, one of California's main sources of water, to recover from the past six years of drought according to a UCLA study. By now, it should be abundantly clear that California needs as much help from Israel as it can get. The Middle East has consistently been host to a series of brutal transitions: From suffocating dictatorships to an Arab Spring, and then to the Islamic Winter we bear witness to today, there is a variety of reasons to explain for the current deprecating status of the Middle East. Although the extent at which remains to be seen, arid environmental conditions in the Middle East undoubtedly influenced a notable population toward acts of violent desperation. Now more than ever, the Middle East cannot afford to fall into a state of irreversible chaos due to the potential depletionofwatersupplies.The loss of life due to dehydration and brutal conflict for water resources would be catastrophic. Now is the time for water diplomacy and for a push of a normalization of ties with Israel. Water exports and conservation technology can be on the table in negotiations for peace and normalization. In a similar fashion to past land-for-peace deals, Israel is capable of basing peace agreements on a need for water that make or break civilizations. Israel and neighboring Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994 and both states have been blessed with peace since. Fast forward to today and Israel is set to double the annual supply of water to Jordan as part of a water-sharing agreement the two nations signed in 2015. With the increased influx of displaced refugees entering Jordan from Syria and Iraq, a significant strain on Jordan's perpetually limited water resources has followed. One would be remiss to fail to speculate that such mutually beneficial cooperation can bring nations closer. Time is of the utmost essence and there is absolutely no excuse for nations continuing to reject Israel's continuously outstretched hand for peace. If the states of the Middle East cannot overcome their differences, we will be forced to wonder how we left such a world for the future generations. Ben Suster is CAMERA's campus coordinator for New York and Canada. He is originally from MiamL Florida, and graduated from the University of Central Florida, majoring in biotechnology. Letters To The Editor We are a diverse community and we welcome your letters and viewpoints. The views and opinions expressed in the opinion pieces and letters published in The Heri- tage are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Heritage Florida Jewish News or its staff. The Heritage reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, content, and accuracy. And respectful of lashon hara, we will not print derogatory statements against any individual. Please limit letters to 250 words. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to news@ orlandoheritage.com. We need more Jews for Judaism Dear Editor: I was delighted to learn that West Volusia County and the National Jewish Outreach Program rediscovered the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Now, let us remind the Jewish women who marched on Shabbat in Washington, D.C., holding up signs identifying them and their concern for "justice." Were they concerned about the injustice experienced by our children and grandchildren through anti-Semitism and intimidation of their right to free speech in colleges all over this country? Our pro-Israel Christian friends help us in recognizing the injustice (their word) of not moving our American Embassy to the capital of Israel in Jerusalem, while Jewish ex-State Department "gangs" undermine such a move. Muslim students in many colleges provoke not only anti-Jewish and anti-Israel agitation, but use jihadi rhetoric for the establishment of sharia law and mass murder ofinfidelswith impunity. Local mosques welcomed a Syrian Imam who called for martyrs to kill Jewish and gays. We need to actively encourage the brave Muslim reformers of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and stop worrying about "Islamophobia," which is directed only against the organized followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk. Insulting our new president for alleged affinity for dictatorship is ludicrous. Perhaps few remember that our former president early in his tenure planned to establish his own national police force. He did not specify whether they would wear black or brown shirts--but had this plan materialized, Mr. Obama would now be in his third term without the inconvenience of a democratic election. What we need is more Jews for Judaism with love for the United States of America and devotion also for the Jewish democracy in the Middle East. David Danziger Winter Park It's best for our communities to support our day schools Dear Editor: In the Feb. 3, 2017, edition of the Heritage, Abigail Pickus gives a detailed argument in favor of expanding government support of Jewish days schools. While I certainly understand the source of this desire of additional funding I am not sure that in the long term it will service the Jewish community as envisioned. I should note that the assumption of the article that this is only an issue for the Orthodox Community alone is not correct. While certainly the percentage of Orthodox Jews sending their children to Jewish day schools is greater than the rest of the community, there are many non-Orthodox Jews who desire a high quality Jewish education for their children. My family is a very strong supporter of Jewish day schools. All three of our daughters went to the Jewish day school in the community where we lived up north for both elementary and high school. They also went to Jewish summer camps. As I get ready to retire and consider how much larger our retirement nest egg would be if we did not have these additional costs in addition to college, I do not for once regret the choice my wife and I made. Two of our daughters have their master's degrees in Jewish day school education and both taught Judaica in the day school in their respective areas, and one is currently the principal of the Solomon Schechter School where she lives. Eight of our 10 grandchildren either attend or have already graduated from the day school in their area, while the other two are still below school age. We have always supported the day schools financially in the areawhere we lived even if we did not have any children or relatives attending. Clearly I am very dedicated to Jewish day school education not only for my family, but for as many families in the local community that we can get to enroll. However, I am very worried about many of the unforeseen consequences of government support of not only religious, but basically private education in general. I have three major concerns. First, the concept of "separation of church and state" has served the Jewish community in America very well. I would approach anything that weakens this concept with caution, and having public tax funding for religious schools is opening up Pandora's Box and could very well weaken this wall. Second, while it is true that in some cases individual schools in some communities may come out ahead, I suspect that in general the Jewish community will lose out. I am not a person with a financial or economic background, and I do not have the actual financial figures handy, but I suspect that since the Jewish community in general tends to be above average financially, the total number of the tax dollars collected from the Jewish community going to private and religious educational institutions will be significantly greater than the dollars actually going back to support Jewish educational institutions. As a community we would be much better off supporting those who are struggling to send their children to Jewish day school philanthropically than having tosupportprivateand religious educational institutions in general through our taxes. Third and finally, we are kidding ourselves if we suspect that the additional funding for private and religious school support with public funds will be funded by additional taxes. It will for the most part be funded by taking funds away from the public school systems, which in many areas are also struggl ing financially. While I would encourage every Jewish parent to at least consider sending their children to a Jewish day school, I realize that not all will. Even more so, as citizens of the United States, we desire to insure that all children where we live receive a quality education. It does the Jewish community no good in the long term if our children are well educated, but if those of the general society are not. If this were to occur, the U.S. would slowly lose its edge of a high standard of living as compared with the rest of the world. Thus as Jews we need to financially support our communities' day schools through philanthropic support, both as individuals as well as from the community as a whole such as support by local Federations and other Jewish Philanthropic institutions, and to support our public education system through our taxes and to insist that they be world class educational institutions. To do otherwise is to do disservice to the Jewish community, and to the general community in which we live. Edward E. A. Bromberg Orlando Mr.Shuldig and his dog boobie A CRIMINAL GROUP HAS BEC--N SELLING FAKE IPOCUMEkrr5 TO HAREOIM TO C-ET THEM MENTAL ILLNESS EXEMPTIONS 1:::20M THE ISRAELI ARMY. THAT'S CRAZY. See all our books: http:llamazon.comlauthorlkirschen