Greek government seeking to privatize state owned water company for Israel

Jun 05, 2014 12:00 AM

Despite the state-owned water company E.Y.A.TH functioning as a profitable enterprise, the Greek government is swiftly proceeding in its privatization plan and selling their majority shares to foreign interests.

An increase in turnover and net profits was registered in the 1st quarter of 2014, compared to the corresponding period last year. Gross profits are up 2.2% , at 8.1 million Euros.

This is irrelevant to the Greek state however. Foreign investment firms have emerged as potential buyers, and the privatization process has been accelerated under this pressure. A referendum in Thessaloniki conducted during the first Sunday of the election found that 98% of the city’s citizens (more than 213,000 people) gave an overwhelming “no!” to the privatization of their water.

One of the larger and well-known bidders is the Jewish owned company Mekorot. Six representatives of the company were recently present in Thessaloniki to have talks with officials and an assembly. During these talks they told the Greek people they had no reason to fear privatization of E.Y.A.TH, which is mind-blowing hypocrisy, as Mekorot itself is owned by the Israeli government!

Who exactly is Mekorot, and why are they dangerous?

The Mekorot water company is a public enterprise in the hands of the Israeli state. It was founded in 1937 and is in charge of 90% of Israel’s drinking water and 80% of the country’s water reserves.

The company’s unscrupulous nature first reared its head in 1950, where they embarked on an expensive project that diverted water from the historic Jordan River in the West Bank and Jordan to provide water for Israel. Today the Jordan River, which provided water for millions of Palestinians and Jordanians for much of history, is little more than a sewer thanks to this act.

In August 1967, an Israeli military order put Mekorot in charge of all water in the West Bank in order to transfer it to Israel. Virtually all Palestinian water sources are now in the hands of the State of Israel.

In 2005 Mekorot founded an international business section, in order to expand its influence and secure more resources for the Jewish people. Generous contracts have been signed to them in the United States, Cyprus, Argentina, India and Uganda.  In Greece, Mekorot lobbyists have been vying for a chunk in the government’s fire-sale privatization program. Further cooperation agreements have been signed in Brazil, Portugal, and Italy.

The frightening ease with which the Zionist owned company has used water as a weapon against racial and religious groups they hate should concern every nation thinking of signing over their supply.

Palestinian organizations not long ago organized demonstrations against Mekorot for its implementation of “water apartheid” against the people they occupy.  The movement seeks to bring attention to their brazen violations of international law, close support and subsidization for illegal Israeli settlements, theft of natural resources from their rightful owners, and the use of water as a weapon of ethnic cleansing. Thanks to the control of Mekorot, Palestinians today deal with chronic shortages of water, while neighboring Jewish colonizers in the West Bank liberally fill their swimming pools and spas…with the water diverted from the indigenous people’s villages!

We must protect our most vital resources from these dangerous international criminals. Greek water is for the Greek people!

Here are the six reasons PENGON and Friends Of Earth gave for their boycott of Merkorot:

1. Mekorot operates a system of water apartheid: Mekorot has been responsible for water rights violations and discrimination since the 1950s when it built Israel’s national water carrier, which is diverting the Jordan River from the West Bank and Jordan to serve Israeli communities. At the same time it deprives the Palestinian communities from the possibility of access to water: Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much.
Mekorot has refused to supply water to Palestinian communities inside Israel, despite an Israeli high court ruling recognizing their right to water.
A French parliamentary report called these policies water apartheid.

2. Mekorot’s vital support for the illegal settlement enterprise: Mekorot support for colonial settlement has continued since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. The company took monopoly control over all water sources in the occupied territories, implementing policies that bolster Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian communities.

The United Nations report of the independent international fact-finding mission on the implications of the Israeli settlements on the rights of the Palestinian people as well as the latest report on the settlements by the Secretary-General of the UN denounce Mekorot’s role in the settlement enterprise.

All cooperation with Mekorot inherently benefits from or contributes to the illegal settlement enterprise. Dutch public water company Vitens states that “Whether it comes to knowledge about extraction of water or to the benefits that can be achieved with smart grids, these cannot be separated from what the UN writes about the policy of Mekorot (*) towards the Palestinian territories and the settlements.”

3. Mekorot participates in the international crime of pillage of natural resources and wanton destruction of water infrastructure:

Mekorot operates some 42 wells in the West Bank, mainly in the Jordan Valley region, which mostly supply the Israeli settlements.

Mekorot works in close partnership with the Israeli military, confiscating irrigation pipes
from Palestinian farmers and destroying the water supply sources of Palestinian communities. In 2012 alone the Israeli army demolished 60 water and sanitation structures belonging to Palestinians.

4. Mekorot denies Palestinians the human right to water as a tool for the Israeli policy of displacement:

In the summer Mekorot, escourted by the army, turns off the tap on Palestinian West Bank communities, leaving them to dry.

Mekorot is a proud partner of the JNF’s “Negev Blueprint” plan, which will see 40 000 Palestinian Bedouin citizens of Israel uprooted from their homes into reservations and their land used for Jewish-only settlement in the Negev.

5. Mekorot exports its water apartheid benefiting from water privatization:

Argentina’s Public sector union ATE stated during its campaign that “if the tender is awarded to Mekorot water would rank as a luxury item and not as a vital resource that is a social right, and, secondly, human rights would be violated by giving the award to a company that supports the Palestinian genocide.”

6. Mekorot’s purported ‘expertise’ on water is plain ‘bluewashing’: the construction of water myths intended to bolster Israel’s image abroad. Unlike what the company claims, Israel did not make the ‘desert bloom’. The area of historic Palestine is rich in water and Palestinians have a centuries-old agriculture tradition. Israel exploited this myth to justify its misguided diversion of the Jordan River waters, turning the historic river into a sewage pit, and to justify aggression against neighboring countries. The reality is that Israel is a water waster, its citizens consume water double the European average and its agriculture sector is ecologically unsustainable, with government subsidized farmers growing water thirsty crops.

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