Guest post by Udi Raz* | Photos by Oren Ziv / ActiveStills
These are hot, hot August days. I try not to be outside unless I have to, and keep refilling the water bottles in the fridge. They empty so fast. It’s a good thing the neighbors upstairs keep their air conditioning on most of the time: we collect their AC’s drip and use it to water our thirsty plants. And after a long hot day, there’s nothing like a good shower to cool down and get things back in perspective.
Not so far from my apartment in Tel Aviv, in the West Bank, it’s at least as hot, sometimes worse. But there, for many, getting water is not as simple as turning on the tap. All summer long Israel has been cutting water supply to Palestinians for days at a time. Imagine what would it be like in your town after a few days with no drinking water for people and animals, no water for irrigating plants or fields, no water to wash yourself, to do the dishes, to flush the toilet? Jewish settlements in the West Bank do not face this issue. When people there turn on their taps, to brush their teeth or make their morning coffee, water flows. The plants in their fields do not wilt.
Water is so essential, so simple and basic. Who hasn’t been thirsty? Who wouldn’t give a thirsty person a glass of water? Over the last few days, people all over the world decided to shed light on this burning issue. On an Australian beach, by a lake in central Boston, on a bridge in South Africa, and at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, groups of people held up lights that spell the urgent message “WATER IS A RIGHT.” I joined these people on Jaffa’s shore, holding one of the lighted letters.
We can get the water flowing again in Palestine. This campaign is an important step: posting images, videos and texts about the water situation in the West Bank on social media, using the hashtag #waterpalestine. Share posts that use this hashtag; Bring this issue to the awareness of influential people you know, reporters and politicians.
And don’t forget to drink. It’s hot outside.
*Udi Raz is an Israeli musician, composer and teacher.