The snow and icy rains that chilled Israel this weekend received a warm welcome from its residents. As the rainy season draws to a close, many fear that this year's low rainfall will lead to dangerous summer drought.
Ilana Teitelbaum of the Green Prophet writes:
“Though we thrill to the sound of rain thrumming against the windowpanes, at the same time we mutter tensely, ‘It's not enough. It's not enough.'”
On The Muqata, Litvshe gushes:
Finally! Snow has come to Beit-El!!! After months of waiting, Winter has finally shown up.
Dion Nissenbaum at Checkpoint Jerusalem notes that Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli has just been chosen by the Water Authority to educate the public on water conservation. Rafaeli will join other celebrities in an effort to draw the country's attention to the crisis.
Over at What War Zone???, Benji Lovitt, the consummate comedian of the Israeli blogosphere, gets into the act. When political party Kadima's website appeared to be hacked during the elections, Lovitt joked:
What's with the angry armed dude? To be fair, I don't know what he's doing with the gun so I can't call him a terrorist. It could be a water pistol which would REALLY be a crime based on the horrible drought.
In contrast, Matt Beynon Rees, has serious concerns about the geopolitical implications of the impending water shortage. Rees points out that regional water shortages threaten the delicately balanced security of Israel and its neighbors. Having sustained major damage from this winter's Cast Lead Operation, Gaza's sewage system is barely operational. To the North, Syria is entering its fifth year of insufficient rainfall. Both countries are desperately seeking international aid in order to prepare for the long, dry summer ahead. Rees observes:
It’s the latest dramatic chapter in what might be called the real crisis of the Middle East — the chronic water shortage affecting much of the Levant… Academics have been warning for years that a Middle East war could one day be fought over water, rather than land… Maybe deserts just weren’t meant to bloom.
- Rainless Winter Worsens Middle-East Strife, Garden of Eden Hardest Hit (The Green Prophet)