imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Side by Side, Arabs and Israelis Repair a Wreck of a River

by By MARTIN ROSENBERG Wednesday, Mar. 17, 2004 at 12:48 PM

Side by Side, Arabs and Israelis Repair a Wreck of a River

Side by Side, Arabs and Israelis Repair a Wreck of a River


Published: March 16, 2004

AD HANNAH, Israel — For years, the Alexander River, flowing through Jewish and Palestinian towns in Israel's narrow midsection, carried an angry stew of human waste, stone-cutting debris and the detritus from olive and sesame production.

Now that is changing. The 20-mile-long river, really a stream that could be bounded in two or three leaps, is being restored.

The project has required Israelis and Palestinians to work together without fanfare at the local level, even as settlements, barriers and suicide bombings have divided their people and their national leaders. It signals a growing environmental consciousness in Israel, particularly when it comes to scarce water resources; many Israelis see it as a sign that the nation is growing more ready to care for its biblical homeland.

Recognition of the Alexander River cleanup has quickly spread. Last fall the project received the top prize in a leading Australian restoration competition, the Thiess Riverprize, beating out efforts in Europe, China, India and the United States.

"Two communities at each other's throats in armed conflict," said Stephen Nelson, who administers the competition, "somehow found a collective will to repair a damaged and poisoned river."

The project's guiding spirit has been Nahum Itzkovitz, the mayor of the Emek Hefer Regional Council, north of Tel Aviv. The council is the local government for 32,000 people living in 50 villages and kibbutzim in the rapidly developing region between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Mr. Itzkovitz, 53, started planning the Alexander cleanup a decade ago, enlisting the help of Amos Brandeis, a young architect. "I tried to have some vision to keep it green," the mayor said.

Mr. Brandeis, 38, who has a degree in regional planning from the Technion in Haifa, said the goal was to restore the river "in a very comprehensive and interdisciplinary way."

The centerpiece of the cleanup is a million complex of reservoirs and treatment plants completed in 2003 in Yad Hannah, just inside the barrier that Israel has been building on the West Bank to separate Israelis and Palestinians. It was financed mainly by the Jewish National Fund — an organization founded a century ago to buy land in the Palestine region, and now dedicated to environmental causes — and by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment.

Twenty yards past the so-called green line that separates Israel and the West Bank, a tributary of the Alexander, filled with human waste from the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Tulkarm and from 70 other sources of pollution, has been diverted into the Yad Hannah complex. There it is cleansed in settling ponds and purification equipment.

"Prior to the Yad Hannah plant," Mr. Brandeis said, "the raw sewage simply flowed into the riverbed and contaminated the groundwater, the Nablus stream and the Alexander River."

Still, the new plant is just the first stage, he said, adding, "The capacity of the existing plant is not enough for the long term."

In Israel, wastes from dairy farms have been diverted from the Alexander. Since 1994, three large reservoirs have been built — at a cost of million to million each — to receive wastewater, which is treated and then reused for watering local citrus and avocado groves.

In some areas, the Alexander's banks had collapsed over the years, leaving ugly scars. Those banks have been resculptured and native vegetation has been planted. Small riffles — drops in the river — have been created to give it an audible burble.

Parks, trails and picnic areas have been installed. Some attract crowds of families on weekends and holidays. Schoolchildren come to learn about the huge and rare Nile soft-shelled turtle, which grows as long as three feet and once inspired artists in ancient Egypt. At one time common around the Mediterranean, the turtle is rebounding in the Alexander, with perhaps 70 to 100 adults living there.

Palestinians plan to restore the sewage ponds in Tulkarm, where raw sewage flows into the river. They will have the help of the German government, which got involved after Mayor Itzkovitz got in touch with friends in the German Parliament in 1996.

Mr. Brandeis praised local Palestinians for their willingness to work on the restoration. "We had the good luck to find brave Palestinian leaders as our neighbors," he said, adding: "The cooperation is not between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It is between neighbors on the local level only, trying to avoid any political questions, trying to concentrate only on the problems that make the ecology and the people from both sides suffer."

But chaos on the West Bank may impede progress. Edward Abington, a former United States consul general in Jerusalem who is now a political adviser to the Palestinian Authority, said that with the authority "almost in a state of disintegration," local government was no longer effective. In late February, Ghassan W. Shakah, the mayor of Nablus, the West Bank's largest city, resigned because of the collapse in government authority.

Still, as the river has begun to heal, other benefits are flowing. Israelis involved in the cleanup recently traveled to the small West African nation of Burkina Faso, to help that country begin a river restoration.

"Ecology knows no political borders," Mr. Brandeis said. "A river can be a bridge between people."

Get home delivery of The Times from .90/week


River in Nevada Helps Its Own Restoration (September 24, 1996) $

Find more results for Rivers and Restoration and Rehabilitation


Wolves Come Back (on Their Terms)

A Biological Dig for the Roots of Language

New Clues to Women Veiled in Black

Scientists Find an Icy World Beyond Pluto

Go to Science


Free IQ Test

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | Help | Back to Top

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy