Monday, March 24, 2014

BDS Factless Water Day Libel of Soda Stream

The BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement tried to make March 22 World Water Day an occasion to promote it's campaign to boycott Soda Stream.

There may well be a water crisis on the West Bank and there may be a case for boycotting Soda Stream.  But is there a real causal connection between Soda Stream and water problems on the West Bank?  Or is is just a convenient excuse to attack Soda Stream and demonize Israel?

You might have seen this tweet  on your timeline.

Not  surprising, since it was a part of an organized tweetstorm by the U.S. Committee to the End the Occupation.

I got to wondering about this claim. If one Soda Stream device "helps deny 71,622" Palestinians, things must be pretty dire since there are thousands and thousands of Soda Stream dispensers made at the factory.  And what exactly I wondered was the factual nexus between the production of Soda Stream devices and the lack of running water access.  Since Soda Stream production has been growing, there must be a growing number of Palestinians without access to water.

So I clicked on the link to see what the promised "more information" provided.  It took me to a page from the respected Israeli watchdog group B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Funny thing, there was no mention of Soda Stream on the page of statistics about the Palestinian Water Crisis.

It turns out the number of West Bank Palestinians in 2011 who lacked access to running water was 71,622 or 2.6 percent of the West Bank population.  But in 2008, the figures were much larger: 188,922 residents without access to running water or 10.4 percent.  

That's a reduction of over 117,000 and 7.8 percent.

(Incidentally, before the 1967 war, only 10 percent of West Bankers were connected to running water.)

There is another thing that stands out in the statistics.  About 30 percent of the water on the West Bank is wasted due to defective pipes or theft.  This is a failure of the Palestinian Authority.

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