Tamar Adelstein

Water and More in the Land of Israel

Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel’s Shleimus HaAretz Summer Series, continues!  Inspiring and informative, our Tuesdays in August on Zoom air from 12:30 to 1:30pm EST (7:30 to 8:30pm in Israel) and are hosted by me, Tamar Adelstein.  For our upcoming program on August 23rd, Healing, Health and Wellness – from Holistic to Horseback Riding, clik:, clik Events Calendar, scroll to THE SHLEIMUS HA*ARETZ SUMMER SERIES

On August 9th, we spoke at length with the very knowledgeable Naomi Kahn who heads the international division for Regavim and this last week, on August 16th, we had a lovely conversation with Michelle Baruch who runs a unique company called Israel Water Tours.  Read on to find out more about our guests and what they had to share.

Selling off the Future for Short Term Quiet

Highly regarded by many in official circles and with standing in several Knesset committees, Regavim works to protect Israel’s national interests by promoting common-sense governance and public policy involving land use.

A favorite guest on our shows, Naomi is incredibly adept at explaining the hodge-podge of influences that generate so much of the way Israeli policy is determined, the facts of which often leave us feeling more than ever greatful that G-d Almighty keeps watch over Israel, never slumbering nor sleeping!

That being said, Jewish Law, not to mention a healthy dose of mother wit, looks askance, to put it mildly, on turning a blind eye to enemy aggression and lawbreaking and couldn’t care less which side of the Green Line they live on.

In Naomi’s words:  selling off the future for short term quiet is as misguided as it gets.  It doesn’t work and immorally subjects Jews to repeated turmoil and trauma with no end in sight, r”l.  Nor, as we and others on our programs have pointed out, does it do any good for the Arabs either.  To watch a replay of our conversation with Naomi, clik:

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 Michelle Baruch, Israel Water Tours

Our Water Whiz was the very sweet and especially smart Michelle Baruch.

Intrigued by all things water after taking a course called Water Resources Development when she was a student at John Hopkins earning her Masters’ degree in Environmental Science and Policy, Michelle was fortunate to be introduced to Abel Wolman, her professor’s father whose expertise as a hydrologist led him to help develop Israel’s National Water Carrier after the establishment of the State of Israel.

Making Aliyah with her husband and family after 9/11, Michelle went on to complete an additional Masters’ degree in Geography from Haifa University which included studies in Water and Tourism.

Professionally involved over the years with numerous Israeli water projects, today Michelle combines her love of the topic with tourism through her unique company called Israel Water Tours.  To learn more, see:

Delegations and investors from around the world book her tours eager to see Israel’s renown water technologies in action. Michelle is also an important player in Israel’s bi-annual WATEC conference.

Water in the Land of Israel

Elemental to life, the Land of Israel is blessed, Thank G-d, with an abundance of water:

“For the L-rd your G-d is bringing you to a good land, a land of brooks of water, fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and mountains.” (Devarim, Parshas Eikev, vs 7)

Like an oasis in the region, Michelle explained to us that Israel is the world’s leader in pioneering methods for water desalination, drip irrigation and waste-water recycling.

And Israel’s hi-tech water solutions, like Watergen for example, can be found in countries all over the world bringing water security to countless people suffering from drought or polluted drinking water.  To listen to the replay of our conversation with Michelle, clik:  

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 Water and True Peace

Vitally essential, one would think some of Israel’s closest neighbors contending with a limited water supply – like Jordan where the taps can only be opened three times a week – might show just a little more appreciation for the water Israel provides them, often without compensation in return.

Yet they never miss a chance to bash Israel, or Europe which, Michelle told us, is currently facing its worst drought in 45 years; how long before the ever-carping EU eats crow remains to be seen, but no doubt Israel’s water ingenuity will be ready to help when they come knocking.

Although 85% of Israel’s drinking water now comes from desalination, the country’s primary fresh, sweet drinking water is still sourced from the country’s central Mountain Aquifer located across Judea and Samaria.

Foolish water sharing pacts signed by Israel in 1995 under the Oslo Accords gave the Palestinians guardianship over water in Areas A and B.  Not surprisingly, neither the Palestinian Authority nor many of its people have shown much concern for protecting the wellsprings that lie under their 2/3rds of the “West Bank”.

Arab villagers often dump untreated sewage wherever they please, the muck seeping into wellsprings and streams, polluting these precious waters.

And despite Israel ensuring that the vast majority of Arab villages are hooked up to the National Water Carrier, rarely does the Palestinian Authority pay its water bill.

In an “eco-war” of sorts, the Mountain Aquifer is also plagued also by unauthorized drilling and water theft, all of which demonstrate the folly of ceding land for “peace”.

Shockingly these open facts were completely ignored by President Trump’s Jewish trio who drafted the Deal of the Century.

Still laid out on the table, their map, the final phase of the Oslo Accords (aka the two-state solution), would be, in our opinion, a national and natural (man-made) disaster.  A watershed of health, social, economic and security woes for Israel would follow and take decades to reverse – even with the wonders of desalination.

All one has to do is look at the dreadful conditions in Gaza where, Michelle explained, the drinking water wells were spitefully sunk by the Palestinians in the days after the Jews were forcibly expelled from Gush Katif by the Israeli Government in 2005.

In turn this damaged the Coastal Aquifer and today the people there drink polluted water and sewage runs freely in their streets.

Thus, Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel reiterates its opinion that returning to Gaza and declaring unconditional Israeli sovereignty there as well as over every inch in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem is a win for everyone living in the Land of Israel.

This should also be the way to interpret the clause written in the Abraham Accords about resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Israeli sovereign thinking and action are what will garner true peace and prosperity; along these lines we thoroughly share Michelles’ enthusiasm for the opportunities coming out the Abraham Accords.

A Blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe

To conclude with a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe: “May it be G-d Will that there should finally be the fulfillment of the verse: “And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the water covers the ocean bed!” (Yeshayahu 11:9)

About the Author
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and although I did not have a religious upbringing I always felt a strong connection with Yiddishkeit and Eretz Yisroel. I still get chills recalling the moment the Rabbi announced that Israel had been attacked on Yom Kippur. In the weeks that followed, even though I really didn't understand all the details, I was the one student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who challenged our German-American teacher when he said Israel would be wiped out. Interestingly, the rest of Jewish kids in the class who came from much more Jewishly -oriented homes than I were silent. Years later I met one of them and was astounded to find out how they were all silently cheering me on. On the day the Jews were "disengaged" from Gush Katif, I was stopped in the grocery store (in Buffalo) by a little Jewish lady who whispered to me that she didn't think it was right what Israel was doing. Which just goes to show that there is a vast silent majority of Jews who agree with the Rebbe's approach to peace.
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