Emergency Water and Sanitation-Hygiene Group (EWASH)
|Founded||2002 after, what is calls, “the emergency situation following the Israeli incursion to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”|
|In their own words||A “coordination body seeking to improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and minimize the adverse effect of the political situation on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector.”|
According to its website, “There is no core funding for EWASH, therefore all members are encouraged to raise funds or resources in kind for the EWASH expenses as well as activities to be implemented by the EWASH as a coordination body. Grants from the donors for the functioning of EWASH as a coordinating body could be routed through the member agencies, unless EWASH assumes a legal structure of its own.”
- Mission is to “facilitate the advocacy, coordination and knowledge sharing among local and international non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and governmental bodies active in the Water and Sanitation sector in the oPt, both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
- EWASH members include four UN agencies: OCHA, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNDP, as well as a number of other highly biased and politicized organizations including: Action Contre la Faim (ACF), Assembly of Cooperation for Peace (ACPP), American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), Birzeit University, CARE, CESVI, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP), DanChurchAid (DCA), Gruppo Volontariato Civile (GVC), House of Water and Environment, Near East Council of Churches – Jerusalem, Ma’an Development Center, Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), Oxfam, Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH), Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), Palestinian Wastewater Engineers Group, PENGON, Palestinian Hydrology Group, Premier Urgence – Aide Medicale Internationale, Save the Children, and We Effect – Swedish Cooperative Centre.
- Plays a major role in promoting a distorted narrative on water rights and availability, ignoring the negotiated agreements (i.e. Oslo Accords) that determine the water arrangements, internal Palestinian dynamics, and other complexities – in order to falsely accuse Israel of violating international law on water rights. (See Bar Ilan University study for an analysis of these false claims.)
- Active in lobbying international audiences, including the European Union. These distortions are often repeated by the UN, EU officials, other NGOs, and the media. (See “EU Parliament Head’s Knesset Speech Highlights NGO Warfare”).
- Ziyaad Lunat, EWASH advocacy coordinator, is a radical Palestinian activist. In 2010, he coordinated the Gaza Freedom March, arranged in coordination with the Hamas regime in Gaza, which encouraged international activists to march on Israel’s borders in protest of the “illegal blockade.” He is a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, as well as a frequent contributor to Electronic Intifada, a major online media outlet devoted to demonizing Israel.
- EWASH runs the “Thirsting for Justice” campaign, which focuses on “mobilizing European citizens to demand that their governments pressure Israel to change its policies and practices in order to comply with international law and respect Palestinians’ human rights.” The campaign includes articles that demonize Israel, such as “Silent Nakba: Israel’s Slow Displacement of Palestinian Farmers” (August 20, 2013).
- On November 10, 2014, published a press release promoting an “online call for action,” launched by the “Thirsting for Justice,” which urges “European citizens to write to Members of the European Parliament to inquire why the EU has so far failed to enforce its calls on the Government of Israel to immediately halt its demolition and confiscation of Palestinian property such as water wells, cisterns and toilets, including those funded by European aid.” On July 31, 2013, EWASH circulated a publication, “Bedouins in the West Bank: Settler attacks, denial of water,” originally released by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), falsely claiming that “Israel’s national water company, Mekorot holds a monopoly over the water supplies providing almost half the water consumed by Palestinian communities effected, making a profit off the water shortages that are a result of the Israeli occupation.” (See “NGOs and the Libel Campaign Against Mekorot Water Company”).
- In 2012, partnered with Al-Haq and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) on an interactive map to “monitor Israeli demolitions of WASH infrastructure in the West Bank in real time.”
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns.
- EAPPI frequently uses inflammatory and demonizing rhetoric against Israel and engages in BDS campaigns.
- In September 2011, EWASH and Al-Haq submitted a joint report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The submission, titled “Israel’s violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights with regard to the human rights to water and sanitation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” demonizes Israel with the tendentious claim that “the lack of water for Palestinians is the result of deliberate acts and omissions of Israel.”
- Publicizes a number of Al-Haq factsheets, one of which, titled “Colonialism and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)” (March 28, 2013), alleges that “Israel’s discriminatory policies and practices in relation to water do not occur in a vacuum, but are integrated and complementary components of an institutionalized system of Jewish-Israeli domination and oppression of the Palestinians as a group- thus amounting to a system of ‘water-apartheid’ led by a colonial and apartheid regime.”
- Produces a number of YouTube videos that present a highly biased, distorted, and emotive view of the situation. Also publishes an “environmental e-magazine,” Afaq, published only in Arabic, which claims to “monitor the hostile environmental practices of the Israeli occupation.”
- In July 2010, EWASH published a presentation by Dr. Mark Zeitoun, “Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict,” which accuses Israel of exercising excessive control over water sources in order to forego sacrificing their own supply for the sake of the Palestinians. The presentation also describes Israel’s water strategy as “domination dressed up as cooperation.”
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