June 30, 2009 – Dead Sea Subject to Cheap Politics

Dead Sea Subject to Cheap Politics

June 30, 2009
Tel Aviv

Statements made this past weekend by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Mr. Silvan Shalom, that the World Bank has approved a $1.25 Billion pilot plan of the proposed Red-Dead Canal, and the response yesterday of the World Bank citing that no agreement on funding has been reached, highlights that politicians are using the Red Dead Canal project for their own political image and not out of concern for the Dead Sea.

EcoPeace Middle East deplores the cheap politics that the Red-Dead project seems to attract.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of EcoPeace Middle East, says “the actions of these last days emphasize the need for greater integrity to be shown by all sides. Commitments previously made must be kept, such as the commitment of the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian parties, together with the World Bank, to undertake a study of alternatives to the Red-Dead Canal as a means to saving the Dead Sea.”

Despite this pledge made over a year ago, the parties have failed to launch the Alternative Study, nor have they been able to agree on its Terms of Reference. Additionally, the public was assured that the World Bank would create a high-level panel of experts that would oversee the integrity of all studies being implemented by the World Bank. These obligations have not been met.

EcoPeace is calling on the World Bank to declare to the parties that either an Independent Alternative Study be launched and a high-level panel created immediately, or that the World Bank withdraws from the project.

For more information, please contact:

Gidon Bromberg – Israeli Director, EcoPeace; gidon@ecopeaceme.org +972-52-4532597
Mira Edelstein – Foreign Media Officer; mira@ecopeaceme.org; +972-54-6392937