Heather Elaydi

This thesis looks at the mechanisms which Israeli settler-farmers use to access food-water resources in the occupied Palestinian Jordan Valley area. It focuses on the use of agricultural water also called virtual food-water which is a concept used to describe the amount of water used in the production of commodities specifically edible agricultural goods. Israel is an occupying force in the Jordan Valley and holds the hegemonic position over virtual food-water resources, primarily land and water. Irrigation for agriculture has been important to Israel’s nation-building project as key to successful settlement on the land. Agricultural development has long been used by Israel as “a tool of the political effort” to establish new settlements. Israel has been determined to exert control over the Jordan Valley region and does so partly through the building of Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank. The large amounts of land farmed by Israeli settlers in this area means that the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture considers the region to be under its jurisdiction. The research will show how Israeli settler-farmers in this area benefit from and contribute to Israeli hegemony. Settler-farmers receive direct access to three productive natural resources; land, fresh water and marginal water.

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