Gidon Bromberg stresses opportunity, need for environmental cooperation in the Middle East

Gideon+Bromberg+speaks+at+Northwestern+Hillel.+Bromberg+stressed+how+environmental+issues+offer+opportunities+for+mutually+beneficial+cooperation+in+a+region+where+inter-state+relations+are+often+seen+as+a+zero-sum+game.
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Gidon Bromberg stresses opportunity, need for environmental cooperation in the Middle East

Gideon Bromberg speaks at Northwestern Hillel. Bromberg stressed how environmental issues offer opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in a region where inter-state relations are often seen as a zero-sum game.

Gideon Bromberg speaks at Northwestern Hillel. Bromberg stressed how environmental issues offer opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in a region where inter-state relations are often seen as a zero-sum game.

Jackson Miller/The Daily Northwestern

Gideon Bromberg speaks at Northwestern Hillel. Bromberg stressed how environmental issues offer opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in a region where inter-state relations are often seen as a zero-sum game.

Jackson Miller/The Daily Northwestern

Jackson Miller/The Daily Northwestern

Gideon Bromberg speaks at Northwestern Hillel. Bromberg stressed how environmental issues offer opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in a region where inter-state relations are often seen as a zero-sum game.

Jackson Miller, Reporter

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Wildcats for Israel on Thursday hosted Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director and an original founder of the non-profit organization EcoPeace Middle East, for a presentation at Hillel.

The non-profit facilitates environmental stewardship projects involving volunteers from Israel and the surrounding areas, including Palestine. EcoPeace Middle East also advocates for environmental policy both in Israel and internationally.

He presented on the environmental challenges Israel and the Middle East face and stressed the potential for cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He explained how global warming has contributed to reductions in the Middle East’s access to fresh water, which has resulted in desalinated water is being routed back into Israel’s Sea of Galilee reservoir. The body of water was at risk of becoming a salt lake.

“But the problem of Gaza just doesn’t stop for Gaza, because the sewage is also flooding into the Mediterranean, 100 million liters, 100 million liters every day,” Bromberg said.

Throughout his presentation, Bromberg stressed how environmental issues offer opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation in a region where inter-state relations are often seen as a zero-sum game.

“We were trying to expand the discussion from a narrow military position to a broader human security position, and we’re using the environment to do so,” Bromberg said.

Emily Shteynberg, president of Wildcats for Israel, said hosting speakers with unique views helps educate students on different “outlets of Israel.”

“I thought it’d be a good speaker because he has a very different aim, and has a big aim to bring peace, but through the environment, which is not something you hear all the time,” the Weinberg sophomore said.

The founder gave a similar presentation to the U.N. Security Council and the World Bank earlier this October. Bromberg said he sees special value in speaking to college students — he said to encourage a college student to see opportunities to change the world is to complete an “important service to the future of the world.”

SESP junior Melissa Batz attended the event to add to her existing knowledge of how environmental issues like water scarcity affect the Middle East.

“And I don’t think we’re giving (the issue) enough weight. And I think it’s hard, especially since we live in a palace that is the United States, and we’re very separated from the needs of other countries,” Batz said.

Email: jacksonmiller2023@u.northwestern.edu

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