Implications of shifts in the Israeli water discourse for Israeli-Palestinian water negotiations

E. Feitelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Most studies analyzing the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian water issues focus on the international level, looking at countries as singular entities, and on the physical features of these issues. However, the outcome of negotiations is likely to be determined, to a significant extent, by the ability of negotiators to meet the expectations of different internal constituencies. The win-sets available to negotiators are molded by the sanctioned discourse within societies. Hence, the potential for reaching agreements should not be analyzed without due regard to internal discourses. This paper analyzes the shifts in the internal Israeli water discourse. It argues that despite the seemingly immutable water policy scene within Israel, the previous unison discourse has fragmented in the last decade as a result of structural changes in the Israeli society and economy. These changes have the potential to increase the win-sets available to negotiators. However, the specific implications for the negotiations will be effected by the relative power of the different discourse coalitions identified in the paper, and their ability to sanction their story lines.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)293-318
Number of pages26
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Discourse
  • Israel
  • Transboundary groundwater
  • Water agreements


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