BUSINESS ABROAD: Water for the Negev

Like the U.S., which once advised its young men to go west, Israel also has a slogan for its young people. Exhorts a popular Israeli song: "Go south, young man." But Israel's south, the Negev, is no land of opportunity. Comprising half the nation's land total, the Negev is a forbidding wasteland spotted with the rare patches of green of a few farms expensively irrigated by dedicated pioneers. Yet to determined Zionists, the Negev could provide an outlet for Israel's rapidly growing population (more than doubled since 1948, to 1,700,000) and abundant crops—if there were abundant water.

Last week the Israelis...

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