Does the water level of the Kinneret reflect the country's morale?

They say that the level reached by Lake Kinneret in any year reflects the national mood.

LAKE KINNERET as seen from Tiberias (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
LAKE KINNERET as seen from Tiberias
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
They say that the level reached by Lake Kinneret in any year reflects the national mood. When the Kinneret is high, we’re told, the country feels good. The reverse also applies.
I am not so sure. Without wishing to appear apocalyptic, prophetic or otherwise otherworldly, a glance at Kinneret’s historic water levels could, it seems to me, lead to a rather different conclusion. A case could be made for asserting that when things are going well for Israel, the Lake fills, and when Israel is in the doldrums water levels plunge, sometimes to disastrously low levels.
This odd reflection, which admittedly requires an effort of will, is the result of taking an interest in just what has been happening to the Sea of Galilee recently. A word of warning. When discussing Kinneret water levels, we have to think backward, as it were. This is because the lake in its entirety lies below sea level – it is the lowest freshwater lake in the world – so what we’re considering is precisely how far below sea level the Lake is at any one time.
When the Kinneret is absolutely full, as it has been from time to time in its long history, it lies 208.8 meters below sea level. This top level is designated the upper red line. If it rises any further, the Degania Dam, located to the south of the lake, is opened to avoid the surrounding areas flooding. This last occurred in April 1992, when a quarter billion cubic meters of water was diverted from an overflowing Kinneret into the Jordan River.
Nowadays, when the Kinneret sinks to 213 meters below sea level, known as the lower red line, the lake is considered dangerously low. At this level, ecological damage starts to occur, water quality declines and pumping from the Kinneret is forbidden. Back in 2001, however, the Kinneret fell to its historically lowest level – 214.8 meters. The normal flow to the Jordan River ceased because the Degania Dam threshold was higher than the level of the Kinneret, and special arrangements, including the use of desalinated water, were devised to maintain a flow to the Jordan.
SO IN what years did the Kinneret reach record levels? Take a high point in Israel’s recent history – the Six Day War and the period immediately after. In 1967 and 1968, levels were at a maximum, while in 1969 they were so high that the Degania Dam was opened. They next touched the upper red line in 1979, the year Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty. The Kinneret was at its peak also in 1980 and 1981 – in 1981 Israel knocked out the Iraqi nuclear reactor.
During 1987 to 1991, the years of the First Intifada and the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein rained rockets down on Tel Aviv, the Kinneret fell below the lower red line and hit rock bottom. But from 1992 for a few years, during the period when the Oslo Accords were being negotiated and partially implemented, and hopes of achieving a genuine peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians ran high, the Kinneret made a swift recovery to hit, or nearly hit, the upper red line repeatedly.
Then in 1996 the Lake’s lean years began, with levels falling year by year until that disastrous 2001 and the following period, which was not a happy one for Israel or the West. It saw the debacle in Lebanon, the Second Intifada and, of course, 9/11 – the horrific attack on the US on September 11, 2001.
The Kinneret last hit the upper red line in 2005. That was the year that Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip – an event that could scarcely be claimed as an Israeli high point. Was this the exception that proves the rule?
During the last decade, the water level of the Kinneret has dipped repeatedly, year by year, falling lower and lower, and it has coincided with a rather unhappy period for Israel. We have been forced to engage three times with Hamas in efforts to restrain its succession of rocket attacks from Gaza.
The turnaround in the levels of the Kinneret started in the winter of 2018-2019, which finally broke what had amounted to a five-year drought – and, coincidentally or not, last year saw Israel on the up-and-up. Its exports in 2019, a key economic growth driver, are expected to have mushroomed to an all-time record $114 billion, according to government figures. At the moment, the level of the Kinneret is creeping steadily upwards. As of the third week of January, it needed only an additional 1.98 meters to reach the upper red line, and there seemed a good chance that it would indeed do so. Does this augur an exceptionally good 2020 for Israel? Let us hope so.
Now, in case pens are poised across Israel ready to disprove my rather whimsical notion with facts and figures, may I please preempt them. I do not stand by it, and I will not defend it. It was merely an observation – which is rather the point of this section.