Comment on this article |
View comments |
Email this Article
News :: Environment
by Farming Injustice
(No verified email address)
05 Feb 2013
Another day, another new initiative to boycott Israel:
Activists are gearing up for a day of action on 9 February that will target Israeli agricultural export companies such as Mehadrin and Hadakalim over their role in Israeli settlements and the dispossession of Palestinian farmers.
In a statement titled “Farming Injustice” released earlier this month, all major Palestinian agricultural organizations called for “the launching of worldwide campaigns on 9 February against Israeli agricultural export corporations in light of their deep complicity in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.”
Once again, a bunch of tiny self-proclaimed leaders who pretend to speak for all Palestinian Arab farmers are saying that they want to kill the farms, since the bulk of exports from the Palestinian Arab territories use Israeli exporters.
The reality is, of course, quite different, as real Palestinian Arab farmers work closely with Israel in order to maximize their efficiencies and profits:
On Tuesday (29.1), the Civil Administration coordinated and funded the departure of about 150 Palestinians agriculture workers from Judea and Samaria to the exhibition "Cleantech" - the 17th annual international event for water technologies, energy efficiency , renewable energy, green building , recycling and green transportation, that take place at the Israel Trade Fairs and Conventions Center, Tel-Aviv.. Through the exhibition, the Agriculturists explored the developments in green agricultural.
This conference joins a seminar on the use of reclaimed water for agriculture, conducted by the Civil Administration agriculture office two weeks ago (January 15 to 17). During the seminar, 22 representatives from the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture were informed on the use of reclaimed water for agriculture, due to the growing shortage of fresh water for irrigation in the area and to increase the knowledge and awareness of this issue in the Palestinians agriculture farms in Judea and Samaria.
In addition, the Civil Administration agriculture officer, Mr Samir Muadi, held last week (24.1) a meeting with Israel's olive sector manager and with the advisor to the Palestinian Minister of Agriculture, following meeting held in October regarding the Palestinian olive sector. During those two meetings, it was decided on marketing Olive Oil from the Palestinian Authority to Israel, as the olive sector is a central and important sector of the Palestinian agriculture.
In addition, the Gaza DCO coordinated the departure of about 60 agriculture workers from the Gaza Strip to the annual agricultural exhibition of the Arava research and development (R & D) unit held at Yair Station on Wednesday and Thursday (January 30 to 31). The exhibition was attended by representatives of the agricultural crop sectors in Israel and overseas delegations. During the exhibition, displaying crops and technological developments in the field of agriculture, the Gaza DCO agricultural coordinator visit the greenhouses at Ein Yahav that grow tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Idon't know who these farmers are if they are cooperating with Israel and defying the "agricultural organizations" whose entire purpose is anti-Israel and whose websites often have nothing to say about farming.
One part of the screed was interesting:
Earlier Corporate Watch research had shown that Palestinians forced to work in packing houses controlled by Mehadrin are paid as little as 56 shekels ($15) per day.
They are forced to work for Mehadrin? is it at gunpoint, or does their employer use whips and keep them in chains?
And what evidence is there that they are being paid $56 a day? Well, three years ago, an anti-Israel organization asked a few Arab workers who were willing to speak to them what they were paid. That's the "proof."
If it is true, then Mehadrin may be breaking the law according to this organization. I'm not aware of any lawsuits brought by "Corporate Watch" on their behalf, though. It must not have been very important.
There are a couple of funny parts about this complaint. One can presume that most Jordan Valley workers for Israeli companies are employed without permits. Companies argue that employment law should follow Jordanian law, not Israeli law, which is how they justify giving a lower salary to those without permits. Yet 2011 statistics show that the poor salaries that Palestinian Arab workers get for illegally working for Israeli companies is roughly the average salary of West Bank Palestinian Arabs who work for Arabs! So while it is possible that Mehadrin or others are not paying the rates they should, it is apparent that the Palestinian Arab workers are getting the market rates, and they are hardly being "forced" to work for the hated Jews.
They can always quit!
But even funnier is that anti-Israel organizations don't usually complain that the Jews are paying the Palestinian Arabs too little - but that they pay too much! The same 2011 article notes:
The increase in the percentage of those employed in settlements does not fit with the Palestinian Authority (PA) plan to completely prevent Palestinian labourers from working in settlements, and to render such work illegal as of 2012. Originally the PA intended to impose punishments of up to five years imprisonment and financial penalties of some US $14,000. The Palestinian Minister of Labour Ahmad Majdalani noted in December 2010 that his ministry is cooperating with the national economic office to establish a fund for loans to workers employed in settlements.
...An additional reason for the increase in the level of those employed in settlements is the large gap between the salary in the Palestinian sector and that in settlements. While the average daily salary in the West Bank stands at NIS 76.9 and in Gaza NIS 46.2, a Palestinian worker in a settlement earns an average of NIS 150 daily.
The BDSers want Palestinian Arab farmers to lose millions of dollars that they are making today by cooperating with Israeli exporters.
The BDSers want Palestinian Arabs to stop working for Israelis that pay them double the rates they would get from Arab employers.
The actual farmers in the territories are happy to work with Israel to make money.
The actual workers in the settlements are happy to get more money for their families by legally working for Israelis.
The disconnect between the BDSers and the people they pretend to care about can hardly be any starker.
The explanation, of course, is the same explanation that answers nearly every Middle East enigma involving Israel since 1948: the people who pretend to be "pro-Palestinian" are really just against the rights of Jews to have any political power or self-determination.
Once you understand that, the inconsistencies fall away.
This work is in the public domain
Please Don't Feed the Trolls
Wikipedia defines an Internet Troll as: "An Internet troll is either a person who sends messages on the Internet hoping to entice other users into angry or fruitless responses, or a message sent by such a person." Boston IMC strives to provide both a grassroots media resource as well as a forum for people to contribute to a meaningful discussion about local issues. Please, when posting comments, be respectful of others and ignore those trying to interrupt or discourage meaningful discourse. Thank you.
-- Boston Indymedia volunteers
Add a Comment
Due to on going anti spam work quick comments are currently broken please use the full comment form. We do hope to have quick comments back on line soon.
Farming Injustice Presents: A Day of Rage Against Israeli Veggies
(No verified email address)
05 Feb 2013
by PIBB Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2013 at 6:24 PM
Fear the cucumber. Tremble before the persimmon. February 9th has been proclaimed a day of rage against Israeli fruits and veggies. So far, it appears limited to the UK, but these things can spread, in much the same manner as the norovirus.
The ”Farming Injustice” Facebook page claims
“ Israeli agricultural export companies are at the heart of Israel’s system of domination over the Palestinian people. They are an integral component of the on-going process of colonisation and environmental destruction of Palestinian land, the destruction of Palestinian agriculture, the theft of water, and the abuse of Palestinian workers’ rights, including child labourers.”
In reality, no one works harder to enhance Palestinian agriculture- from the soil to the store shelves- than Israel.
Last month, the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza funded 150 Palestinian agriculture workers, enabling them attend the Tel Aviv "Cleantech" exhibit - an international event displaying the latest in water technology, energy efficiency , renewable energy, green building , recycling and green transportation. Additionally, 60 agricultural workers from Gaza attended the annual agricultural exhibition of the Arava research and development unit held at Yair Station.
The assistance to Palestinian farmers extends beyond education and training. Israel also helps the Palestinian market their agricultural products
Israel has been training farmers in Gaza to grow spices and herbs, in a program coordinated with ICLA Gaza , the Khan Younis Association and the Arava Export Growers as part of the continuous support for agricultural development in the Gaza Strip.
Farmers in Gaza were given tutorials on how to grow spices and they were then provided the seedlings from Israel. This morning, Sunday, 21 October 2012, the inaugural export through Kerem Shalom proved a success. Special arrangements at the crossing were made to accommodate the needs of the exported spices, including capabilities to perform refrigerated quality and security inspections.
Even though this is only one truck, (carrying 9 packages, roughly one ton) it holds a significant amount of product. Furthermore, the spice export via Kerem Shalom will continue throughout the season. Last year agricultural exports from Gaza totaled some 460 tons of strawberry, 160 tons of tomatoes, 58 tons of peppers and 8.8 million units of flowers. The spices will be exported to the European market.
Read about how Israel helps Palestinian farmers at the COGAT website
Addressed to the organizers of "Farming Injustice". If the Palestinians themselves reject BDS, and happily accept Israeli assistance, training and marketing with their agriculture, who are you to interfere? These acts of co-existence, of aid and support are the foundations of strong economic ties. These are precisely the actions those who care about the Palestinian people should be encouraging.
Do you live in the UK? The best way to handle this is with a good old fashioned buycott. Go to the targeted stores all this week- you don’t need to wait until Feb.9th. Buy Israel products- especially Israeli produce. And as importantly, thank the stores for carrying these products.
From the "Farming Injustice" Facebook page (sorry- no live links to hate-sites)
Farming Injustice Saturday 9 February - International Day of Action Against Israeli Agricultural Export Companies
Palestinian agricultural organisations and the Palestinian BDS National Committee call for the launching of worldwide campaigns on February 9 against Israeli agricultural export corporations in light of their deep complicity in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.
Join the actions on the day – see the list below.
PSC has also set up and online action tool so everybody can take part and target major UK supermarkets between the 4th and 9th of February – take action here – it will take 2 minutes : http://psc.iparl.com/lobby/94
UK Campaigns have decided to target Sainsbury’s supermarket, more information will be available soon.
Actions on Saturday 9th February 2013
Action at Sainsbury’s - Martineau Place. UNION St Birmingham City Centre
West Midlands PSC
Bristol 12noon to 3pm
Street stall and Boycott action outside Sainsbury (junction with Zetland Road), 2-4 Gloucester Rd, Bristol BS7 8AE.
Nakba60 (at) yahoo.co.uk
11am to 1pm
Join East London PSC outside Sainsbury’s Whitechapel 1 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E1 5SD
BDS Stall outside local Sainsbury’s
Newcastle Upon Tyne
12noon to 2pm
Newcastle PSC, Stop the War, local churches and students will be targeting Sainsbury's stores in Newcastle. Street stall, leafleting and checking produce in-store.
j.k.snowdon (at) gmail.com
North Devon 11am - 1.00pm
North Devon PSC and BDS Stall
Guildhall, (Pannier Market)
High Street, (Corner of Butcher's Row)
Barnstaple EX 31 1BW
dpclinch (at) gmail.com // 07887 650671
Action at Sainsbury’s
11am to 1pm
Outside the Sainsbury's on Portwood Road, Southampton
pscsoton (at) gmail.com
11am to 1pm
Street supermarket action
West London PSC
Local supermarket actions
West Surrey PSC
westsurrey (at) gmail.com
Action plan: Farming injustice
(No verified email address)
05 Feb 2013
Actions you can take to counter the BDS movement plan for a campaign against Israeli agriculture on Saturday 9th February.
Do not allow them an open playing field to intimidate supermarket chains and, not incidentally, their employees and customers.
Do not allow them to gain media coverage to delude viewers and supermarket execs that they are a mass movement without opposition.
Do not let them pretend that even on one day retailing Israeli produce causes the company a loss.
Stage a Buy Democracy counter demonstration at every supermarket they picket (see the list here)
Buy Israeli products and make a point of showing the BDSers and any media present that you have done so
Even better. Take a photograph of you and the product in front of the BDSers. Five Minutes for Israel will be glad to make an album (send to David’s email with Farming Justice in the Subject)
This might be a good day to do your weekly shopping. Supermarket management is more likely to be impressed by paying customers.
Use the PSC’s own form to send a message to the supermarkets.
This will probably annoy PSC to the max, especially if they don’t realise what we are doing until too late. Even if they block them at source it will inconvenience them immensely. Click on this link or the graphic below
Write to the CEOs, media departments of the supermarkets. Numbers are important.