Cooperation between farmers from Gaza and Israel goes unreported by the BBC

Anyone getting their news from the BBC will have missed out on this inspiring story of cooperation between Israeli and Gazan farmers. 

A month and a half after Operation Pillar of Cloud, on January 3rd 2013, thirty farmers from Gaza were given permits to enter Israel in order to attend an agricultural exhibition held in the Eshkol Regional Council: one of the areas most badly hit by terrorists’ rockets and mortars. 

The visitors checked out new technologies, equipment and placed orders for new strains of plants. Ramadan Abu Naja from the Gaza Strip told an interviewer:

“We came here to learn about Israeli agriculture, to see if they have new types of produce. We will take some of the types of produce that we like back with us into Gaza. We are here to see the differences between our agriculture and the agriculture in Israel.”

ימשיכו לעשות עסקים. חקלאים עזתים בתערוכה (צילום: הרצל יוסף)

Photo: Herzl Yosef

The farmers also spoke about their export industry:

“Gaza exports produce to Europe every day,” Ahmed Shafi, head of the Gaza City Agricultural Association told Ynet. “We export peppers, strawberries, flowers, cherry tomatoes and spices.”

“The Strip’s farmers say they have no problem doing business with their Israeli colleagues. “We want to keep coordinating exports with Israel and even export to Israel,” one of the farmers who visited the expo told Ynet.”

“Israel used to be Gaza’s best and biggest market. The Palestinian farmers said that even if Egypt opens the Rafah crossing to exports from Gaza, they would still prefer to export their goods through Israel, because they trust Israel’s facilities more.”

Photo: Herzl Yosef

Why doesn’t the BBC let Palestinian voices like these be heard? 

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24 comments on “Cooperation between farmers from Gaza and Israel goes unreported by the BBC

  1. The BBC could even mention in its report how Hamas and Gazans immediately destroyed the agricultural greenhouses left to them by the Israelis when vacating Gaza in 2005. It seems Gazan farmers still have a lot to learn from Israel’s agricultural world leadership.

  2. ““Gaza exports produce to Europe every day,” Ahmed Shafi, head of the Gaza City Agricultural Association told Ynet. “We export peppers, strawberries, flowers, cherry tomatoes and spices.””

    You don’t mention that the exports to Europe are part of a project subsidised by the Dutch government or that sale of of similar produce to Israel or the West Bank is not allowed. Before 2007 most of Gaza’s agricultural exports went to these two destinations. Israel can take precious little credit for this pitifully narrow crack in the blockade. To imagine that these ‘Uncle Tom’ farmers are representative of any significant body of Palestinian opinion is laughable.

    • sencar, let’s get this straight. Israel owes Gaza precisely niothing. Gaza is run by an antisemitic genocidal terrorist organization which has as one of its stated aims the murder of every Jew on earth. They habitually engage in acts designed to kill Jews, and regard themselves at war with every Jew.

      Why the hell should Israel give Gaza anything? I think it absurd that Israel traets 10,000 Gazans in their hospitals every year, free of charge and courtesy of the Israeli taxpayer, whilst they also provide thousands of tonnes of supplies to Gaza every week – even their power comes from an Israeli power station, even though Hamas has bombed that very power station killing Israeli workers there.

      By the way, what do their Arab brothers in Egypt give them?All you do is bitch about Israel not dpoing enough – when will the Palestinians take responsibility for themselves and their actions? They aren’t children.

    • Sickening diatribe from you, as usual.
      This conference, which the farmers attended, was sponsored, coordinated, and operated, by the JNF(which you had earlier maligned).
      The Dutch had nothing to do with it.

      To imagine that these ‘Uncle Tom’ farmers…

      And now we see the mask slip: sheer racism.
      What is the “right” Palestinian opinion? Jihad to the death? Why wouldn’t they wish to work with Israel?(Which as they say, used to be their largest market, before the 2nd Intifada).
      Why do you insist on fighting Israel to the last Palestinian?
      If you’re bent on Jihad, do it, and leave those Palestinians interested in peace, alone.

      • “And now we see the mask slip: sheer racism.”

        Why is it racist to point out that Gazan farmers who cooperate with their Israeli oppressors are a tiny unrepresentative minority? The ‘Uncle Tom’ analogy is quite apt given that fictional character’s tendency to suck up to his white bosses. Colonial powers like Israel always treat a few collaborators favourably. They need to be judged by the way they deal with the majority. Many Gazan farmers and fishermen have had their livelihoods ruined by the Israeli blockade, as have hundreds of their West Bank opposite numbers by the effects of the barrier and the depradations of settlers.

        • sencar – Why is it racist to point out that Gazan farmers who cooperate with their Israeli oppressors are a tiny unrepresentative minority?

          How exactly is Israel oppressing Gazan farmers? They can sell their produce to their Egyptian ‘brothers’. Israel is not stopping them in any way.

          a tiny unrepresentative minority

          And you know this because ……………?

          • “How exactly is Israel oppressing Gazan farmers? ”

            Obviously by denying them their traditional markets. You might be familiar with the saying “selling coals to Newcastle” (i.e. trying to market goods where they are already in good supply). There is an exit point to Egypt but unfortunately Gazan agricultural produce is not in demand there.

            “a tiny unrepresentative minority”

            See my reply to Commentary101 below.

        • Why is it racist to point out…

          Because, you don’t get to speak for the Palestinians.
          You don’t get to to dictate what recourse or actions the Palestinians ought to take.
          You don’t get to decide what opinion the Palestinians should hold of Israel.
          Participation in this convention, was solely for the benefit of the farmers involved. How does it make them “collaborators” with Israel? What does Israel gain from any of this(Given, as you claim, that Israel only exists to torture Palestinians)?
          “Effects of the barrier” — Humm, why was the barrier erected?
          Somehow, the thousands of Israelis killed, by Palestinians suicide-bombers and terrorists don’t factor in your rant. Their livelihoods(and actual lives) are irredeemable; that prompted the construction of the fence, which thankfully, has been saving lives since.
          Again, I repeat my adjuration:
          If you want to wage Jihad against Israel, that’s your business. Don’t drag Palestinians who want to live a normal life, with you.
          (P.S. “depradation” is spelt “depredation”).

  3. There’s a new Facebook Group called “Jews for Palestinian Right of Return ” where I have been venting today. It’s a great place to let off steam, they are all so ignorant. The Jewish ones being the worst of them.

    I have posted this information, which I got from ,Israelly Cool,’ four times today and each time it has been removed. Twice the URL and twice the whole article.

    It obviously doesn’t suit their hate filled agenda to publish a good news story.

    • Just by what you write here as to what you think is your entitlement, let alone the little information you supplied, makes you so ignorant it would be impossible for you to recognise intelligence.

      • Apologies accepted, I did wonder where you were coming from originally TB but blogging around the Net and posting on on-line articles etc., one becomes oblivious to those comments.

        Oh yes, I know it’s a waste of time AND I know I make myself very angry at times. Though in saying that, I do receive some great messages from people who agree with me and who ask if I can tell them more as they know little of UN Resolutions, Armistice Lines, dates/history of many things etc.

        So as well as venting, I am educating.

    • I apologise if I misunderstood your post. It appeared from what you wrote that you were promoting this group here and were complaining that material that you had posted here had been removed. It’s only Daphne’s post today which caused me to think I might have got you wrong.

      Hope you understand :}

  4. “Israel used to be Gaza’s best and biggest market. The Palestinian farmers said that even if Egypt opens the Rafah crossing to exports from Gaza, they would still prefer to export their goods through Israel, because they trust Israel’s facilities more.”

    Not really of interest to the BBC. Difficult to manufacture anything anti Israel here.

  5. It is heartening to know that there are Palestinians in Gaza who are more interested in doing the best for their families and living in peace than engaging in foolish policies that we see as the norm.

    It is evident too that Israel does its best to reward this kind of mentality with those who display it.

    As for the opinions of the rest of them who engage and support continued militancy the fact that they don’t expect Israel to reward them for their deeds is hardly surprising. But that idiots like sencar thinks he can convince the world of their cause, when he can’t show ANY act by the Gazan hierarchy which is likely to result in a different outcome than they already have. If Israelis had the same mindset as the screwed up militant Islamists there wouldn’t be any left in either Gaza or the West Bank.

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