Saturday, June 6, 2009

Palestine is permaculture

"At five in the morning on 8 November 2000, Israeli troops invaded the Sustainable Development Centre in the West Bank village of Marda, tearing doors off their hinges and smashing windows. They destroyed seven years of work on the permaculture project. During the two-and-a-half hour rampage, the plant nursery, seed bank, agricultural equipment, computers and files were all wrecked.
The Bustan Qaraaqa community -- a big stone farmhouse surrounded by 12 dunums of land -- also acts as a testing ground for ways of living "off the grid" in Palestine. Like Murad al-Khufash in Marda, Gray believes that lifestyles more associated with alternative communities in Europe and the US could offer new solutions to farmers cut off from their land by the Israeli Separation Wall."One of the Occupation's methods is to refuse to give people infrastructure," Gray explains. "Some farmers are saying OK, you build the Wall between me and my land. I choose my land. So the Israelis say -- you can have no infrastructure. No electricity, no running water. Now try living there."
As Gray emphasizes, the denial of services is one of the Israeli State's means of enforcing a political agenda aimed at removing the Arab population, from "unrecognized" Bedouin communities in the Negev as well as Palestinian villages near to the Wall. But, she believes, permaculture's reinvention of ways of living that might have been familiar generations ago can help to circumvent the occupation's methods, and farmers from villages like al-Walaja where land confiscation has been a major issue are wiling to try out some of Bustan Qaraaqa's ideas." (Thanks Marcy)

Where are the Israeli green peacenik liberals when one needs them? No where to be seen. You want to know why? Simple: you cannot be a true green, peace-loving, believer-in-equity-and-social-justice when you are a Zionist.

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