Sunday, June 1, 2008

Meanwhile in Palestine...

While the Lebanese are engrossed into their little sectarian calculations about which sect gets what ministry and how to divide the country so that only the sectarian leadership can ever get elected, Israel continues to make the desert bloom. Widespread arrests and destruction of farmland have marked these last few days, all over occupied Palestine, From Gaza to the banks of the Jordan. In Beit Hanoun, tens of hectares of farmland were bulldozed, and their soil overturned to destroy the crops and render the land infertile. Several wells were also destroyed. The Israeli Destruction Force (IDF) also broke into several homes, and took the men prisoners. Same scenario in Jenin and Al Khalil and Toulkarm. The IDF also set rangelands on fire (why not after all?) to prevent herders from grazing their flocks near Toubass and Jabal al Burj. Apparently the IDF does that every year over very large areas in order to contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Israel's tactics are paying off: in Gaza, many are abandoning farming: "after my orchard was bulldozed by the Israelis, I planted wheat. They waited until a few days before harvest to come and bulldoze it again" says a farmer from Gaza. This, of course, is the best way to drive people out of farming into extreme radicalism and violence. When you have nothing to harvest, nothing to eat, nothing to feed your kids, then you have nothing to lose. (Thanks Riad)

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