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"You have a right to defend yourself. You don't have a right to occupy people, deny them their human rights and then cry foul when they resist. That's not the right to self defense, that's the right to repression. That's what the Israelis are asking for here - 'let's do away with these dissenters, these Palestinians, and call it defense'." 
 
                                                                                                                              ...Yousef Munayyer (U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation)
 
 
 

Click on this text to watch The Occupation of the American Mind (The truth about Israel erasing Palestine)...

 
 
 
 
Rachel Corrie Redux

On August 28th, 2012, an Israeli court dismissed a lawsuit
brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie against the
Israeli Defense Forces for the murder of their daughter.

The Israelis had been flattening Palestinian homes in the
Gaza Strip in 2003
and Rachel bravely stood in the way
of a bulldozer that crushed her to death while flattening
another Palestinian home.
 
Any humane and sensible
bulldozer operator, when seeing a seemingly crazy young
girl in the way, would have stopped his machine and
notified authorities who would have taken the girl away
from harm’s way. But not this murdering cretin who ran
right over her on purpose, and then continued on with his
work... and got away with it; or so it may seem like it to
him, to supportive Jewish-Americans, and to Israelis.

It was an Israeli judge named Oded Gershon who ruled
that the victim (Rachel Corrie) had put herself in harm’s
way and deserved what she got.
 
He also ruled that
destroying homes in the Gaza is a “military necessity.”

I have no doubt that an arrogant swine such as Gershon
has no idea that he personally created multitudes of
enemies who now believe that the rogue-terrorist, false
temporary “state” of Israel should also be erased...
as a “military necessity.”

Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel’s parents, will appeal the
verdict; but don’t hold your breath waiting for Israeli
justice, because there evidently is no such thing in Israel
regarding Palestine.

Update: The Corrie's appeal was denied.

Any God Damned foreign country that willfully kills
Americans such as Rachel Corrie, 34 crewmembers of
the U.S.S. LIBERTY and 2,976 Americans on 9/11 is my
mortal enemy; and I do not care at all what the Zionist
controlled American government thinks of me!
 
I care even less about what Zionist Jews think of anything at all.
 
 
 
Jimmy Carter’s Call
(Peace, Not Apartheid)

Former President Jimmy Carter walks the walk and talks
the talk regarding the ongoing Palestinian holocaust and
describes it so that even an eight year old can understand
it in his book, "PALESTINE: Peace Not Apartheid."
 
The following are excerpts lifted from Carter’s book without
permission (have you ever tried to contact a former
POTUS to get permission for anything, or for any other reason?).
 
The first excerpt will give you an idea of why an
American of conscious from Oregon, Rachel Corrie, was
in the Gaza in the first place; an area 25 miles long and
between 3.7 to 7.5 miles wide:

Let’s take a quick look at Gaza. Its population has
soared in recent years as Palestine refugees havepoured in from other areas occupied by Israel.
 
In 1948 there were 90,000 natives, the population
more than tripled by 1967, and there are now more
than 1.4 million – 3,700 people living within each
square kilometer.
 
Although there are metropolitan
areas with greater population density (such as
Manhattan), this is supposed to be a self-sufficient
entity, similar to a small and isolated state –
separated from the West bank by forty kilometers
of Israeli territory.

Gaza has maintained a population growth rate of
4.7 percent annually, one of the highest in the
world, and more than half its people are less than
fifteen years old.
 
They are being strangled since
the Israeli “withdrawal,” surrounded by a
separation barrier that is penetrated only by Israeli
controlled checkpoints, with just a single opening
(for personnel only) into Egypt’s Sinai as their
access to the outside world.
 
There have been no
moves by Israel to permit transportation by sea or
by air. Fishermen are not permitted to leave the
harbor, workers are prevented from going to
outside jobs, the import or export of food and other
goods is severely restricted and often cut off
completely, and the police, teachers, nurses, and
social workers are deprived of salaries.
 
Per capita income has decreased 40 percent during the last
three years, and the poverty rate has reached 70 percent.
 
The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right
to Food has stated that acute malnutrition in Gaza
is already on the same scale as that seen in the
poorer countries of the Southern Sahara, with more
than half of all Palestinian families eating only one
meal a day.

And this reporting by Carter was ten years ago.

Imagine how the situation in the Gaza is now days since
serious damage has been purposely inflicted
by the Israeli Defence Forces
upon the infrastructure on numerous occasions since.

The following excerpt is an eye opener regarding the
segregation wall, that is reminiscent of the the Berlin Wall:

"The governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud
Olmert have built the fence and wall entirely
within Palestinian territory, intruding deeply into
the West Bank to encompass Israeli settlement
blocs and large areas of other Palestinian land.
 
It is projected to be at least three and a half times as
long as Israel’s internationally recognized border
and already cuts through Palestinian villages,
divides families from their gardens and farmland,
and includes 375,000 Palestinians on the “Israeli”
side of the wall, 175,000 of whom are outside Jerusalem.
 
One example is that the wandering wall
almost completely surrounds the Palestinian city of
Qalqiliya with its 45,000 inhabitants, with most of
the citizen’s land and about one-third of their water
supply confiscated by the Israelis. Almost the same
encirclement has occurred around 170,000 citizens
of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

First a wide swath must be bulldozed through
communities before the wall can be built. In
addition to the concrete and electrified fencing
materials used in the construction, the barrier
includes two meter deep trenches, roads for patrol
vehicles, electronic ground and fence sensors,
thermal imaging and video cameras, sniper towers,
and razor wire – all on Palestinian land.
 
The area between the segregation barrier and the Israeli
border has been designated a closed military
region for an indefinite period of time. Israeli
directives state that every Palestinian over the age
of twelve living in the closed area has to obtain a
“permanent resident permit” from the civil
administration to enable them to continue to live in
their own homes. They are considered to be aliens,
without the rights of Israeli citizens.

You have to wonder what this barrier project cost and
why the USA sends money to support a “Jewish State”
that requires themselves to build such a thing. And
Israelis, I’m sure, wonder why Palestinians resent the
way they have been robbed of their country and will not
stop attacking Israel with any means at hand; knowing
full well that the retaliation will be overkill.

There are many fundamentalist so called “born again”
Christians in the USA who have been conditioned to
believe that Jesus is coming again; but that he won’t
bother coming until Israel is fully established and secure.

All Christians need to fully realize that they, as
Christians, are not presently welcome in the “Holy Land”
and surely will be less welcome if, or when, Israel is fully
established and secure.

Jews are quite literally anti-Christ.
 
 
The most radical amongst anti-Christian Jews refer to
Christians as “corpse worshippers.”
 
Carter tosses a
“softball” with the following excerpt, but do not let the
concern of Christians in Israel escape your understanding.
 
"On one of my later visits to Jerusalem, in 1990,
some of the Christian leaders asked for an urgent
meeting with me, but I declined because all my
remaining time was scheduled. When they
persisted, I finally responded that I could meet
with them one evening, but only after I had
finished my last engagement.
 
At this late hour,
after midnight, I was surprised to receive
custodians of the Christian holy places plus
cardinals, archbishops, patriarchs, and other
leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic,
Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian Orthodox, Maronite,
Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, and other faiths.
 
They were distressed by what they considered to be
increasing abuse and unwarranted constraints
imposed on them by the Israeli government, and
each of them related events that caused him concern.
 
Subsequently, when I met with Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir, he assured me that there was no
official inclination to discriminate against
Christians. He went on to explain that the
formation of a majority governing coalition
required support of the smaller deeply religious
parties, and their primary demands were that they
be excused from military service, receive special
funding for benevolent causes, and to have
authority over all religious matters.
 
He seemed to consider these matters out of his hands, and I
understood for the first time why there is such a
surprising exodus of Christians from the Holy Land."

 
As a young man I watched a television program
describing the predictions of Nostradamus, the 15th
century French apothecary and reputed seer, who stated
that “the anti-Christ would rise-up in the Middle East.”

This seemed preposterous in 1971, but now it seems that
Nostradamus evidently nailed it.
 
The anti-Christ isn't an individual, the anti-Christ is Israel...!

The bottom-line problem, and all the issues related to the
bottom-line problem, are expressed as diplomatically as
possible by Carter in these last two excerpts:

"The overriding problem is that, for more than a
quarter of a century, the actions of some Israeli
leaders have been in direct conflict with the
official policies of the United States, the
international community, and their own negotiated agreements.
 
Regardless of whether Palestinians
had no formalized government, one headed by
Yasir Arafat or Mahmoud Abbas, or one with
Abbas as president and Hamas controlling the
parliament and cabinet, Israel’s control and
colonization of Palestinian land have been the
primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace
agreement in the Holy Land.
 
In order to perpetuate
this occupation, Israeli forces have deprived their
unwilling subjects of basic human rights. No
objective person could personally observe existing
conditions in the West Bank and dispute these statements.

Two other interrelated factors have contributed to
the perpetuation of violence and regional upheaval:
the condoning of illegal Israeli actions from a
submissive White House and U.S. Congress during
recent years, and the deference with which other
international leaders permit this unofficial U.S.
policy in the Middle East to prevail. There are
constant and vehement political debates in Israel
concerning its policies in the West Bank, but
because of powerful political, economic, and
religious forces in the United States, Israeli
government decisions are rarely questioned or
condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate our
media, and most American citizens are unaware of
circumstances in the occupied territories.
 
At the same time, political leaders and news media in
Europe are highly critical of Israeli policies.

Some Americans were surprised and angered by an
opinion poll, published by the International Herald
Tribune in October, 2003, of 7,500 citizens in fifteen
European nations indicating that Israel was considered to
be the top threat to world peace; ahead of North Korea,
Iran, or Afghanistan.

The United States has used its U.N. Security Council
veto more than forty times to block resolutions critical of
Israel. Some of these vetoes have brought international
discredit on the United States, and there is little doubt
that the lack of persistent effort to resolve the Palestinian
issue is a major source of anti-American sentiment and
terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and the
Islamic world."
 

...Carter’s reference to a “submissive White House and
Congress” is being very diplomatic. The White House
and Congress are meekly, obediently, and blatantly
resigned to agreeing to all designs dictated to the White
House and Congress by the Israelis and the Jewish-
Americans subservient to the Israelis. Israel is in absolute
control of the United States of America and is using it as
a convenient cash cow and murderously misdirected
weapons system for an agenda that is in direct conflict
with the well being of America and 98% of its citizens ....
PERIOD!

The founder of the John Birch Society, Robert W. Welch
Jr., was right after all; The United States of America
should have gotten out of the United Nations long ago,
and actually should never have joined in the first place.
The U.N. is simply a globalist’s tool and forum
perpetrated upon America by the Rockefellers and their
Zionist handlers. Carter sure is correct about “voices
from Jerusalem dominate our media.”
 
U.N Ambassador to the U.N,, Samantha Power is married to uber-Zionist Jew Cass Sunstein
and all other USA Ambassadors to the U.N.have been willing Zionist puppets.

BTW: I’ve heard the argument that Israel is a legitimate
state because the United Nations made it so. The United
Nations General Assembly indeed drafted UNGA-
Resolution 181 but the Security Council never ratified
it, therefore UNGA- Resolution 181 was never enacted.

The UN never has had, and still does not have, the
authority to take land from a sovereign country and
create a new country with that land. One of the basic
tenants of modern international law is that it is not
permissible to acquire territory by means of war, but
Israel does so with regularity and will not stop illegally
acquiring Palestinian land until there is none left.
 
And the United States of America has no power whatsoever to
stop Israel and even backs Israel’s illegal acquisitions
because Israel controls the USA... why else would the
USA back Israel when virtually no one else does?
 
The former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela,
certainly earned the right to have an opinion on apartheid.

On March 30th, 2001, the following letter was sent to
Jewish New York Times columnist, Thomas L.
Friedman, in response to Friedman’s column item,
"Bush’s First Memo", published in the Times on March 27th, 2001...
 
"Dear Thomas,
I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle
East, but before you continue to talk about
necessary conditions from an Israeli perspective,
you need to know what’s on my mind. Where to
begin? How about 1964. Let me quote my own
words during my trial. They are true today as they
were then.

I have fought against white domination and I have
fought against black domination. I have cherished
the ideal of a democratic and free society in which
all persons live together in harmony and with equal
opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for
and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for
which I am prepared to die.
 
Today the worlds, black and white, recognize that
apartheid has no future. In South Africa it has been
ended by our own decisive mass action in order to
build peace and security. That mass campaign of
defiance and other actions could only culminate in
the establishment of democracy.

Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the
situation in Palestine or more specifically, the
structure of political and cultural relations between
Palestinians and Israelis, as an apartheid system.

This is because you incorrectly think that the
problem of Palestine began in 1967. This was
demonstrated in your column “Bush’s First
Memo” in the New York Times on March 27th, 2001.

You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still
problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important
component of which is the right to return of
Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue
of military occupation and Israel is not a country
that was established “normally” and happened to
occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are
not struggling for a “state” but for freedom,
liberation and equality, just like we were
struggling for freedom in South Africa.

In the last few years, and especially during the
reign of the Labour Party, Israel showed that it was
not even willing to return what it occupied in
1967; that settlement remain, Jerusalem would be
under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and
Palestinians would not have an independent state,
but would be under Israeli economic domination
with Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.

Israel was not thinking of a state but
separation. The value of separation is measured
in terms of the ability of Israel to keep the Jewish
state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian minority
that could have the opportunity to become a
majority at some time in the future. If this takes
place, it would force Israel to either become a
secular democratic or bi-national state, or to turn
into a state of apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.
 
Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the
last 30 or 40 years, you clearly find a vulgar
racism that includes a third of the population who
openly declare themselves to be racist. The racism
is of the nature of “I hate Arabs” and “I wish
Arabs would be dead.” If you also follow the
judicial system in Israel you will see there is
discrimination against Palestinians, and if you
further consider the 1967 occupied territories you
will find there are already two judicial systems in
operation that represent two different approaches
to property and to land. Palestinian property is not
recognized as private property because it can be confiscated.
 
As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and
Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called
“Palestinian autonomous areas” are Bantustans.
These are restricted entities within the power
structure of the Israeli apartheid system.

The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of
the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish
purity of Israel. Israel’s discrimination is daily life
of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state,
Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which
non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no
place in a “Jewish” state.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has
deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty
and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross
racial discrimination and inequality. It has
systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands
of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of
international law. It has, in particular, waged a war
against a civilian population, in particular children.

The responses made by South Africa to human
rights abuses emanating from the removal policies
and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on
what Israeli society must necessarily go through
before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in
the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.

Thomas, I’m not abandoning Mideast diplomacy.
But I’m not going to indulge you the way your
supporters do. If you want peace and democracy, I
will support you. If you want formal apartheid, we
will not support you. If you want to support racial
discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will
oppose you. When you figure out what you’re
about, give me a call..."
 
 
 
AUTHOR’S NOTE: OK folks, the Mandela letter above
is pure satire and was actually written by Arjan El Fassed
who is co- founder of the website Electronic Intifada
<http://www.electronicintifada.net> in the satirical style that was
then being employed by Zionist Jew Thomas Friedman
(New York Times) of writing mock letters from one
world leader to another.
 
But Mandela could have and should have written it.


After running across the “Mandela” letter in my net
searching adventures I saw that there were some
arguments at various websites as to the authenticity of the
letter. Electronic Intifada quickly answered my inquiring
email verifying that the letter is indeed satire. It was a
good reinforcement lesson regarding the necessity for
fact checking.
 

A Palestinian farmer looks at Israeli army soldiers after he planted an olive trees near the West Bank town of Tubas in the Jordan valley, during a protest against the closure of land to Palestinians by the army and Jewish settlers, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP/Mohammed Ballas)
A Palestinian farmer looks at Israeli army soldiers after he was arrested for planting olive trees near the West Bank town of Tubas in the Jordan valley, during a protest against the closure of land to Palestinians by the army and Jewish settlers, April 8, 2014. Mohammed Ballas | AP
 
 
Greenwashing the Nakba

The Real Story Behind Israel’s “Blooming Desert”

 

Though the official narrative of the state of Israel claims that it has turned the land it occupies from an empty desert into a lush, agricultural wonder, the actual fate of the land following Israel’s establishment in 1948 tells a very different story.

June 15th, 2018

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – It has often been said that Israel, since its establishment in 1948, has presided over the “miracle” of making the country’s “desert bloom.” That heavily promoted narrative — which asserts that the Palestinians have long lacked the capacity, knowledge or desire to properly develop agriculture in the region — has often been used as a legitimizing factor in Israel’s establishment. As former Israel Prime Minister Shimon Peres once said, “The country [Palestine] was mostly an empty desert, with only a few islands of Arab settlement; and Israel’s [cultivated] land today was indeed redeemed from swamp and wilderness.”

 

Were it not for Israel, the desert would have remained unproductive and fallow – or so the story goes.

 

There is, however, another side to this story, one that shows that the “blooming desert” of Israel is a convenient disguise for the degradation and destruction of Palestine’s natural resources, a means of obfuscating the worst of occupation by wrapping it in the cloak of Zionist mythology. While a central theme of Zionist mythology has long been the need for the Jewish Diaspora community to re-establish itself by returning to agricultural labor, the truth of Israel’s agricultural “success” involves the unsustainable use of occupied resources and the deliberate destruction of the land and water still used by Palestinians today.

 

Erasing a rich history

 

Though the official narrative of the state of Israel claims that it has turned the land it occupies from an empty desert into a lush, agricultural wonder, the actual fate of the land following Israel’s establishment in 1948 tells a very different story. Indeed, prior to 1948, the historical record demonstrates that Palestinian farms were very productive and that both Palestinian Arabs and Jewish settlers were successful farmers. For example, a UN report on agriculture in Palestine between 1945 and 1946 recorded that Palestinian-grown crops accounted for nearly 80 percent of Palestine’s total agricultural yield that season, with Palestinian farms producing over 244,000 tons of vegetables, 73,000 tons of fruit, 78,000 tons of olives, and 5 million liters of wine.

 

&quot;Villagers of Sidna Ali drawing water from communal well. (source: Palestine Remembered)

“Villagers of Sidna Ali drawing water from communal well. (source: Palestine Remembered)

 

Two years later, when the majority of Palestinians were forced from their land during the “Nakba” that founded the state of Israel, the farms and orchards that had previously been tended by Palestinians were left abandoned, as their owners fled under the threat of death at the hands of Zionist militias.

 

As Israeli historian and journalist Meron Benvenisti detailed in his book Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948:

 

By April 1948 Jewish farmers had already begun harvesting the crops that had ripened in the abandoned fields and picking the citrus fruit in Arab groves. […] by mid-1949 two-thirds of all land sown with grain in Israel was abandoned Arab land.”

 

Thus, it was land theft that was largely responsible for Israel’s initial agricultural production, not the labor or agricultural expertise of Zionist settlers.

 

In addition, the claim that Israel turned an undeveloped desert into an agricultural wonder seems to be – in part – projection on the part of the Israeli state. Indeed, as Benvenisti noted, following the removal of Palestinians, the vast majority of centuries-old fruit orchards that had long been maintained by the native inhabitants of the land were untended, neglected and, in some cases, bulldozed to make room for ever-expanding settlements.

 

According to Benvenisti’s research, that neglect led to a situation in which “entire tracts of productive citrus trees, especially in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area, were earmarked for the construction of housing developments,” as was the case for Palestine olive groves and pomegranate orchards that the land’s new occupants considered “an annoyance.” Part of the reason for the destruction of the land was that it would weaken Palestinian claims to return to the land, as keeping agricultural infrastructure intact “might have made possible the absorption of the returning refugees.”

 

Current Israeli government policy, particularly its support for the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, is the continuation of this effort to erase Palestine’s history by targeting its agricultural heritage as well as its natural wonders. Indeed, Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted back in 2011 that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s steady push for Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory had been coupled with “his insistence on seeing nature and landscape as no more than an obstacle to the realization of his settlement vision.”

 

Covering a crime with water-sucking pines

Israeli President Shimon Peres, right, and French President Francois Hollande, plant a Cedar tree in Jerusalem. The National Lawyers Guild called for the investigation of the Jewish National Fund, an organization famous for planting tress on land forcibly seized from Palestinians. (AP/Abir Sultan)

Israeli President Shimon Peres, right, and French President Francois Hollande, plant a Cedar tree in Jerusalem. The National Lawyers Guild called for the investigation of the Jewish National Fund, an organization famous for planting tress on land forcibly seized from Palestinians. (AP/Abir Sultan)

 

Another project central to the “desert bloom” mythology is Israel’s “afforestation” of the desert, which has helped “turn the desert green” through the planting of non-native pine trees. These forests, largely planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), have been touted as a “miracle.” Yet, the pine stands, much like Israel’s treatment of Palestine’s agricultural legacy, have been motivated by a need to cover up the events that led to the creation of the Israeli state.

 

Indeed, more than two-thirds of all JNF forests and sites lie on top of the ruins of Palestinian villages demolished during and after the founding of Israel, and the group’s continuing afforestation efforts are aimed at acquiring land in the occupied West Bank to prevent “trespassing” and “conceal” Palestinian villages in order to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees.

 

Moreover, the effort to maintain a forest of non-native trees – regardless of whether its chief aim is to cover up the true history of Palestine or “green” a desert — has come at a great cost to the natural environment. As journalist Max Blumenthal has noted:

 

Most of the saplings the JNF plants at a site near Jerusalem simply do not survive, and require frequent replanting. Elsewhere, needles from the pine trees have killed native plant species and wreaked havoc on the ecosystem.”

 

They also become fodder for forest fires that have caused major damage and mass evacuations throughout Israel over the years.

 

Another ecological consequence of JNF forests is their likely effect on Israel’s horrendous drought, considered to be the worst the region has faced in over 900 years. As studies have shown in other countries where non-native pine plantations have been introduced in vast numbers, pines consume a significant amount of water – leading to droughts and even the disappearance of entire rivers – as well as fundamentally alter and degrade the soil. While these forests have been presented as an ecological miracle, they are instead destroying the environment and degrading the land’s resources, suggesting that the main driver behind the long-standing project is aimed at covering up the ruins of Palestine.

 

Continuing the attack on Palestinian agriculture

A Palestinian elderly woman collects olives from broken olive tree branches in the village of Qusra, northern West Bank, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Palestinian farmers say Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Eli cut more than 70 olive trees overnight. Olives are the backbone of Palestinian agriculture. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

A Palestinian elderly woman collects olives from broken olive tree branches in the village of Qusra, northern West Bank, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Palestinian farmers say Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Eli cut more than 70 olive trees overnight. Olives are the backbone of Palestinian agriculture. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

 

Today, the stark difference in agricultural development in the land tended by Israelis and Palestinians derives from policies that often receive little coverage in the media and are largely absent from the “desert bloom” narrative. Indeed, much of the coverage the issue has received paints Palestinian agricultural successes as either the work of foreigners offering aid or resulting from the “theft” of Israeli-settlement agricultural infrastructure.

 

Such reports fail to acknowledge the realities of the issue, such as the illegal blockade of Gaza that has crippled its economy and agricultural sector, as well as Israel’s destruction of agricultural infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank. Gazan agricultural infrastructure was ravaged by Israel in times of war and, in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers regularly demolish rain cisterns, pipelines and irrigation systems installed by Palestinians, citing as a reason that such structures lacked the “proper authorization” from Israel. Farmers themselves, mainly in Gaza, are often targeted directly by Israeli soldiers if they come too close to the border fence.

 

The Israeli government has also targeted Palestinian agriculture through chemical warfare. The use of white phosphorus as a weapon against Gaza, for example, has had major consequences for the area’s farmers. In addition to the chemical weapon’s often deadly effects on the human body, it has destructive effects on the environment and plants, as its incendiary nature often leads to the spontaneous ignition and burning of trees, forests and farmland. It also lingers in the environment for several years.

 

Beyond the use of chemical weapons, Israel has also directly targeted Gazan farmland with herbicide. In 2015, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) admitted to using herbicides and germination inhibitors to kill off vegetation along the Palestinian side of the border, damaging over 420 acres of land. A year later, tactic was repeated, this time destroying around 400 acres of farmland. The IDF has stated that it sprays the chemicals over the vaguely defined “no-go zone” it has established along the border “in order to enable optimal and continuous security operations.” However, the area accounts for a third of Gaza’s arable land and 17 percent of the entire territory.

 

Furthermore, the herbicides, like white phosphorus, have consequences for the environment long after they are sprayed. As Anwar Abu Assi, manager of the chemical laboratory at Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture, told Al Jazeera in 2016:

 

Herbicides are sprayed in high concentrations. Thus, they remain embedded in the soil, and then find their way to the water basin. This constitutes a real hazard for the population.”

 

The targeting of Palestinian agriculture in the present and its treatment by the Israeli and American press suggest another and nefarious way in which Israel’s “desert bloom” mythology has manifested. In order for Israel’s agricultural “superiority” to remain unchallenged, Palestinian agriculture must also be suppressed. Were Palestinian agriculture able to develop unimpeded and flourish, it would call into question the idea that the land was barren before the Zionists, threatening the latter’s legitimacy.

 

The cover-story for all conquerors and colonizers  

 

The myth of Israel “making the desert bloom” has its basis in neo-colonial narratives that have long been used in other settler states such as Canada, New Zealand, the United States and Australia. In the cases of the latter countries, the native inhabitants and their culture have also inaccurately been depicted as “primitive” and incompetent, a narrative that suggests that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. Such narratives cast the settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

 

 

Zionist mythology reinforces similar themes. For example, as in the United States Native Americans were considered as uncivilized and wild as the natural environment, Zionist mythology reinforces the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert similarly represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development.

 

Another historical analogue is the 19th century concept of “manifest destiny” — the idea that the expansion of the United States had been preordained by God himself, which led the U.S. to break many of its numerous treaties with indigenous tribes and even go to war with Mexico in order to acquire the land it coveted. The Israeli government similarly sees its expansion and control of all of Palestine as a matter of fulfilling prophecy and “redeeming” the Holy Land. This effort of redemption continues to feed Israel’s expansion. As Netanyahu has said, Israel is “obligated to develop all parts of the country – the Galilee and the Negev [the West Bank].”

 

Living the myth and the lie

 

Yet, no matter how much evidence exists to the contrary, Israel will never tell the real story behind the “miracle” of making “the desert bloom.” It will never tell the real story precisely because it can’t – to do so would mean demolishing the neo-colonial narrative at the center of the settler state, a narrative that is the pillar of its legitimacy.

 

Indeed, if Israel has not actually improved the land by making “the desert bloom” but instead degraded the land, the legitimacy of the state of Israel itself becomes questionable, as it suggests that its native inhabitants – the Palestinians – were better caretakers of the land than the current occupiers. For this reason, Israel must continue to propagate the myth regardless of the facts, and continue to deny Palestine’s rich cultural history and agricultural legacy.

 

With Israel now facing the consequences of its mistreatment of the land and its resources, the historical revisionism once used to sell the disparity between Israeli and Palestinian agricultural prowess has become ineffective. For that reason, Israel must now use other tactics — chemical warfare through toxic agrochemicals, the physical destruction of Palestinian agricultural infrastructure, and illegal blockades – in order to keep the artificial narrative alive, creating the illusion of primitivism and scarcity where none exists.


 

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.


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