Monday, May 23, 2011

Cucumbers for Peace. Israeli/palestinian Agricultural Co-operation

This is interesting,and its a good example of why co-operation is the way to go, and why I personally reject BDS as a divisive and manipulative tactic, and as an obstacle to peace:

The Civil Administration, in coordination with security forces and the Ministry of Defense crossings operators, works to ensure the marketing of 15,000-18,000 tons of cucumbers, which in turn supply Palestinian farmers with approximately 60 million NIS in revenue. The produce is significant to the 3,000 families of Palestinian farmers in the northern West Bank who consider cucumbers their primary source of income, as well as for Israelis wherein 60% of their cucumbers are brought from Jenin.

In order to best answer the farmers’ needs, the hours of the Gilboa Crossing have been extended during the coming weeks in order to allow all the produce gathered throughout the day to be exported, thus maintaining the freshness of the vegetables. Furthermore, the Civil Administration’s Agricultural Coordinator, Samir Muadi, has ordered agronomical examinations on the produce in order to ensure the public’s health.

It should be noted that in the last year the Gilboa Crossing was equipped with an X-ray scanner costing millions of shekels, which allows for the transfer of products without opening their packaging. This has significant impact on the quality of the product as well as the security checks needed.

Israels buy 60% of these cucumbers. What would happen if Israelis decided to return the BDS favor? Would these cucumbers rot in storage? Would other markets be found for them? What would happen to the Palestinian farmers if they couldn't find another regional market for their cucumbers?

Co-operation. Mutual aid. Interdependence. Closer , better ties. These, not BDS are the real path of peace

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