Saturday, February 2, 2013

Farming Injustice Presents: A Day of Rage Against Israeli Veggies

Fear the cucumber.  Tremble before the persimmon. February 9th has been proclaimed  a day of rage against Israeli fruits and veggies.  So far, it appears limited to the UK, but these things can spread, in much the same manner as the norovirus.

The ”Farming Injustice” Facebook page claims

“ Israeli agricultural export companies are at the heart of Israel’s system of domination over the Palestinian people. They are an integral component of the on-going process of colonisation and environmental destruction of Palestinian land, the destruction of Palestinian agriculture, the theft of water, and the abuse of Palestinian workers’ rights, including child labourers.”

 In reality, no one works harder to enhance Palestinian agriculture- from the soil to the store shelves-  than Israel.

 Last month, the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza funded 150 Palestinian agriculture workers, enabling them attend  the Tel Aviv "Cleantech" exhibit - an  international event displaying the latest in water technology, energy efficiency , renewable energy,  green building , recycling and green transportation. Additionally, 60 agricultural workers from Gaza attended  the annual agricultural exhibition of the Arava research and development  unit held at Yair Station.

The assistance to Palestinian farmers extends beyond education and training. Israel also helps the Palestinian market their agricultural products

Israel has been training farmers in Gaza to grow spices and herbs, in a program coordinated with ICLA Gaza , the Khan Younis Association and the Arava Export Growers as part of the continuous support for agricultural development in the Gaza Strip.

Farmers in Gaza were given tutorials on how to grow spices and they were then provided the seedlings from Israel. This morning, Sunday, 21 October 2012, the inaugural export through Kerem Shalom proved a success. Special arrangements at the crossing were made to accommodate the needs of the exported spices, including capabilities to perform refrigerated quality and security inspections.
Even though this is only one truck, (carrying 9 packages, roughly one ton) it holds a significant amount of product. Furthermore, the spice export via Kerem Shalom will continue throughout the season. Last year agricultural exports from Gaza totaled some 460 tons of strawberry, 160 tons of tomatoes, 58 tons of peppers and 8.8 million units of flowers. The spices will be exported to the European market. 

Read about how Israel helps Palestinian farmers at the COGAT website

Addressed to the organizers of "Farming Injustice".   If the Palestinians themselves reject BDS, and happily accept Israeli assistance, training and marketing with their agriculture, who are you to interfere?  These acts of co-existence, of aid and support are the foundations of strong economic ties. These are precisely the actions those who care about the Palestinian people  should be encouraging.

Do you live in the UK? The best way to handle this is with a good old fashioned buycott. Go to the targeted stores all this week- you don’t need to wait until Feb.9th. Buy Israel products- especially Israeli produce. And as importantly, thank the stores for carrying these products.

From the "Farming Injustice" Facebook page (sorry- no live links to hate-sites)

Anti-Israel actions:
Farming Injustice Saturday 9 February - International Day of Action Against Israeli Agricultural Export Companies

Palestinian agricultural organisations and the Palestinian BDS National Committee call for the launching of worldwide campaigns on February 9 against Israeli agricultural export corporations in light of their deep complicity in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

Join the actions on the day – see the list below.

PSC has also set up and online action tool so everybody can take part and target major UK supermarkets between the 4th and 9th of February – take action here – it will take 2 minutes :

UK Campaigns have decided to target Sainsbury’s supermarket, more information will be available soon.


Actions on Saturday 9th February 2013

Birmingham 3pm
Action at Sainsbury’s - Martineau Place. UNION St Birmingham City Centre
West Midlands PSC

Bristol 12noon to 3pm
Street stall and Boycott action outside Sainsbury (junction with Zetland Road), 2-4 Gloucester Rd, Bristol BS7 8AE.
Bristol PSC

East London
11am to 1pm
Join East London PSC outside Sainsbury’s Whitechapel 1 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E1 5SD

BDS Stall outside local Sainsbury’s
Manchester PSC

Newcastle Upon Tyne
12noon to 2pm
Newcastle PSC, Stop the War, local churches and students will be targeting Sainsbury's stores in Newcastle. Street stall, leafleting and checking produce in-store.

North Devon 11am - 1.00pm
North Devon PSC and BDS Stall
Guildhall, (Pannier Market)
High Street, (Corner of Butcher's Row)
Barnstaple EX 31 1BW // 07887 650671

Action at Sainsbury’s
Sheffield PSC

11am to 1pm
Southampton PSC
Outside the Sainsbury's on Portwood Road, Southampton

West Ealing/London
11am to 1pm
Street supermarket action
West London PSC

West Surrey
Local supermarket actions
West Surrey PSC


Leaflets for the day of action can be downloaded from here (PDF):

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