Gaza towards self-suffiency?

P F Tinmore

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“Whatever became of the settlement lands? Such lost opportunities! The land has returned and what waste”, we hear time and again from Zionist apologists and their kind. “If only Gazans would make a life for themselves rather than blaming their problems on others!”

Leaving aside the obvious question of how a territory and its people whose every marker of sovereignty is effectively controlled by an occupying power that nevertheless refuses to recognize its responsibility as an occupier can “build a state” and “make a life”, the Gaza government has actually been doing some pretty impressive things.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to tour “mu7ararat Gaza”-the liberated lands of Gaza, i.e. the former settlements.

It was a follow-up to an interview colleague Maggie Schmitt and I did with the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Al-Agha. In consultation with dozens of international and local NGOs, the Gaza Ministry has drawn up an impressive “ten-year plan” aimed at reducing Gaza’s dependence on imported Israeli produce, incorporating organic farming on a wider scale, and generally “helping Gaza help itself” through a return to more sustainable agricultural practices (such as relying more on rain-fed crops rather than cash cropping for export which involves wasteful amounts of water and an abundance of pesticides, and is subject to the whim of Israeli authorities and their punitive border closure).


A greenhouse in the former settlement of Neve Dekalim,
now being used to grow fruits

In the former settlement of Kfar Darom, where sniper towers once lined the landscape, there is a massive organic composting facility for seasonal plants (as well as a sewage water composting for trees) and pilot organic farm where workshops are conducted to teach local farmers organic practices. Those who choose to implement organic farming are rewarded with free compost and saplings.


A worker gathers dried vegetable plants
to prepare for composting

In another section of this vast empty expanse is the “fruit garden”: carefully landscaped donums of a variety of fruit trees, marked with signs by each row, such as mangoes, citrus, apples, and stone fruits. Gaza now relies heavily on imported fruits from Israel, as tens of thousands of its own trees were razed to the ground during the second Intifada, and most recently during Cast Lead.



Perhaps most interesting of all was a farm which grows Oyster mushrooms in closely monitored environs, under the enthusiastic watch of agricultural engineer Amjad al-agha .

The resulting products are either dried or ground and sold to local restaurants, which use them for soup, salads, and sandwiches, and curries, or distributed in plastic baskets to a woman’s empowerment group to finish cultivating and ultimately to sell as a form of income generation.

Gaza Mom » Gaza; settlements; Israel; Hamas; agriculture
 

JStone

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:lol:

Time Magazine: Globally Isolated and Economically Crippled: Why Hamas is Losing Gaza
Besieged by Israel and the West, which regards it as a terrorist group, and cut off from the Palestinian majority in the West Bank, Hamas has little to offer beyond its jihadist credentials — and the promise of clean government. So it's hardly surprising that the party has been rapidly losing ground in its stronghold. Recent surveys by leading pollsters conclude that if elections were held in Gaza today, Hamas, an acronym in Arabic for the Islamic Resistance Movement, would not be returned to power. A June poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that Hamas would get just 28% of the vote, a steep decline from the 44% plurality it won in 2006.

Especially alarming for the Islamists is a precipitous drop in support for the party among Gaza's youth: two-thirds of the population is under 25. In a March survey taken in the afterglow of the protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that led to the ouster of Egypt's dictator, Hosni Mubarak, more than 60% of Gazans age 18 to 27 said they too would support public demonstrations demanding regime change.

Soon after that poll, 10,000 turned out at a rally to voice a more modest demand — that Hamas end the bloody rift with Fatah, the secular party it bested six years ago. Hamas sent thugs to break up the demonstration. "We came out to say the people should be united, and they attack us!" says Shadi Hassan, 22, who lives in a refugee camp and sells cigarettes. "We are suffocated, and we need regime change."


Even party stalwarts agree that they've lost the street. "The majority of people want a change, yes," says Ahmed Yusuf, a former deputy foreign minister for Hamas who now runs a think tank called House of Wisdom. "They are not happy with the way Hamas is governing Gaza. Wherever you look is miserable life." Forty percent of Gazans live in poverty. The rate of unemployment is approaching 50%, among the highest in the world, and is likely to worsen as the population of 1.6 million doubles in the next 20 years. "Because they believe in God, they don't think a lot about the future," says Gaza economist Omar Shaban, who heads the Pal-Think think tank. "You won't find someone in Hamas who is thinking about 2045. They say, 'Oh, God will provide.'"

Globally Isolated and Economically Crippled: Why Hamas is Losing Gaza - TIME
 

docmauser1

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“Whatever became of the settlement lands? Such lost opportunities! The land has returned and what waste”, we hear time and again from Zionist apologists and their kind. “If only Gazans would make a life for themselves rather than blaming their problems on others!”
So true!
Leaving aside the obvious question of how a territory and its people whose every marker of sovereignty is effectively controlled by an occupying power that nevertheless refuses to recognize its responsibility as an occupier can “build a state” and “make a life”, the Gaza government has actually been doing some pretty impressive things.
Like blaming jews for every dumb move that gangsteristan "government" does.
 

JStone

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Top 10 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be A Palestinian :clap2:

1. There is no such thing as Mothers Day. No worry about cards, gifts, and expensive meals. There is no honor in being a woman in our culture, so there is no reason to devote a day to her. We do, however, get to enjoy watching our fathers beat our mothers senseless for the slightest real or imagined infraction. Also, if Dad suspects that Mom spoke to a strange man in the street, he gets to kill her to preserve the family honor!

2. Weapons. Every child, from the time he can grasp an object, is trained to feel comfortable with a rifle or pistol in his hand. And every Palestinian has a weapon: a gun, a rocket launcher, a pound of C-4. What good are hands if they aren't used to kill?

3. Hate. Boy, we love to hate. Hate is the very basis and foundation of our culture. From the time a child is old enough to understand language, we teach him to hate. Hate Jews, hate the West, hate his fellow man, and most of all, hate himself. We have no love songs, we do not preach love, the word love does not appear anywhere in our society. Hate is the fuel that runs our motors.

4. Death. The moment a Palestinian Arab child is born, his parents begin to plan his death. How will he die? Will he be struck by an Israeli bullet while being used as a human shield by Palestinian gunmen? Will he get shot while throwing rocks at Jewish soldiers? Will he be packed with explosives and sent to blow himself up, killing others? Or will he merely be one of the many Palestinians murdered by other Palestinians in the normal course of daily life in
the death-culture of the Palestinian Arabs? Who knows? That's part of the thrill.

5. Unemployment. Palestinians used to have jobs, working in Israel. But then, our leaders had a brilliant idea: suicide bombings! For their own protection, Israel had to close its borders, preventing Palestinians from going to their jobs, so they could sit around unemployed and blame the Jews for it. What great fun to be your own worst enemy!

6. Martyrdom. Who in their right mind wants to be a martyr? Among normal people, a martyr complex is considered immature and obnoxious, if not downright crazy. With us, it's the central syndrome of our society! Hey, look at me, I'm gonna kill myself and become admired! And then, when we do kill ourselves, instead of being considered pathetic, we DO get admired! It's a whole complete cycle of sickness! American kids collect baseball cards; Palestinian kids collect martyr cards (really! no joke!).

7. A feeling of entitlement. When Israel came into being, we declared war. We lost. We fought again. We lost. We fought again. We lost. Israel had the right to kill us all (we sure would kill all of them if we got the chance). Instead, they allow us to live on land they conquered. But we can't leave that alone. We have to claim entitlement to live on land that we lost in 6 wars. Since when does the loser of a war get to claim the land he fought over? They don't. But we do. Not only that, but we happily kill our kids over it! Hey, what's more important -- a chunk of dirt, or some worthless kid who isn't going to amount to anything anyway?

8. Uselessness. The Jews have won more Nobel Prizes than all other ethnic groups combined. Their contributions to science, art, literature and the humanities is far out of proportion to their population. What have Palestinians produced? Nothing! Not a thing. We don't do anything productive. We're too busy rioting and killing and chanting and screaming and calling for everyone's death. And we blame the Jews for it, as though the Jews stop us from being productive.

9. Friends. The Palestinian people sure know how to pick 'em. Saadam Hussein. The Taliban. Adolf Hitler. You name a psychopath, and we embrace him. And look who our supporters are! The American Nazi Party. The KKK. Just check their websites and see how they stand in solidarity with us. When you support the Palestinian "cause," you're in real good company. Bring your white sheet!

10. Freedom. The biggest laugh in the world is when people call us "freedom fighters" or they say we're fighting for our freedom. Take a look at all 22 Arab countries. Do you see any freedom there? Well, that's what our country will be like if we ever get one. It
will be a dictatorship run by armed, masked thugs who will kill anyone who dissents. Just like we are now. Freedom???? LOLOLOLOL The word doesn't even exist in our language. Hey, just like George Orwell said: "Freedom is slavery. Long live big brother!"

Remember: Israel is bad!
Its existence keeps reminding us what a bunch of losers we are.
 

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