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Desert stops blooming

Posted by Richard on May 15, 2006

Before they were forced out of Gaza by their own government, the Jews of Gush Katif ran some of the most sophisticated agricultural operations in the world. Their greenhouses produced most of Israel’s produce, along with over $100 million a year in exports to Europe. These greenhouses were the quintessential example of how the Israelis had "made the desert bloom." And they provided employment for over 4000 Palestinian Arabs.

In the days before Gaza was turned over to the Palestinian Authority, some of the Jews being evicted talked about destroying everything they had created, rather than turning it over to those who couldn’t duplicate their achievement and hadn’t earned a right to it. Think Howard Roark and Cortland Homes. But a group of rich American Jews came up with $14 million to buy the greenhouses of Gush Katif and give them to the PA’s Palestinian Company for Economic Development. At the time, Robert Spencer of Dhimmi Watch took a dim view of their philanthropy:

Moral blindness, dhimmitude, naivete, and more. Will the recipients of this largesse now realize that the Jews are not as bad as they have thought? No. They will laugh at their weakness and continue the jihad.

Spencer was soon shown to be prescient. Looting and destruction began almost as soon as the last Israeli soldiers were gone:

A week after they descended like locusts on the greenhouses that Jewish settlers nurtured in Gaza, looters continue to pillage what should be a prize asset for a fledgling Palestinian state.

And the Palestinian Authority, which took over Gaza after the Israelis evacuated the territory, appears powerless to stop them.

When a Daily News correspondent visited abandoned Jewish settlements in Gaza, he found brazen vandals dismantling farms that once produced some of the world’s finest tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

Samir Al-Najar had a ready explanation for why he and his crew were demolishing a half-acre greenhouse:

Al-Najar insisted the land was his family’s before Israel occupied it in 1967 and that he was reclaiming it.

"I want to reorganize the land so we’re clearing it out for now," Al-Najar said as two workers carried off a stack of tall metal support beams. Asked whether he intended to sell the materials, Al-Najar shook his head. "We’ll probably rebuild with them, but I want the greenhouses to be our own, not Jewish ones," he said.

That was in September. No word on Al-Najar’s "reorganizing" of the land or his promise to build a non-Jewish greenhouse.

By December, the Palestinians were having problems managing the greenhouses they hadn’t destroyed, and consequently provided a textbook illustration of the concept of chutzpah (emphasis added):

The Palestinians who took over the Jewish greenhouses in the Gaza Strip when Israel withdrew its communities from the area now are asking expelled farmers for advice after reportedly failing to reproduce the region’s famous insect-free vegetables, WND has learned.
. . .

Earlier this month, the Palestinians now running the greenhouses reportedly told the Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Fund they failed in their efforts to grow bug-free produce.

Now the Palestinian owners have asked the United States Agency for International Development, which has been involved in reconstruction efforts in Gaza, to hire former Jewish Gaza greenhouse owners as consultants for their declining vegetable businesses.

Eitan Hederi, a former Gaza farmer who represented Gush Katif residents in the Wolfenson greenhouse transfer told WND, "The Palestinians are privately turning to U.S. AID to hire us because we are experts in this kind of farming. It’s a really complex process that we engineered."

As of this past weekend, the barbarians were still bent on destroying the artifacts of civilization that they couldn’t create, understand, or maintain:

Several greenhouses belonging to the former settlement of Morag in the Gaza Strip were destroyed over the weekend during an attempt by dozens of gunmen to take control of the area.

The Palestinian Company for Economic Development, which is in charge of thousands of greenhouses that used to belong to Morag and other settlements in Gush Katif, said the attack, which took place on Friday, was the latest in a series that began almost immediately after the settlements were evacuated.

The company revealed that hundreds of greenhouses and other agricultural installations have been sabotaged over the past few months, expressing its outrage over the recurring phenomenon. …

Hat tip to Dhimmi Watch, where commenter special_guest said it well (emphasis added):

I hope they were environmentally conscious enough to re-use the scrap metal from the destroyed hothouses in the only industry that thrives in "Palestine", manufacturing weapons that will be used to kill unarmed civilians.

It is just pure nihlism, there is only darkness and depravity in all that they touch.

It’s not without reason that someone coined the term "paleostinian."

UPDATE: Welcome, Pajamas Media "Best of the Blogs" readers, including the visitor from Riyadh! Please look around while you’re here. Check out some of the intriguing titles to the left, or visit the main page, where you’ll find my 20 most recent posts.

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