Welcome to the second in my series “Israel and the Palestinian Arabs” – the follow-up to “Look what Israel is doing to the Palestinian Arabs” published in mid 2011.
With the international media continuing to attack Israel’s security measures towards Gaza, I recorded the following items of actual events. In a typical October week, with terrorists still firing rockets at Israeli civilians, 35,657 tons of goods were shipped into Gaza via Israel on 1,285 trucks. Meanwhile, the Jewish State is allowing Gaza farmers to export all its agricultural produce through Israel. In the coming year, Gazans are expected to export 1,000 tons of strawberries and 20 million carnations to European markets. Maybe one day they will beat their swords into ploughshares – like those Gaza farmers learning from the Israelis running this educational agricultural conference. And this “must see” video clip shows how the Jewish State goes that extra mile to help those Gazans who reject the violence of their terrorist masters and just want to get on with their lives.
Meanwhile, here are some of the measures Israel takes to defend its citizens with minimal impact on Palestinian Arab non-combatants. And in any riot scenario or attempt to breach its borders, Israel has developed a doctrine and system to avoid fatal civilian casualties. And don’t let Hamas kid you. Prison conditions for the hundreds of Palestinian Arab terrorists just released were a whole lot better than those for kidnapped Israeli Gilad Schalit. Click here for the facts.
Before we leave Gaza, here are a few interesting news stories that show a stark contrast between Israelis and the Hamas terrorists that runs Gaza. Volunteers from the emergency rescue service Hatzalah distributed $100,000 of emergency medical equipment donated by the Moskowitz Foundation to the cities suffering from Gaza rocket attacks. Then, with just a hammer, anvil and furnace, Israeli artist Yaron Bob melts, moulds and sculpts the remains of Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza into gorgeous flowers. Meanwhile, Hamas arranges a stunt by which 3,520 Gaza children entered the Guinness Book of Records by playing with 176 multi-coloured parachutes. I really can’t see how Gaza resembles the “prison camp” voiced by the British Prime Minister.
So what has been happening over in the other territory occupied by Palestinian Arabs? Well there has been plenty of trade – up 7% in the first half of 2011. Economic growth for the Arabs of Judea and Samaria has continued to improve despite the world economic slowdown thanks to Israel’s policy. 85% of Palestinian Arabs want to co-operate with Israel on joint projects. We also had help from world leaders who came to Tel Aviv in September to attend the International Conference for Economic Regional Cooperation to boost Israel''s work with the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab world.
Food and drink featured highly in co-existence activities. Seinfeld star Jason Alexander went to learn about cooking and peacemaking with chef Moshe Basson, owner of The Eucalyptus, a biblical themed restaurant in Jerusalem. Basson, is a member of "Chefs for Peace," an association that brings together Israeli and Palestinian Arab chefs. Then Israelis literally poured into the Oktoberfest Arab beer festival in the Christian Arab town of Taybeh, just outside of Ramallah. Barely any security was visible and definitely not needed.
No problem for the Christian Arabs to obtain sufficient water for making beer. And why should there be? Israel now supplies Palestinian Arabs with 80% more water than specified in the Oslo agreements. Of course, whilst Israel recycles 90% of its water, the Palestinian Authority demands only fresh water and recycles nothing. Maybe all will be fine when Israel finishes building a new NIS 1.2 billion pipeline to bring water from the coastal desalination plants to the capital of the Jewish State and from there to the territories and even Jordan. Well the prophet Zechariah predicted that one day “Water will flow out from Jerusalem.”
The following two articles contrast Israel’s actions with those of our neighbours. Freedom of speech means that all three main Israeli TV networks broadcast the anti-Israel speech by Mahmoud Abbas to the UN in full without interruption. In Ramallah, however, PA TV turned the cameras off the moment that Prime Minister Netanyahu took to the podium. And for those who have any doubts, watch this illuminating video clip of how Palestinian Arabs are treated by their Arab brethren.
So as we come to the end of the “season of goodwill” these links show how the Israeli Government sent greetings, removed checkpoints and issued extra permits to Arabs during this year’s Eid, Ramadan and Christmas celebrations.
Lets hope that in 2012 the Palestinian Arab leadership will show some goodwill to Israel in return.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
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