Archive | February 23, 2015

Gaza Unable to Export Produce*

Gaza Unable to Export Produce*

By Hana Salah

Translator Cynthia Milan

A Palestinian laborer holds up a box of freshly picked strawberries, intended for export, on a farm in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Dec. 7, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Gaza’s farmers have increasingly suffered since the Israeli siege was first imposed in 2006. Despite the Ministry of Agriculture’s announcement of self-sufficiency, the fluctuation of international support and Israel preventing the exportation of agricultural products have destroyed the only source of livelihood for farmers, especially after the recent war.

In the western part of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli reconnaissance planes never stopped their sweeps over the vast agricultural land, where only one farmer was planting flowers. Al-Monitor’s correspondent handpicked the last of the clove flowers that once flourished in the Strip — which was famous for exporting flowers around the world — before the farmers stopped planting them due to the lack of Dutch support for this year.

Notably, the cultivated flowers here are not up to the international standards and flowers are now worn out cuttings from an Israeli mother-plant as farmers cannot buy seedlings. Some are cultivated for the domestic market, where the demand for flowers has significantly decreased as a result of the deteriorating economic situation.

The director of the Marketing Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Tahseen al-Saqqa, told Al-Monitor

“The Dutch government was implementing a project to provide farmers with seedlings and the necessary supplies for the cultivation of flowers, at a rate that was being reduced every year since 2010. However, the support completely stopped this year and the farmers could no longer afford the costs, so the cultivation of flowers ended.”

Farmer Ziyad Hijazi said during a tour west of Rafah around his own shrinking fields,

“Years ago, I used to walk around 100 dunams of flowers. I used to supervise dozens of workers and prepare to export my production. That has all vanished today.”

Hijazi, who is now in economic distress and accumulating debt, now rents only 20 dunams. He uses 19 to grow vegetables, instead of flowers, for the local market. He sells them at a cheap price that is barely enough to feed his children. He is currently using the last dunam to plant cloves, the last such field in the Strip of a once prosperous trade.

Hijazi believes that growing flowers is pointless.

“In the early years of the siege, when the crossings were closed and we could no longer export, I fed the sheep the flowers I was supposed to export, and whose quality was 10 times better than the ones we have today,” he explained.

Saqqa pointed out

“The Gaza Strip used to produce on more than 600 dunams 50 million flowers for export each year before the blockade, and 150 million flowers a year during the blockade. But this year, there are no more than five dunams planted for domestic consumption.” He added,

“The Dutch support was the key factor for our flower agriculture, until it stopped this year. We can no longer grow without support and even if we do, we cannot afford the high costs without exporting, due to the closing of crossings.”

He noted, “So far, the Strip’s agricultural export losses amounted to about $40 million a year, since the beginning of the siege in 2006.”

The situation of strawberries, whose exportation is the most important in Gaza, is no better than that of the flowers. Although Israel announced in November 2014 economic relief for the Gaza Strip — including allowing the export of strawberries from Gaza to the West Bank after banning the practice for several years — this period did not last long. Strawberry exports to the West Bank was once again banned in mid-January after the Israelis found Palestinian strawberry cartons smuggled from the West Bank into Israeli markets and sold at a cheaper price than the Israeli product.

“The Israeli decision to allow the export of strawberries did lead to a rise in exports [to Europe], as Gaza was not allowed to export its vegetables to Europe. Vegetables are sold at cheap prices in the domestic market, as self-sufficiency in vegetables reached 98%. Israel has only allowed the export of tomatoes to Jordan,” Saqqa said.

Bakr Abu Halima, a strawberry farmer from Beit Lahia, told Al-Monitor,

“Since we are not allowed to export to the West Bank or Europe, the strawberry is now flooding the domestic market.”

Abu Halima explained that the local market does not offer suitable conditions for the sale of strawberries.

“The ministry decided to ban the import of agricultural products that have a local alternative. But which is better for the consumer with weak purchasing power, to buy four kilos of Israeli oranges, or just a kilo of local strawberries at the same price? At a time when we cannot force the consumer to export our products, it remains our only hope,” he said.

As a result, the reluctance to purchase and the accumulation of large quantities of agricultural products in the domestic market led to a decline in the prices of strawberries destined for export, and they are being sold at prices so low they do not even cover their production costs.

In 2012, the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture banned the importation of Israeli fruits after reaching a self-sufficiency rate of approximately 70%. However, it has allowed the import of fruits in the event that local production is unable to meet the market’s needs. For instance, it has allowed the import of citrus.

Meanwhile, the technical director of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, Majdi Dabbour, told Al-Monitor,

“Government support for farmers is lacking, as well as compensation after the war, as a result of the political division that weakens the capacity of the Palestinian farmer. International institutions support local institutions more than the Ministry of Agriculture does. Therefore, we are implementing programs to help farmers after the ministry refers them to us, because it is incapable of providing suitable compensation.”

Dabbour went on, “There is no marketing plan for farmers. The sea is closed, and so are the Israeli borders and the Rafah crossing. Our ability to achieve vegetable self-sufficiency under such circumstances is a great national achievement.”

The Palestinian farmer’s life remains dependent on the policies of a government that is still suffering from political division and the Israeli policies that prevent exportation, control crossings and raise transportation costs across its borders.


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Blair’s Next Leg of The Global leaders Silence on the Palestinian Holocaust and Piping Gas to the E.U.

Jordan Decides to Buy Palestinian Gas from Israel*

Egypt Signs Contract to Import Palestinian Natural Gas from Israel*

Egypt Begins to Import Gas from Israel*

Humanitarians to Provide #SolarGaza*

Palestine from Sovereignty to an Israeli Enclave*

Who is Netanyahu?*

Australia Discontinues Services to the People Whose Land It Took*

U.K. Offers More Free Condoms, Lubricant for Underage Kids*

U.K. Offers More Free Condoms, Lubricant for Underage Kids*

Not more free food for starving kids…

The National Health Service (NHS) is expanding a program dreamed up six years ago by the Brook Advisory Service, a UK “sexual health” organization targeting teenagers, that gives boys as young as 12 a condom “credit card” or “C-card,” allowing them to receive free condoms at sport fields, clubs and barbershops.

Under the expanded program the C-Cards can now be obtained by boys or girls as young as 13 from schools, libraries, health centres and pharmacies, without parental notification.

The program is already in place in many urban areas across the UK and, according to the NHS, will be introduced shortly at locations throughout West Sussex.

Upon showing the card, a child is given 12 condoms, sexual lubricant and a how -to-use information sheet. Those aged 16 and over can use the card six times while 13 to 15 year-olds can use it three times, after which the card must be renewed.

Critics of the scheme say it will simply encourage children to be sexually active from a younger age.

The pro-family group Family Education Trust slammed the program, saying the scheme denies parents the opportunity to protect their children against early sexualization and the consequences of underage sex.

“The role of parents and carers is vital in protecting young people as they are privy to emotional wellbeing, friendship groups and unusual behaviours,” a Family Education Trust spokeswoman said.

“They are therefore uniquely positioned to intervene and safeguard. The C-Card scheme denies parents the opportunity to advise and protect their children against the physical and emotional consequences of sex.”

Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute told the Daily Mail,

“It’s worrying that the adults in charge of health authorities don’t seem to realize it’s against the law for children to have underage sex. Rather than helping them to have underage sex they need to be focusing on protecting them from it. Let kids be kids.”

“We are all concerned about the sexualization of young people, particularly with the influence of the internet and social media,” Calvert said in a statement.

“For three decades the cry has been that we must have more sex education, of a more explicit nature, at an ever younger age – and look where it has got us.

“We should end the defeatism that says all children will inevitably be exposed to pornography and engage in underage sexual activity. It is a counsel of despair,” Calvert stated.

Josephine Quintavalle, founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE), a Christian pro-life organization in the UK, warned concerning the prototype C-card program that,

We are just facilitating and encouraging sexuality without any deeper understanding of the emotional side of relationships.

“We used to talk about recreational sex among 18-year-olds – now it is 13-year-olds,” Quintavalle said.

A mother of two from Lancing, West Sussex, where the program will be launched next, echoed Quintavalle’s concern, telling the Daily Mail she believes 13-year-olds should not be given condoms.

“I’m not naive to think information and protection should not be available until 16 and I agree advice needs to be given,” said Sarah Underwood. “But I do think 13 is a little young to get free condoms and that would be a concern for me.”

The UK still has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in western Europe, despite ubiquitous sex-ed and contraceptive programs.

Studies have repeatedly shown that “safe sex” education and easy access to condoms does not reduce teenage pregnancy rates or incidence of sexually transmitted disease.

Professor David Paton, chair of industrial economics at Nottingham University, found that UK school sex education has resulted in little to no statistical change in the teen pregnancy rate over the last 40 years.

In an article in the journal Education and Health, Paton wrote,

“Implicit (and sometimes explicit)” in government policies teaching children about “safe sex” and giving them access to “family planning,” has been the assumption that it “will reduce pregnancy rates amongst those teenagers who were already having sex but will not cause an increase in the proportion of all teenagers who engage in sexual activity.

But the data suggests, Paton noted, that telling kids how to have “safe” sex and providing them with contraception, and kids then getting pregnant, “are irretrievably interlinked.” More and easier access to contraception, combined with the permissive message from teachers and authority figures, “reduces the effective cost of sexual activity” and encourages underage teens to engage in sexual activity.

“In conclusion,” Paton wrote, “despite recent decreases in the overall underage conception rate, unwanted pregnancy amongst minors in England and Wales has proved remarkedly resilient to policy initiatives implemented by different Governments over the past 40 years.

“Looking forward, the time appears ripe for a shift in focus from policies aimed at reducing the risks associated with underage sexual activity to those which are aimed more directly at reducing the level of underage sexual activity.”

Dr. Philip Ney, a retired professor of psychiatry with wide academic and clinical experience, wrote in a commentary on sex education, “In preventing disease and pregnancy, sex education has been a failure. Sex education has had the opposite effect in preventing young people from engaging in risky sexual behavior.

“The introduction of sex education is well correlated with the increase in abortion, STDs and boy-girl interpersonal problems. Good education gives people the desire to try it out or learn more experientially. Paradoxically, in that respect, current forms of sex education are good education but have the wrong results,” Dr. Ney concluded.

The complete text of Dr. Ney’s commentary on sex education is available here.


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NWO Next Step in Making the State Warden of Your Child*

Taking School Sex Education too Far*

Sex attacks on under-11s rise by 14 per cent in one year

Children were Sexualized to Keep Abortion Cash Flowing*

Parents Attacked for Protesting against the Sexualization of their Children*

The Paedophile Father of Alisa and Gabriel*

Why is the Legalization of Gay Marriage so Important to the Queen?*

Sexual Liberation a Tool of Mass Control*

Power and Paedophilia Rife in the US Government*

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Why the West Destroys and Humiliate Peoples

Bishop Badejo: U.S. won’t fight Boko Haram because of their Eugenics Agenda in Africa*

Bishop Badejo: U.S. won’t fight Boko Haram because of their Eugenics Agenda in Africa*

A Catholic bishop in Nigeria is charging that the US government’s dedication to population control and pro-homosexual “cultural imperialism” in Africa as the reason why Obama’s Administration is dragging its heels in offering military support for the fight against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo told the online Catholic magazine Aleteia that there is “a complicity also in the West in what is happening.”

“I take it all back to the agenda of population control,” he told Aleteia’s Diane Montagna. The bishop’s interview took place as Rome and the Italian government stepped up security measures amidst threats by Islamic militants.

Italy is considered to be a prime target for Islamist militants entering the country in the waves of refugee migrants arriving by boat from Libya. At the same time, reports are growing of ties between Boko Haram and the Syrian-based Islamist group ISIS that has this week also murdered 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.

The western countries, Bishop Badejo said, are willing to do “anything that can reduce the population.” He said,

“In fact, I think that Africa is suffering greatly from a cultural imperialism that threatens to erode our cultural values.”

“There has been an inordinate alarm about the exploding populations in Africa. And anything that can be done to decrease or limit the growth of the population in Africa is quite welcome.”

And this includes doing nothing to stop the systematic slaughter of civilians that is the modus operandi of Boko Haram.

“The United States actually said it would help Nigeria with Boko Haram only if we modify our laws concerning homosexuality, family planning, and birth control,” a form of political blackmail that Bishop Badejo called “criminal” and opposed to the stated devotion in the West to “freedom.”

A year ago, the US issued a strong condemnation of a law prohibiting homosexual activity passed by the Nigerian Parliament. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, have said that promoting the gay “rights” agenda is a “top priority” for U.S. foreign policymakers. The bishop’s assertion that the lack of response to Boko Haram has come from this policy was backed by Republican Congressman Steve Stockman who said shortly after the Nigerian law was passed that the US had “information” that would help the country retrieve the 200 girls who made world headlines when they were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

“The mistake on our side – the United States’ side – is that we have laws preventing us from sharing that information with the Nigerian military. And one of the reasons is that we don’t like some of the social policy of the Nigerian government,” Stockman said.

Bishop Badejo said that for Africans, “life is sacred,” and that “these are the values we cherish and these are the values we want to keep.” He said that Western civilization today “is sick” in that it can “watch hundreds of people dying in Nigeria every day and look away.”

What the west says “about human dignity and human rights is mere hypocrisy,” he said. “There is a diminishing sense of the respect for the sanctity of life. And all of this is to be imposed on Africa, at whatever cost: we think that it is immoral and that it is unjust.”

For African people, he said, “a child is a treasure, even if that child is going to have to go through some difficulty in growing up. In the West, if a child cannot have the best of life, then it should not live. That’s not the African world view.”

Bishop Badejo blamed decades of political corruption and social neglect, a failure of the Nigerian government to educate and give opportunities to young people, for the rise of Boko Haram. He said the group came to prominence in the north after the deterioration of the native Hausa culture. This “lack of a cultural fibre, the maladministration of the past, the dissolution of the premises of a democratic government,” has led to “millions of young people” being left with no “no promise, no capacity at all,” to improve their lives, leaving them “prepared great ground for Boko Haram,” he said.

Bishop Badejo, who is from the west of Nigeria, said Christians and Muslims there live in peace and mutual cooperation. He said that it seemed unlikely that Boko Haram or other militant Islamist groups would make headway there, or convince young men to kill.

Experts say Boko Haram, an Islamic supremacist organization, has already conquered 20 percent of Nigeria’s territory, as well as parts of neighboring Niger and Chad, for its “caliphate,” won by a systematic campaign of bombing, mass murder, enslavement, and kidnapping. The US State Department describes Boko Haram’s “Caliphate” as the only “strong state” in the area, and notes that the politically weak and heavily corrupt Nigerian government has little power to stop them.

Bishop Badejo lamented the disinterest of the western media in the ongoing Islamist crisis in northern Nigeria, saying, “tens of thousands have been dying in Nigeria from terrorism. A few people — one life is bad enough, that’s true — but a few people die in France and the whole world is up in arms against the terrorists. So why in France and not in Africa? And I have not received any answer from anyone.”

Asked if he knew whether Boko Haram is connected formally with ISIS, the bishop said information is hard to get, but affirmed that Boko Haram militants who have been arrested by Nigerian government forces have been found not to be ethnically Nigerian. It is known, he said, that Boko Haram “has been strengthened by other groups coming from the north of Africa and beyond, like those who fought in Libya and who have been fighting in Syria.”

The bishop spoke to Aleteia in Rome, where both the Italian government and the Vatican’s Swiss Guard, are stepping up security measures in areas thought to be ISIS targets, including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican. Italian military police have increased their presence on the ground in Rome at the news that ISIS militants have threatened to “conquer Rome” before murdering 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya and have overrun the Libyan town of Sirte, not more than 500 km from Italian soil. more >>>


Related Topics:

Eugenics: Kenya’s Catholic Bishops Charge U.N. for Sterilizing the Population*

Black Women Targeted with Eugenics Drug*

Kill A Black Teen And Make Six Figures Soon After

Get Out of Jail Free Card for Cop Involved in 100+ Tortures of Black Men*

Eugenics: The Genetic Engineering of Ebola in the 1980s*

U.N. Report on How Israel Coordinates with ISIS inside Syria*

Nun Exposes Syrian Chemical Hoax*

Desecration of Churches and Mosques, Act of Outsiders States Bishop*

Russia: Call to Boycott the Corrupting Influence of Valentine’s Day*

Why is the Legalization of Gay Marriage so Important to the Queen?*

Water Pipes that Generate Electricity in Portland*

Water Pipes that Generate Electricity in Portland*

By John Vibes

Lucid Energy, a Portland-based energy company, has come up with a brilliant idea to harness electricity from the water that flows through a city’s pipes. Small turbines are installed into the pipes which send the energy collected from the flowing water into a power generator.

“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact. But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting,” Gregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, said in a statement.

“We have a project in Riverside, California, where they’re using it to power streetlights at night. During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset some of their operating costs,” Semler says.

Lucid’s new power-generating pipes have recently been installed in Portland, where they are powering many different public spaces throughout the city. This is even more efficient than many other renewable forms of energy because these pipes can harness electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, in any weather.

“We made electrical infrastructure really smart over the last 20 to 25 years, but the same hasn’t happened in water. They didn’t really know that the pipe burst until somebody from UCLA called. Our pipe can get indicators like pressure, a leading indicator for whether a pipe is leaking or not. So before it bursts and before we waste all the water, there are onboard information systems that water agencies can get to more precisely manage their infrastructure,” Semler said.

Sensors in the pipe can even monitor the quality of the water to ensure that it is safe to drink.

Semler said that this technology could be even more useful in remote areas that are farther away from central power grids.

“It’s a great source of remote power. So in places outside the city that don’t have an electrical grid, you’re able to use the system to generate energy. There’s a lot of energy in going into making sure we have safe clean drinking water. Our focus is really on helping water become more sustainable,” he said.


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