Note: PITAPOLICY is excited to repost two pieces posted from Electronic Intifada, which reviews Palestine-Israel through a business & economy lens.
The first piece, posted on January 10th, 2012, was written by Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 325 organizations and has written for the Huffington Post. Prior to that, Ruebner worked for the Congressional Research Service. Follow him on Twitter @JoshRuebner
The second piece, posted on January 16th, 2012, was written by Mohammed Omer. Mohammed Omer (1984)is a Palestinian journalist. reporting for several media outlets, including the Washington Report. Follow him on Twitter @Mogaza
The Phony War Over Which Party Loves Israel Most
“No Aid to Israel?” wonders a recent Facebook ad sponsored by US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich say they would start foreign aid to Israel at zero. Reject their extreme plan now!” the ad implores, directing people to sign a petition to that effect on my.barackobama.com (“Stand against “zeroing out aid to Israel””).
After signing the petition, the caption underneath a beaming photo of the president declares that “Any plan to cut foreign aid to zero across the board is dangerous and ignorant. It’s up to us to get the word out about it. Donate now to help us spread the facts about the Romney-Perry-Gingrich plan to wipe out foreign aid to allies like Israel.” Click here to continue...
Blockade dictates types of flowers grown in Gaza
RAFAH, Gaza (IPS) – Ayman Siam, 41, is not growing carnations as usual this year. It’s limonium and statice flowers instead because they are hardier. Given the risks imposed by Israel’s blockade of Gaza, it’s a political decision.
Earlier this month Israel allowed four trucks of strawberries and flowers out of Gaza, in a slight easing of a stranglehold on exports. But as an exporter who has suffered heavy losses over the past five years through the Israeli blockade, Siam needs to cut his risks.
“The business loss I suffered from growing carnations comes close to a million dollars, including the cost of the plants and fertilizers,” Siam said. Service suppliers have taken legal action against him for an inability to settle payments due since 2006.
All this is besides the loss of income for his workers.
Siam, like others growing flowers in Palestinian areas, is hoping for better relations ahead with the government in the Netherlands and the European Flower Exchange Market there that he supplies to for further export into European countries. The Netherlands has begun to provide some financial support to Gaza’s farmers.
Siam produces far less than his capacity. “I had to reduce from eight dunams [a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters] of flowers, to only three dunams for the mid-November to mid-May 2012 season. The supply was good. The demand was good. But Israel’s blockade stood in between.” Click here to continue…