Israeli Troops Destroy Milk and Honey in Holy Land
Israeli Troops Destroy Milk and Honey in Palestine's Holy Land
By Genevieve Cora Fraser
In a bizarre twist to Biblical tradition, the Israeli military has launched an unprecedented assault on the Palestinian environment that threatens to undermine and destroy the plant and animal life of the Holy Land. Typically such a discussion might focus on toxic herbicidal sprays or leaching hazardous waste tanks, buried nuclear waste or possibly genetically altered crops, all of which may be problems. Along with destruction of the architecture and artifacts of the Holy Land exhibited in wide-spread destruction in Nablus and other sites, Israeli Occupation Forces are also demonstrating an iron clad will to wipe out the natural world that historically has been associated with the Holy Land. For example, Bethlehem's ancient lush and exquisitely beautiful hilltop forest has been completely eradicated to make way for the illegal quasi-military settlement fortress of Har Homa.
Recently the Palestinian National Information Center (PNIC) released statistics relating to the 3045 Palestinians who have been killed and the 38,000 Palestinians wounded in the past 42 months. Clearly, the killing and maiming of men, women and children, most of who are innocent civilians is against all international laws and is condemned throughout the world except for the United States of America which funds the Israeli Terrorist Project (allegedly to counter occasional suicide bombings.) And to read that 62,044 dunums of land have been bulldozed for a variety of reasons and 991,581 trees have been uprooted by Israel has become a mind numbing expectation. The lands expropriated for the Apartheid Wall in West Bank amount to 201,696 dunums.
Ironically, the destruction of fruit bearing trees by theocratic Israel is incongruous with Jewish beliefs. Such a practice is expressly prohibited by the Old Testament even in cases of war. Deuteronomy, Chapter XX, Verse 19 states, "Thou shalt not destroy the trees therefore, by forcing an axe against them; for thou mayest eate of them, and thou shalt not cut them downe." This is not permitted even in a case where they might be employed in a siege.
The motivation behind the 457 agricultural stores and 472 pens destroyed by Israel in the past 42 months is painfully clear as well as the 12,892 live stock killed. It is very much in line with the past destruction of a United Nations food warehouse and the killing of the UN personnel assigned to distribute the food to starving Palestinians (America also vetoed the resolution condemning this act). Israel is employing starvation and dehydration tactics to "ethnically cleanse" a population of 3.5 million, a crime of heinous proportions that the world is frantic to stop but for which the American Congress rushes forward to support with upward of 14 billion dollars each year.
Currently United Nations food aid to the Gaza Strip has been halted due to Israeli restrictions on the movement of staff and food containers, though between 600,000 and 700,000 Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip rely on the emergency food rations supplied by UNRWA. A food convoy funded by the good people of Edinburgh, Scotland was also prohibited entry into the West Bank.
Recently I attended a conference on Palestine at M.I.T. in Boston. A surgeon who spoke at the conference had just returned from Gaza. He had stood in line at a checkpoint with 250 other international medical staff who attempted to enter Gaza to treat the many wounded and increasingly ill population. They had come equipped with all sorts of desperately needed medical supplies. Most of the supplies as well as the medical personnel were refused entry. However, this particular doctor was from San Francisco and the IDF soldier at the checkpoint was also from San Francisco so he had mercy on a hometown guy. (Many IDF are American/Israelis.) Later this same doctor, who sounded and looked like a Greek or Italian American but was of Palestinian origin, was refused entry into an Israeli hotel because of his skin color.
The statistics involving demolition and destruction over the past 42 months goes on and on and includes thousands upon thousands made homeless. In addition, "Israeli aggressions on the Palestinian agricultural sector resulted in damages to 10,323 farmers, bulldozing of six greenhouses and 12 tractors" according to the PNIC. "Also, IOF demolished 262 wells completely and destroyed 207 agricultural stores including devastation of 171,589 pens," the report states along with facts pertaining to 1,014 water wells and 288,985 meters of farms fenced in, and 714,719 water lines that also have been destroyed.
But the statistics that really got to me were these: "840 cows and 9,738 beehives were destroyed by the Israelis." Palestine is the Land of Milk and Honey promised by God to the Israelites as they emerged from Egyptian bondage. Of course this promise was predicated on their obeying God's commandments which they failed to do, hence the Jewish Diaspora if one is inclined to believe Biblical tradition. "And it shall come to passé, that as the Lord rejoiced over you, to do you good and multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught; and ye shall be plucked off the land whither thou goest to possess it." Deuteronomy, Chapter XXVIII, Verse 63.
Of course, cows can be replaced. Clearly, Israel doesn't want Palestinians to enjoy or receive any health benefits from fresh, wholesome milk, or to enjoy a good steak or hamburger for that matter. But destroying 9,738 beehives? Bees are needed to pollinate the flora which is eaten by the fauna. We are talking about a spring devoid of life if Israel has its way. In leafing through the Bible I also noted a list of curses associated with disobeying God's will, or as the Old Testament states in failing to "walk ever in his way." One of the curses speaks of the Lord smiting the offender with madness. Hello, Israel, have you gone mad, as in stark raving lunacy??? Why are you bent on destroying life itself?
As a postscript, there is now a bill which frankly strikes me as unconstitutional, namely in violation of the American Right to Free Speech. The offending (and offensive) proposed legislation would make it a crime for students to speak out publicly against Israeli policies. It's called H.R. 3077 and would set up a virtual federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses. I have been informed that it has already passed the House and is about to go before the Senate. If one didn't know better, one might assume that the 3rd Reich had somehow morphed into the 4th Reich. Hopefully, that hasn't happened. But it strikes me the issue is pending.