Posted by: r.m. | March 12, 2010

trees are resistance

An excellent post from the excellent ‘Land and People‘ Blog

Trees are resistance

“Shafi explains that before the Six-Day (1967) War, northern Gaza was especially famous for its citrus plantations. But then in 1968, Israel — itself a major citrus producer and now in control of Gaza — pushed Gazan farmers to grow strawberries and flowers instead, to stifle any competition. With the two intifadas – and particularly the second, which started in September 2000 – Israeli forces began to bulldoze the groves, saying they gave cover to militants.”

This is a common Israel tactic: removing trees and orchards. For at least 3 reasons: One, it makes it much easier to push populations away if their crops are not rooted perennially. Two, annual cash crops like strawberries and flowers have a very short shelf life, which put the farmer totally at the mercy of the middlemen (in this case, according to the article, they are israeli middle men). And three and most importantly: trees provide cover for armed operations. A well connected friend told me that the israeli consider that it is their right to interfere in the reforestation plans in Jordan. This is why the Resistance in Lebanon must engage in a large scale reafforestation program sooner rather than later.



  1. How clever of the Israeli government to think in such way! Trees as “cover of armed operations”!! For the competition issue, it is too hard on Palestine to be controlled millitary and even economically. Even agriculture is decided by Israel! Then it is pointless to suggest that there is a competition in selling citrus fruits because Israel will not suffer if it doesn’t manipulate a small part in agricultural trading.

  2. Exactly Georges, Israel wants to control everything and even the nature. It is manipulating trees and using them as a weapon instead of protecting them and taking care of. This is what the love of power leads to, slaving trees and forcing others to cultivate what they may not need as the case of Ghazan farmers. Israel isn’t just threatening the Palestinians but also the whole environment.

    • But Sally since Israel is using these trees wouldnt that mean that it should plant more and take care of them because what use will they get if the trees are dead?

      • You are right Jamil that the trees shouldn’t be dead to be useful but back to the article, they are switching the citrus ones into strawberries and FLOWERS (which are not trees) so in another way they are killing a specie and decreasing the number of trees into personal purposes. What do you think , are they really taking care?? 🙂

  3. let us go plant trees with Hezbollah:P

  4. You know!, It is amazing what human thirsty of power can do just to grab a little of control on people life and nature too!. It is not enough to produce a war but to exile people and controlling nature part of their ambitions also. Israel should stop interfering with others people and nature life and mind theirs; it is not like they are the perfect country to envy in the first place. Nature is the earth life that we cannot control or use it as a shield or weapon, so those reason given by Israel are illogical and immature, they don’t have the right to do anything!. They should let the Jordanians be, just let them have their citrus plantations, have their own decision to plant!
    If a recall, envy is a sin for any human being, whatever religion or believe they have, so why interfere with the success of others. And most important, they should not mess around with Mother Nature, those trees, besides being planted in restricted zone for human benefits, they are also living creature too with entity and privileges…

  5. “Farming is a long tradition in Gaza” by limiting the agricultural capacities of Gazan farmers Israel is forcing the future generations to loose their identity, believe and will of a free and united country…
    I am shocked that 85% of Gazans are below the poverty line!!!!!!!!!!! Where is the international response to these statistics??? why are the United nations so passive??? Ironically we all know the answer to these questions :S
    We will never let go of our water neither our land…the loss of a drop of the lebanese water is the loss of our freedom

  6. “what was taken by force can not be retrieved unless by force” I mean what are we expecting from a country that is conquering another?! What if that contry was a racist and built on a racist scale. we have to fight for our rights not just expect others to hand them over for us!

  7. In addition to the political issue presented by this artical, there is a real ethical and social issue put under spot. The first advantage of what Israel did was that people can easily leave their country if the crops were not rooted. This emphasizes the strong relation of human beings to the nature; it puts under spot the strong link between people and their land to an extreme extent were people are ready to leave everything behind if they lost the ramp of security relating them to their land.

  8. I agree with all of you … this is only about control … they r trying to control everything to be able to control the land for a longer time …

  9. This is one tactic that seems simple on the outside but very influencial deep inside. Agriculture is one of the assets that enhance and support a strong ecomony that enables a country to finance and ameliorate his military artillery in the case of Palestine. This is also whyIsrael is inhibiting tree plantation.

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