Monday, February 16, 2009
Gaza and the Forbidden Flowers
I bet you didn't know that poor little Gaza used to be a big exporter of flowers. I didn't. More than 50 million a year. Until Israel closed down the border.
Only to re-open it briefly the other day.
Israel yesterday briefly lifted an export blockade, allowing 25,000 carnations from the battered Gaza Strip to reach Europe in time for Valentine's Day.
This was no gesture of love, however. The move comes too late to salvage the overwhelming majority of the crop, which has rotted or become animal feed because of the Israeli border closure.
And then close it down again. Even though the flower industry used to provide about 4,000 jobs in one of the poorest places on earth.
Major Peter Lerner, an Israeli security spokesman, said there are no plans to allow further exports beyond those for Valentine's Day. The clearance of the carnations – the first exports allowed out of Gaza for more than a year – was a "goodwill gesture" to the Dutch government, which provides assistance to farmers in the Gaza Strip.
Good for the Dutch for helping the people of Gaza...even though they have a huge flower industry themselves.
Shame on Israel. What are they afraid of....that peace might bloom?
Flowers instead of rockets and bombs. Open the borders.
Let Gaza live....