Sunday, November 13, 2011

  • Sunday, November 13, 2011
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week I noted that Juan Cole made quite a number of mistakes in his little "fact box" about Gaza - mistakes that he didn't bother correcting even after they were pointed out to him.

One of them was when he says:
Exports from Gaza to the rest of the world allowed by Israel: 0
He sourced this from HRW, which correctly stated that "No goods have left Gaza through Israel since May 12, according to Gisha, an Israeli rights group focused on Gaza." May was when the agricultural season ended. Which means that hundreds of tons of goods were exported before May 12 - a fact that Cole purposefully misrepresents when he says a flat zero.

But perhaps he was trying to imply that Israel would not allow any more goods to be exported from Gaza this year?

Wrong again.

From the IDF Spokesperson:

In light of the agricultural export season due to start at the end of November, and following the finalization of the trade process from Gaza to various European markets, a continuing education program for Palestinian agriculturists took place last Tuesday in the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza.

As part of the conference, a detailed explanation of the export process was given. This process begins from the moment the product is picked and packed in Gaza, after which it is sent out of Gaza via the Kerem Shalom land crossing and sold in the European market, all while maintaining the freshness and high quality of the products. Furthermore, representatives of the Coordinator of the Government Activates in the Territories (COGAT) have announced that starting next month, an initial pilot program of furniture export from Gaza to Europe will commence.

This conference is part of the ongoing daily cooperation between the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza and the Palestinians in the agricultural sector. The conference was attended by representatives of both the Agricultural Ministry of Israel and Gaza, observers on behalf of the Quartet, representatives of Israeli exporters, representative of the European States in the PA and a representative of the Kerem Shalom land crossing. All the attendees mentioned the great importance of the cooperation in this field and expressed their hope it would expand to other fields as well.

Mr. Tim Williams, the Quartet Advisor said: “It is important that we will see exports from Gaza and not just from the network of the Dutch project. We know that the Quartet is working and supporting the advancement of this field and that Israel already okayed the export of furniture and textiles, and I expect that from now on we will begin to see exports of furniture already in the coming weeks as was promised”.

During the past year, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have exported more than 399 tons of strawberries, 10 million carnations, 6.5 tons of Cherry tomato and 6 tons of red, green and yellow bell peppers to European markets. In the coming year, Palestinians are expected to export 1,000 tons of strawberries, 20 million carnations and 150 tons of red, green and yellow bell peppers. The exports are carried out thanks to the cooperation between COGAT and the Palestinian agricultural coordinator who work together in order to improve the lives of Gaza’s civilian population.
We see that there is a huge project being coordinated among multiple groups in Israel, Gaza and the EU to ensure exports coming out of Gaza can be done safely and effectively, and the numbers have been doubling year after year.

But Juan Cole, celebrated academic who cares nothing for actual facts, sums it all up as "zero."

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