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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What we call peace, they call "collaboration"

The IDF's COGAT brings us another of those little-reported stories that illustrate how different things are on the ground compared to what we hear from the media.

Those who stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv in recent days probably observed a group of approximately 45 Palestinian foresters, who came for a 3-day training workshop on the subject of forest preservation. The workshop took place through financing and planning provided by the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and in cooperation of the Israel National Fund and the Forest Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.

"This is the third workshop we've held with the Israel National Fund and the Forest Section at the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture", explained the Agriculture Headquarters Officer at the Civil Administration, Mr. Samir Muadi. "The purpose of this workshop is to tighten the relationship and cooperation, to preserve the forests, to carry out information exchange between both parties and to train the foresters of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and the Agriculture Headquarters Officer".

The whole workshop was planned and funded by the Civil Administration that cared for the permit issuances for the foresters and financed the travel and hotel accommodation. Among the foresters, 12 Palestinian foresters who work at the Civil Administration were also present and also participated in the workshop in order to refine their professional knowledge in their field of expertise.

 "A forest requires correct tending, correct maintenance, correct inspection and correct surveillance in order to preserve it", says the Agriculture Headquarters Officer. "Strengthened relationships greatly contribute to forest preservation. Consequently, within this framework, we try to tighten our relations and learn from the accumulated experience of the Israel National Fund, since once there is cooperation between the parties, the forests are better preserved".
Unlike other stories I've mentioned about the IDF helping out West Bank businessmen and farmers, here we see that the Palestinian Authority itself is working with Israel on matters of mutual interest - all paid for by the hated IDF.  Not only that, but he much vilified Jewish National Fund is involved in this initiative as well!

Needless to say, there is nothing about this mentioned on the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Agriculture webpage, nor in any Arabic media. To Palestinian Arabs, any cooperation with Israel is not a sign of peace but a sign of "collaboration" with the Zionist enemy.

(Incidentally, Hamas has its own separate Ministry of Agriculture - moa.gov.ps as opposed to moa.pna.ps.)