Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reuters gets a D+ in Gaza strawberry story

From Reuters:
Farmers in Gaza’s Beit Lahia are out in force in the coastal enclave’s strawberry fields. Israel has given them the green light to start exporting their produce to Europe, and the farmers are keen to fill as many boxes with their locally grown produce.

But strawberry farming is a costly and labor intensive process, and the farmers have already suffered a huge loss due to an export ban imposed on them by the Jewish state.
Observing those at work is Ahmed al-Shafai, Head of the Gaza Association for Marketing Fruit And Vegetables.

According to al-Shafai farmers in the coastal enclave have lost more than 300,000 U.S dollars due to Israeli export restrictions.

We thought we were going to export on the 18th November, but Israel only gave us the permit from 2nd December, which meant that farmers suffer a great loss. How? Well instead of exporting the strawberries we sold them in Gaza for four shekels a kilo, when it was meant to be sold in Europe for 22 shekels, so we lost 18 shekels per kilo. Which meant that farmers lost, in this period of time before the 2nd December 1, 400,000 shekels, and this was a loss for the farmers,” he said.
November, November, I'm sure something was happening the week of November 18, what could it have been?

Oh yeah, Gazans were "exporting" about 1400 rockets to Israel at that time!

Obviously the exports were delayed because of the little war that was going on then. For Reuters not to mention that is essentially journalistic malpractice.

The other thing Reuters doesn't bother to mention is that Israel has been steadily increasing the number of exports from Gaza, and that Israeli exporters are working hard to market the Gaza strawberries in Europe.

But Reuters doesn't quite flunk, because it does mention this little fact that other reports about Gaza exports ignore:
Exports have been seen by Israel as highly suspect since March 2004, when two Palestinian teenagers infiltrated the Israeli port of Ashdod by hiding in a shipping container. They blew themselves up, killing 10 people.
Wow! A relevant fact! Buried in paragraph 11, true, but this is the first "poor Gaza farmer" story I can recall that noted that terror attack.