Saturday, June 27, 2009

Explosive meat

Did you know that beef can be used to make bombs and rockets? Neither did I. How else to explain, however, the ban on live cattle imports into Gaza enforced by the Israeli government over the better part of the year to date.

A recent Haaretz story reports the Israeli government's decision to allow 350 heads of cattle into the strip for the first time in nine months. (The Israeli military's "Coordinator of (Israeli) Government Activities in the Territories" (COGAT) has reportedly determined that 300 cows per week are the minimum needed in Gaza in order to avoid malnutrition, and a "humanitarian crisis.") But why was shipment of cattle forbidden in the first place?

This is a case of an idiotic decision by the Israeli government. Unlike in the case of the shooting of children, which is customarily described as a regrettable consequence of the rocks they throw (or is it "hand-propelled mineral devices"?), there's no way the ban on livestock can be rationalized, and it has been met with fierce resistance from within Israel itself. Not because of any humanitarian concern, mind you, but because it hurts the cattle raising industry:

The director of the Livestock Growers Association, Haim Dayan, said that the problem of his colleagues is that even though they now have permission to raise livestock for export to the Gaza Strip, long-term bans prevent them from doing so. As a result, they complain that they are often stuck with large stocks of cattle, something that lowers local prices and can result in enormous losses to the growers.

"If they tell us that the Strip is closed entirely, we will plan accordingly. But the current situation cannot go on," Dayan said.


Another concern that has been raised is that the smuggling of cattle from Egypt through tunnels to make up for the animals that aren't coming in from Israel might result in unhealthy animals being imported that could eventually result in disease spreading to Israel:

Israel's ban on the importation of livestock into Gaza, which has included cattle, sheep and goats, did not succeed in preventing them from being smuggled in. According to Gaza-based sources, hundreds if not thousands of head of livestock were smuggled in from Sinai in recent months, via tunnels.

The veterinary services of the Ministry of Agriculture warned the Defense Minister that the smuggling of livestock originating in countries like Somalia, where inadequate veterinary care is available, may contribute to the outbreak of illnesses, including mad cow disease, foot-and-mouth disease, and Brucellosis, that can also be dangerous for humans.


In summary, Israel has taken an irrational measure that might hurt its own economy and health system, as well as its already tarnished international image. The logic behind such irresponsible behavior is that if Gazans, including young children, are prevented from eating animal protein they will understand how bad Hamas is and eventually topple the regime. In other words, forced infant malnutrition is being used to try and achieve a political result.

What do you call it? I call it terrorism.

23 comments:

Gert said...

Kafka lives.

And the IC does nothing. Thank you, Obama (forget about the Europoodles, they'll only move when the Big Satan gives the nod...)

On the non-lethality of thrown stones or rocks, I posted here - some basic physics. Every time someone gets shot with live ammo or high velocity tear gas canisters in response to stone throwing this should be considered a totally disproportionate response.

Tarig Musa said...

you can't forget that terrorism is only carried out by one side in this equasion, Israel doesn't do it, anything they do that is immoral or inhumane is simply an unfortunate error resulting in collateral damage. I really want to see the brigades justification for this one; probably can't give the palestinians cows because they will be used as bobine shields.

Gert said...

You see, I was trying to come up with a funny line before but couldn't think of anything. Tarig Musa beat me hands down to it: bovine shields, brilliant!

Elan said...

nAre you aware that Gaza shares a border with Egypt?

andrew r said...

I see what Elan's getting at. Gaza is a separate entity from Israel and Egypt, right? They can decide what passes through their borders. EVERY normal country does it. Duh.

Except Gaza has a coast and Israel has the last word on what goes in and out there, too.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/30/content_11629870.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPKLRy4lq2w&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTUYivihoTE

And why doesn't the US pressure Egypt to open its common border with Gaza? Mubarak gets paid enough... Hey, you don't think...

Anonymous said...

If the Gazans are starving so badly perhaps they shouldn't have looted the 3,000 greenhouses left behind in 2005.

Still, there's plenty of food available there. Just ask the beaming Lauren Booth, who had no problem finding a grocery store with shelves filled with sustenance:

http://www.daylife.com/photo/02uy2JZ8Uw445

andrew r said...

Oh yes, those greenhouses which employed Gazans for cheap labor were necessary for their sustenance. Why lift the siege when Jewish-built structures can magically grow plants.

Gert said...

Anon's comment is one in a long line of 'they don't have it so bad, you know' sort of reasoning. Similar to this myopic type of 'logic' refugee camps aren't refugee camps unless they're made up of tents. Anon should go and have a peek at Lebanese Palestinian refugee camps and decide for himself whether he would last longer than five minutes...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Andy Pandy but the Jewish-built structures could have un-magically grown more than enough plants if they had not been looted and destroyed by those who are allegedly malnourished.

Palestinian refugee camps where Arabs abuse Arabs and who is at fault? You have firsthand experience and I'm the Pope, by the way.

Gert said...

Anon:

"Palestinian refugee camps where Arabs abuse Arabs and who is at fault?"

Who caused the Palestinian refugee problem? For dipshits like you I'll make it real easy: multiple choice!

a. Hamas
b. The Pope
c. Zionist ethnic cleansing
d. The PLO
e. Other A-rabs
f. Obama
g. Hamas
h. Hamas

No prizes for getting the answer right, but my guess is that you'll get it wrong nonetheless...

No peeking now!

Anonymous said...

e. Other A-rabs

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I'm seriously considering disabling anonymous comments. Not because I'm interested in the identity of commenters, but because I'm tired of addressing them as Anon.

Be that as it may, Zionists on this comment section seem to be arguing that a blockade is not an act of war if the blockaded side can find a way around it.

These are the same Zionists who have repeatedly told us that the Egyptian blockade of the Tiran Straits (through which no more than 5% of Israel's trade took place) was enough justification for the 1967 war; even though the same trade could have been conducted through Israel's ports on the Mediterranean.

What do you call it? I call it wanting to have it both ways, but intellectual dishonesty and bad faith are two close runner-ups.

Can cows be raised in greenhouses?

Tree said...

A correction to anon's assertions. Only some of the greenhouses were looted and most of them were later fixed. Palestinians in Gaza already had 12,000 greenhouses, although certainly not with all the high-tech equipment that the settlers' greenhouses had. The problems that the Gazans faced in getting the greenhouse enterprise working goes back to the blockade of Gaza. I suggest everyone read this from October of 2005.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2005/10/31/greenhouse_project_endangered_in_gaza/

And of course, the IDF razed more than 4000 acres of Palestinian farmland and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian greenhouses in late 2008. (Preliminary figures from Reliefweb)

Tree said...

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/05/26/in_gaza_palestinians_see_fruits_of_labor_die/

Here's another article from 2006 on the greenhouse project's doom caused by the closing of Gaza's borders by Israel.

Gert said...

Ib:

I banned anonymous commenters a long time ago, as a first defense against mindless fly-by nutters who tend to behave even more trollish than those with a handle.

What's to be gained by receiving such nonsense? In essence it lowers the tone of this otherwise fine blog...

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Be that as it may, Zionists on this comment section seem to be arguing that a blockade is not an act of war if the blockaded side can find a way around it.

Of course a blockade is an act of war. Hamas officials in their public statements make it clear that Israel's only alternative to being at war with Hamas is a Hudna in exchange for a more extensive versions of the sort of concessions that used to be associated with peace-plans. Meshal
mentioned 10 years as a duration for the Hudna a few months ago, as reported in the NY Times. Israel has evidently bought into the notion that its right to fight its enemy stops where the words "humanitarian crisis" become operative. (That's why you see all the material about whether the Gazans are really starving.) Israel's a relatively liberal country overall.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

But Yitzchak, Israel is already carrying out acts of war, such as transferring its own population to an occupied territory (5,000 in 2007 alone), or killing with gas canisters unarmed protestors who were not throwing rocks. What's the need for further such acts?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

What's the need for further such acts?

What's a few Grad rockets between friends?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Are you suggesting that Israel's acts of war in the West Bank should go unresponded to? That would be against the doctrine you have just formulated.

And wasn't Cast Lead justified because it would end rocket firing? If it didn't, it wasn't justified.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Are you suggesting that Israel's acts of war in the West Bank should go unresponded to?

If Jordan wants its captured territory back, it can have at it, I suppose. Maybe it will capture the Jewish Quarter back and destroy all the Synagogues again.
They won't be led by British officers this time.

And wasn't Cast Lead justified because it would end rocket firing? If it didn't, it wasn't justified.

There was a Qassam surge of sorts before the operation. We'll see if Hamas tries it again.

Tarig Musa said...

yitzak, i wouldnt call it a qassam surge, i would call it a retaliation for the end of a ceasefire that the IDF decided to carry out on the 4th of november under the cover of the US elections, thats what happens when a ceasefire is ended, the other side generally resorts to the acts it was carrying out. i dont approve of harming women and children, but its a double edged sword, you cant sit there and tell me a jewish life is more valuble than a palestinian. you cant say palestinian kids are simply terrorists in waiting because by that logic isreali kids are just IDF terrorists in waiting. you cant apply a double standard in anyway shape or form, and every hasbara arguement is rife with double standards. finally before you say hamas never stopped rocket attacks during the ceasefire, your right, they reduced them to an average of 8 a month down from 130, something the IDF generals were even amazed by, but remember no double standards, isreal never lifted the siege which was the key to the entire agreement!

Tarig Musa said...

sorry for spelling your name wrong yitzchak

Health Blog said...

As a result, they complain that they are often stuck with large stocks of cattle, something that lowers local prices and can result in enormous losses to the growers.