by Earl Cox
If someone asks you, “Where’s the beef?” I can tell you: It’s alive, has four hooves, and is mercilessly crammed into small circular metal cages or bound tightly with ropes and chains — then cruelly and painfully dragged through the tunnel at the Gaza crossing by Palestinians who have absolutely no regard for the welfare of these animals.
Recent news reports showed Palestinians smuggling cows through the tunnel that connects Gaza with Egypt. Supposedly, the Palestinians need these cows for religious purposes. They claim the cows supplied by Israel do not meet their criteria for height and weight. The question begs to be asked, “Aren’t there any Palestinian cattle farmers?” Surely there must be, or perhaps they are too busy manufacturing bombs. Too harsh a statement? The facts say otherwise.
In 2005, Israel, as a good-faith gesture to promote the peace process, removed more than 10,000 Israelis from their homes in the Gaza Strip even though this land rightfully belonged to Israel just as Texas rightfully belongs to the United States. The vacated communities were constantly referred to by the media as “settlements.” To our Western minds, the term “settlement” conjures up images of trailers and outhouses, barren land and camels. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Those “settlements” were thriving communities with beautiful homes (some were million-dollar homes on beachfront property), municipal governments, sound infrastructures and thriving businesses to include farming, agriculture, greenhouses and animal husbandry. These “settlements” were gifted to the Palestinians in 2005 in what became known as the “Gaza Disengagement.”
From the “settlements” of Gush Katif and Neve Dekalim, the Palestinians were handed approximately 380 highly productive, largely organic farms that produced luscious fruits, vegetables and flowers to export. Livestock, including cattle, were also raised. The World Bank, along with a small number of private donors, purchased these farms and turned them over, fully functioning and fully intact, to the Palestinians. So what did the Palestinians do with them? They demolished the buildings and dismantled the greenhouses — reportedly using the metal in their Kassam rocket industry.
In an Associated Press article dated Sept. 13, 2005, titled “Looters strip Gaza greenhouses,” it was stated that “more then 3,000 greenhouses costing the World Bank and private donors approximately $14 million were completely stripped and totally destroyed.” These greenhouses and farms were to have been part of the economic foundation for the Palestinians to build their own viable economy. However, instead of choosing growth and prosperity, they chose war, terrorism and destruction. Has anything changed since 2005?
The media has brainwashed the world into believing the Palestinians are being forced by Israel to live in abject poverty. In truth, their depravation is largely self-inflicted. Yes, there are some Palestinians who are truly victims, but they are victims of their own people and their own leaders. Their voices are not being heard because they are afraid to speak out. The cost for doing so may be too high: They may be required to pay with their lives.
Years ago, the Palestinians, under the leadership of the late Yasser Arafat, learned well how to harness the power of the media to influence public opinion in the Middle East and around the world. This is a lesson the Palestinians have passed on to the current regimes in Gaza and the West Bank. No doubt, recent media reports showing mature cows compressed into tiny circular metal cages bent so that their noses touch their tails, or bound with chains and ropes around their legs and hooks through their noses, being dragged along tunnel passages bruising and tearing their flesh, was staged for the media in an attempt to demonstrate the desperation of the Palestinian people because Israel is supposedly denying them suitable cows to use in the fulfillment of their religious demands.
The following quote appeared in a World Bank report out of Washington, DC, on Oct. 21, 2010:
“Most of our work here focuses on the twin pre-conditions for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State: sustainable economic growth and robust institutions of state and civil society,” said Mariam Sherman, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza. “We must not forget, however, that it is the resilience of Palestinian society that makes these long-term goals achievable. Therefore, programs designed to preserve valuable social and human capital in the short-term are critical to the state-building effort.”
What’s really happened, though? More than five years after the Gaza Disengagement, where is the “economic growth and the robust institutions of (Palestinian) state and civil society” upon which the World Bank was banking? Perhaps they have fallen victim to the “greenhouse effect” — which, when translated, means “a bunch of hot air.”
The Palestinians have never truly wanted to build a viable state of their own living peacefully next to the State of Israel. What they want is the total and complete destruction of Israel and her people, and the world seems not to notice. They blow the hot air, and we inhale it like a sweet fragrance knowing full well that it stinks, or we look the other way and pretend all is well — just as animal rights activists are looking the other way as the Palestinians drag their tortured cows through the tunnels.
Contrary to virtually every news report, Israel is not the villain or the aggressor as they are often inaccurately portrayed. It is absurd that Israel is being blamed because there are no well-fed cows in Gaza.
So, where’s the beef? Ask the hordes of Palestinians who dismantled the thriving farms and greenhouses of Gush Katif and Neve Dekalim. They were handed, on a silver platter, the tools and foundation upon which to build a solid, self-sustaining economy just as the World Bank said needed to happen. But, instead of putting their hands to the plow and the sickle, they have instead chosen to put their hands to the bullets and the bombs.