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by David Ha'ivri


Journalists and aid workers have an interest in fueling conflict between Jewish and Arab farmers

Olive grove east of Beit Zayt. Arab-staged act of vandalism (Photo: Ehud Amiton, Tazpit Unit*)

Olive grove east of Beit Zayt. Arab-staged act of vandalism (Photo: Ehud Amiton, Tazpit Unit*)

In recent years, the olive harvest in Judea and Samaria has been a time of excitement not only for the farmers, who are eager to reap their harvest, but also for international media and NGOs, eager to sow their stories. The press and international "peace" groups are eager to portray Jewish residents harassing Arab farmers, damaging the groves and crops.

The validity of these reports is rarely, if ever, questioned, investigated, and re-reported according to in-depth information gathering. Another aspect of these reports that is rarely questioned is the driving force behind the stories. It is common knowledge that for journalists, conflicts in general, and the Israeli-Arab conflict in particular, are the source of stories that will make headlines. Is it possible that the journalists and "aid workers" that report each year on the olive harvest have an interest in there being conflict between Israeli and Arab farmers?

The international media are not the only players with an interest in continued conflict. Numerous NGOs trip over one another for the ability to expose to the world the importance of their work protecting the "oppressed". In many cases, the activities of these foreign organizations have proved to be nothing more than staged provocations; ones to which foreign media have been invited to attend before the event occurred.

The hard truth is that the foreign media and international "peace" organizations in Israel derive their existence from continued conflict. If the conflict (both on a daily basis, and in general) were to end, they would lose their raison d'etre. Therefore, if there is no conflict to report on or save "oppressed" peoples from, it must be artificially created.

These organizations' motivation to perpetuate conflict is two-fold. Firstly, they have an ideological agenda; they wish to depict the Jewish "settlers" as bandits and vigilantes. This leads directly to the second part of their agenda, to show how important they themselves are in protecting the "oppressed" Arabs. In essence, they are attempting to make themselves indispensable. The academic literature on NGOs clearly shows that in order for NGOs to stay relevant and receive funding, they must be in the thick of conflict. But an even more basic question must first be asked in this "conflict". Whose land is it?

Professional provocateurs

The claims of individual Arabs to legal ownership of the farmlands, in a majority of cases, is not proven, and even worse, not questioned by media and international organizations. They are all too willing to accept the Arab claims of ownership at face value in order to propagate their storyline, thereby justifying their existence. This being the case, "rights groups" need only bring an Arab willing to publicly state a claim (on camera) that his rights are being trampled.

A brief history of these farmlands is greatly needed. In fact, vast areas of olive groves in Samaria are not private property (of any family or individual.) Historically and currently, Arab culture dictates that the olive harvest is done on a first-come-first-serve basis, regardless of ownership, meaning, there are no disputes between Arabs over harvesting of olives.

Only when Jewish residents harvest their olives do Arabs claim ownership, which in many cases is not a personal claim, but rather a nationalist one. In recent legal action, residents of the Samaria community Havat Gilad proved the above claim, resulting in a court order forbidding NGO activists from accessing olive groves around the community that are not privately owned by an individual Arab farmer.

The international organizations that claim to be lovers of peace are in fact nothing more than professional provocateurs. They are not based in this region and their activities harm local efforts of understanding and cooperation between Jews and Arabs.

This is not the first time International "peace activists" have been documented destroying Palestinian property, in an effort to demonize the Jews of the region. Many speculate that the International solidarity Movement dresses its activists as Orthodox Jews specifically to stage such events. ( peace-activists-and-palestinians.html)

A striking example is found in the Jewish community Itamar and the neighboring Arab village Beir Forik. Efforts between these communities to coordinate with and understand one another have been sabotaged by these "peace" groups. The unfortunate truth is, these international organizations have never made an effort to coordinate understanding between Jewish and Arab farmers in Judea and Samaria.

The media and NGOs have a vested interest in the continuation of conflict. Locally, organically created understanding and peace would cause the media and international organizations to become irrelevant, thereby losing funding, staffing and their raison d'etre, peace.

From "Pro-Arab PR Machine Feeds Media with Libel on Olive Harvest" by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu at Arutz-7 '

David Ha'Ivri, director of the Shomron Liaison Office in Samaria, has often taken foreign reporters on tours in Samaria to show them facts on the ground unknown to them. However, he said he is up against an obstacle when articles are unsigned, leaving him without a direct contact.

Ha'Ivri also pointed out that pro-Arab groups, including Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) have "'well-oiled' public relations machines" and are in competition with each other to grind out information, often false, as each organization tries to prove it does the most to help Arabs. RHR activist Arik Asherman was caught this week by journalists who saw him trying to provoke Arabs into claiming they actually owned Jewish-owned farms. A subsequent arrival of Israeli authorities concluded with a clear statement that Jews owned the grove. [See "Reform Rabbi Intervenes in Olive Harvest" by Hillel Fendel.]

Ha'Ivri also said that the pro-Arab Oxfam website indicates it has 15 full-time PR people on the staff. Last weekend, Oxfam activists burned and damaged Jewish-owned olive trees and then reported to media that the Jewish residents were the perpetrators of damage to Arab trees. Oxfam also distributed a video showing the alleged damage to Arab trees. [See "Foreign Media Turns Jewish Victims into Attackers" by Chana Ya'ar.]

A video is available IsraelNationalNews Staff, 7nov10.

INN writes "Foreign anarchists and Palestinian Authority Arabs were caught on film Sunday setting fire to a wooded area outside the Jewish town of Bat Ayin, in the Etzion Bloc (Gush Etzion) between Jerusalem and Hevron. Bat Ayin is three minutes from Alon Shvut and the Har Etzion Hesder Yeshiva. . The fire damaged many plants, including olive trees. Residents who witnessed the incident said they believe the group was planning to blame the arson attack on the Jews of Bat Ayin. In the video approximately one dozen people can be seen wandering around the field, stopping occasionally to bend over and set new fires. The group does not appear anxious, and does nothing to extinguish the flames."

These three photos tell their own story. From Chana Ya'ar, "Arabs Chop Down Olive Trees at Netzer,"

"A gang of 12 Arabs was discovered Friday chopping down olive trees that were planted last week in the Jewish Judean community of Netzer." (photo: Women in Green/Netzer)

"A few days later, in response, activists planted a group of large olive trees donated by a farmer from the north." (Israel news photo: Women in Green/Netzer)

"The trees were not in the ground for even 24 hours before Arabs came and uprooted them." (Israel news photo: Women in Green/Netzer)


* Tazpit Unit members have begun to document Arabs and their buddies damaging olive trees and blaming it on the Jews.

In a related article -- "What about Jewish farmers?" by Orit Struck
(,7340,L-3965059,00.html), several reader point out that Arab thievery isn't restricted to the Territories. It is a fact of life all over Israel.

9. Arab thefts of agricultural produce & equipment
Israeli grandma (10.06.10)

For long years this has been a plague on Jewish farmers all over pre-1967 Israel areas too. All the damage reported by Ms Struk against Jewish farmers in Yesha is minor compared with the losses suffered by Kibbutzim and moshavim. It has become so bad in recent years that Jewish guard groups have been set up to protect whats left as our Police just dont have the manpower or the political backing to keep order and arrest the thieves. Before every Muslim Id there are increased sheep and cattle thefts from Jewish farmers. This is all proven and documented and Matty Groves/Salma types pretend this is not happening as it doesnt suit their anti Israel/Jewish agendas.

11. Attacks not limited to "disputed" territories
Raymond in DC , Washington, USA (10.06.10)

As I expected, many of the comments are along the lines of "What did you expect, you evil settlers!" What they are too ignorant to recognize is that this same pattern of behavior extends to WITHIN pre-1967 Israel. Farmers in the Galilee, ranchers within the Negev and Arava have all experienced sabotage, arson, threats and attacks from Arabs, and get little assistance from the police.

15. Not just in Judea and Samaria
Jewish farmer (10.06.10)

I am a Jewish farmer living in the pre-1967 borders of Israel and the story is no different here. We are subject to thefts and vandalism form our Arab neighbors who view it as a sort of "mitzvah" to steal from Jews. The police and courts are absolutely no help.


David Ha'ivri, chairman of Revava, is also editor of Darka Shel Torah and Ideas in Action newsletters, and the publisher of books teaching Jewish pride and faith in HaShem. He has set a goal to put the Jewish people back on the footpath of our fathers, and build a proud and strong nation whose national policy is based on Jewish values. He can be reached by email at or at his website:

This article appeared October 21, 2010 in Ynet News,7340,L-3977253,00.html
The photos are not part of the original article.


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