Aley Chubeza #44 – November 22nd-24th 2010

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______________________________________ Strike

I’m writing these words on Monday morning. Usually the newsletter is ready by Sunday, but this time I found it hard to write. I sat at the keyboard on Sunday night, and could not figure out how to best convey my feelings during these days of a strike by the nation’s farmers.

And at last, maybe I will say just this: it is sad for me to read and hear the sharp criticism being heaped upon the farmers, who are called “land, water and employment abusers.” I am saddened to see the news reports lead with political quarrels and intrigues, and not with the day’s most pressing, disturbing item: diligent farmers (even if they’re today’s advanced computer specialist model) are standing at intersections in protest, preventing the ripe produce from reaching its destination and taking desperate measures in order to bring their cause to the attention of the public.

I have no hard-and-fast opinion on the issue of employing Thai workers. We too employ Svet and Poom and Soso. I don’t know how to solve the problems that arise from employing foreign workers, or how to solve those that arise when they cannot work. I have no magic solution for the water shortage in Israel or for the fact that we are a small country with limited land. But I am quite distressed to read that for some of the people here, the farmers have become a punching bag and the enemy of the people.

Farmers usually choose this career either to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers or to be part of the wonder of growth and supplying the people with produce. This is not the profession you turn to in order to get rich or for convenience. Most farmers love dealing with nature and growth, and infuse love and care into the harvest they produce. We deserve encouragement.

And I am so sad that this conflict cannot be solved by mutual dialogue, compromise, and agreements. I remember appreciating the cooperation and understandings reached between nature activists, ornithologists, hunters, conventional farmers, realtors and residents over the protection of a lake in the northern U.S. Each of these groups had opposing interests, and yet, when they sat together for a discussion out of true respect for one another, they reached creative solutions regarding the management of the area’s natural resources.

It’s such a pity that the path chosen here is one of arguments, mudslinging and head-on clashes. Which only lead to headaches for all.

May it be a week of listening and mutual respect, Alon, Bat Ami, Melissa and the Chubeza team



Monday: Turnip or radishes, cilantro, Swiss chard, arugula, red leaf lettuce or Romaine lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, red beets, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, lubia or yard-long beans-small boxes only In the large box, in addition: broccoli or peas, carrots, kohlrabi, mustard greens

Wednesday: Romaine lettuce, cilantro, cucumbers, tatsoi / mustard greens, tomatoes, green cabbage, radish / daikon / turnips, red beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, arugula, kohlrabi In the large box, in addition: green onions, cauliflower / broccoli / eggplants, carrots