cut off your tree to spite your earth

Cut off your tree. We are often told in the Palestinian rhetoric how the olive tree is the food of spirituality connected to the soil, all in a distinct and sanctified relation to the above. Allah’s benign and not so benign gaze , evil eyes notwithstanding, at the core of submission and munificence. Praised be he. A second helping of miracles would be appreciated. That cutting an olive tree, its destruction is akin to dismembering the soul. If you would not cut off your nose to spite your face and fate, then why would you cut off an olive tree to spite your earth, the sacred earth of the Holy Land. But then every kind of dysfunctional, criminal and insane act in Palestine is smothered in the sweet chocolate of the Holy.The Olive Blossom special. mostly hot pressed against the sun…

—Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Otto Mueller avec le jeu d’échecs
—Read More:

“They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.” – James Baldwin, A Letter to My Nephew 1962

(see link at end)The olive harvest has begun in the West Bank (known historically to Jews as Judea and Samaria) which means accusations are once again being launched against Jewish settlers for vandalizing Palestinian olive trees. Just last week, the UN’s Middle East envoy said he was “alarmed” by attacks on olive trees and that Israel should do more to protect Palestinian property, while the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi went so far as to call for the deployment of international observers to protect Palestinian olive groves.

Turns out, what the mainstream media has been reporting may not the entire story.

Fed up with the often undocumented charges, the Shomron (Samaria) Settlers Council decided to investigate and on Sunday asked Jewish residents to start carrying cameras in their cars, even offering a photography course with the hopes of capturing images showing what’s really happening on the ground.

—George Grosz, Le Malade d’amour (Der Liebeskranke), 1916
huile sur toile, 99,7 x 76,5 cm…Internationally renown olive tree inspector…
Dans un port du nord, au fond d’un café, un marin pleure à l’intérieur, les traits déformés par un faux sourire.—Read More:

On Monday night, Shomron Regional Council spokesman David Ha’ivri e-mailed journalists, including TheBlaze, about what they found on the first day of their video deployment. He writes:

And indeed, this afternoon, already in the first days of the harvest season, two volunteers from the Shomron Settlers Council caught “red-handed”, some Arabs and another man who joined them, likely a foreign Leftist activist, as they were cutting down trunks and branches of olive trees adjacent to the settlement of Elon Moreh, just a short distance from the town and close to homes.
The Arabs and the Leftist extremist were sawing through the trunks and branches and leaving them near the cut off trunks in an area near the settlement’s homes, as well as in another location near the entrance to Elon Moreh.

…Council volunteers photographed them in the act and called the police. Chairman of the Shomron Settlers Council Benny Katzover said: “It’s clear to everyone that if the alert volunteers had not recorded the provocation in real tim

he whole world would have shouted and condemned the settlers and the State of Israel.”

Ynet reports that on Monday, Palestinian farmers filed complaints about uprooted trees. The settlers say those trees were part of the same grove their videographers had documented [watch it below] and that Palestinians were trying to falsely accuse settlers as those responsible. Ynet reports:

The Palestinians, however, insist that the trees that the settlers documented are not the same ones that the farmers claim were felled. Ismail, one of the farmers who were caught on the settlers’ video, told Ynet: “The settlers are just slandering us; we were trimming our trees and tending to them, but those that were chopped down are in a different plot, farther away. We saw we were being filmed.” B’Tselem – a group that monitors Israeli settlement construction – reports that 450 Palestinian-owned trees have been damaged or uprooted since October 10.

The mainstream media watchdog CAMERA last week emphasized the importance of finding reliable eyewitnesses and urged caution when reporting on the olive tree vandalism. It cited a 2006 report from Maariv:

Inspectors caught Palestinian youths in the act as they were cutting olive trees, claiming they did it at the request of the owner of the grove. The police suspect that he did it for compensation. Now additional Palestinian complaints will be investigated….

…The pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon has been following the olive drama for years, during which he has reported on misleading allegations Palestinians have made when blaming Jewish settlers for tree vandalism. At least twice they claimed religious Jews had chopped down trees on the Jewish Sabbath during which it is forbidden to engage in any physical labor. Palestinians cutting down their own trees and then claiming damages, as apparently occurred on Monday, is not unprecedented.

The story doesn’t even end there. The blogger Yisrael Medad, who lives in the Jewish community Shiloh also in Samaria, reported on Friday that 125 olive trees were damaged. “No, not Arab olive trees,” he wrote. “Jewish-planted and owned olive trees.”…Read More:

…Not that Israelis have not cut down trees, or are pristine clean with regards to violence, and not to absolve them that in terms of International law, the settlements are a violation…Maybe its the same cut down trees they drag around to different spot for photo shoots. Maybe its just another boring news day out in that wild frontier. Maybe its a re-enactment, crudely, of the same old, same old, medieval blood libel with Jews getting revitalized by drinking Muslim blood in the form of olive oil, virgin olive oil.Drunk with passion. … Or, most likely, the European Union, fresh from their Nobel euphoria, or the U.N. cut funding of the more sophisticated and professional productions. …Corruption exists everywhere, but its face it, its very Holy when Arabs and Jews knock heads….

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