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The Cross of Bethlehem

The Cross of Bethlehem II

Snow Storm Creates Tomato Crisis

If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.Genesis 18:26



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"It can't be true. Israel flowered the desert. They transformed Sodom into Eden," they kept telling me as if these words were the official Buddhist mantra of Bolivians.

Hot Houses in Ein Yahav, Arava Desert

Hot Houses in Ein Yahav, Arava Desert
Topsy Turvy Tomato

"Who grows up the tomatoes?" is an important question in the Holy Land. Both Arabic and Hebrew made interesting choices while naming foreign tomatoes. In Palestine, "bandura" is a word of unclear source, though it may be a distortion of Pandora, alluding to the evilness originally attributed to this roundish red flag. Hebrew adopted "agvania," a noun derived from a root meaning sexual desire. Sodom stayed Sodom.

The Jordan Valley kibbutz where I grew up was based on agriculture and in the forced work of children. We worked in the fields while the adults ate tomatoes. "Zionists flower the desert" was one of the favorite mantras we heard at school, next to "the entire world is against us," and "work is our life." Unknown to our teachers, we added to the latter "but not for us," implying that the benefits of our work went to others. In a place plagued with politruks—soviet political officers—this was the harshest critique we dared to utter.

Jordan Valley, near Beit Shean

Jordan Valley, near Beit Shean
The Jordan Rift Valley

I had unanswered questions, but I didn't dare to ask them. Living among them, I knew their violence. Living among them, I knew that asking certain questions will ruin me. Nearby, the cotton produced in Egypt was considered one of the best in the world. "We too, we too," infantile leaders said in Zion. Shortly afterwards, our kibbutz started to grow cotton; yet, planting this solidified snow in a desert area was not a good idea.

Cotton is water thirsty. Egyptians have the Napoleonic Nile while the Jordan River greatness is limited to the Bible. Drop by drop the Jordan River died while watering the never happy snow growing on the gray ground. The unusual color originated in the vast amounts of salt deposited by an ancient sea. Most of what used to be the Dead Sea is dry, grey land, scorched by a merciless sun. "Water!" shouted the burning snowflakes and Zion complied.

"Why are we growing cotton?" I never dared to ask the question.

"Why do trees growing in a fish pool have such large roots?" I asked while pooling them out and ruining my back. Alas, even this they couldn't answer.

Most of the land in the Holy Land is not arable. 80% of it is either desert or hilly. Much of the rest was confiscated or purchased under threats by the Israeli Administration. Agriculture was an excuse for expropriating lands and keeping them under control; cotton never interested Zion.*

Despite the state-propaganda so cherished by Bolivians, agriculture was never very successful in Israel. Currently, agriculture represents only 2.5% of the GDP, 3.6% of the exports, and 3.7% of the work force. Much of the latter includes foreign workers, even from Thailand.+

Israel never fed itself. The country heavily depends on grains imported from the USA. Huge silos in the Haifa Port$ and large ships near them are a reminder of that. French baguettes bought in Tel Aviv are made with American wheat.

Yet, Israel created an export market of premium agricultural products to Europe. It started with Jaffa Oranges produced by Jewish settlements during the British Mandate and later on moved to premium fruits, like the Vietnamese dragon fruit, and vegetables grown in the desert out of season. Zionists acknowledge—but most Europeans ignore—that the Jaffa Orange is a rebranding of the Shamouti Orange,** developed by Palestinians in the 19th century. For the same reasons, Europeans ignore that the Barhee Dates imported from Israel, originate in Iraq.++


Snow on the Edom Mountains

Snow on the Edom Mountains
December 13, 2013


A few days ago, in Red-Dead is Running, I reported on the final approval of the Red-Dead Project, connecting between the Red and the Dead Seas. It has a strategic industrial value for Israel and Jordan; both have large bromines industries in the area. However, Israel also will use part of the purified sea water to boost its desert agriculture.

Ein Yahav Godzilla Green Pepper

Ein Yahav Godzilla Green Pepper
Reached Guinness Book in January 2013
Guinness World Records 2014

Ein Yahav is a leading settlement in this niche market, having recently produced the Godzilla Pepper shown in the image. The produce is destined not only for Europe. Salads are important in the local diet, both Palestinian and Israeli, and the desert products are important during the winter.

Between December 12 and 15, 2013, the Middle East experienced one of the worst snow storms ever measured in the area. It snowed in Cairo for the first time in 112 years. Damascus provided images that looked as if taken in Lapland. Envious, Finnish citizens may soon place formal charges against the desert that stole their snow.

Media from the affected countries provided unusual pictures of urban areas, but the countryside was neglected. Most media photographers lack military M113 or similarly sturdy vehicles that could perform the miracle. The snowed tomatoes couldn't be photographed.

The day after the storm, December 16, Israeli authorities discovered the disaster. Much of its desert agriculture was destroyed. The settlements are reporting an almost total loss of the product. Hot houses collapsed under the snow; Godzilla peppers were reduced to squalid desert lizards.

M113 in Snowed Jerusalem

M113 in Snowed Jerusalem
This article was written while the Middle East experience one of the worst snow storms in over a century
An American M113 serving in the IDF was used to deliver food to denizens near Jerusalem that cannot leave their homes
Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation

Fearing a sharp increase in the prices, which could cause a revival of the social protests that brought an end to Netanyahu's previous government, the Ministry of Agriculture panicked. With an eye towards Jewish salads,$$ Rami Cohen ordered an emergency import of cucumbers from Jordan. Other vegetables may be added to the list in recent days.

Tomato crisis in Sodom.


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    Special Notice - Persecuted by Israel, Maimed by Bolivia

    Under the leadership of Mr. Evo Morales, recipient of the 2006 Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, I have been declared a Political Prisoner of Bolivia. My situation is acute, Western Human Rights organizations care not about those speaking against Israel, they do not care about those suffering under the violent hands of one of the main suppliers of "special sugar" to the West.
    I attach here the bulk of a recent letter I sent to my lawyers, Despite their good will and astounding experience they failed to save my life. I am being punished illegitimately by beasts. I will keep publishing for as much as I can, but I am unlikely to survive here. Here is the text:

    Tortured by Bolivia

    I apologize for this obviously incomplete email, the reason for my withholding much of what is relevant will become obvious.
    I have been violated in several occasions by the Bolivian Government. The technique was constant. I was gassed unconscious in my room (both in the church and the guesthouses) and they entered the room and committed crimes.
    It has stopped since I have solved the gassing attempts, and started to secure my room upon entrance. Next time they try it will mean my death. They know that.
    One of the violations consisted in the introduction of magnetic-operated electrodes in my mouth. Breaking gums, nerves and filling with my bare fingers I had pulled them out. I can't stand the pain anymore. Visiting dentists here is impossible; in no way can I secure the event.
    Other tortures include low-voltage electrocution through my bed and shoes. I have solved this.
    I have no access to safe water and food.
    These are not Bolivian technologies. The last item invented by the people inhabiting the area was dehydrated potatoes. They never developed writing. They just copy from others.
    Other tortures and constant pressure form my days here. Yet, I have published every day, unless facing urging administrative issues with the site, mainly fixing attacks on it.
    I canít withstand it any more. My mouth is an open wound. My throat has not healed from the Bolivian Government attack on 2009. My nose and hears are being torn apart. I can't be more detailed over the web.
    A few months from now, my American ATM card will expire. Afterwards, I will be on the streets and probably dead within a few hours.

    * In the 19th Century, Zionist Jews started a coordinated effort to buy lands in the Holy Land. Two organizations are key for understanding the current situation. The Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeYisrael, literally "Existing Fund for Israel") was founded in 1901 to buy land in Ottoman Palestine, and afterwards in the British Mandate for Palestine, Israel and the Palestinian territories. It still keeps buying land for Jewish settlements. In 2007, it owned 13% of the total land in Israel. Yet, it doesn't belong to the State; hence an additional body completes the picture.
    Israel Land Administration manages land that is either property of the state or of the Jewish National Fund. It controls 93% of the land, the rest is privately owned or under the protection of religious authorities.
    Neither the State nor the Jewish National Fund sell lands. The best one can achieve is a lease-for-generations agreement with them. In other words, to rent the land for a century.

    + See Thais Hit by Gaza's Fire.

    $ See Israel's Nuclear Bid on Seaports.

    ** Branding is a discipline within Marketing, which attempts to identify one seller's product against all others, mainly by a careful design of its name, design, and symbol. Nation Branding is essentially the same but applied to the buildup of a country's reputation.
    >In the violent Zionist saga, Jaffa Orange was a cornerstone event in their building of a Nation Zio-Branding.

    Shamouti oranges were developed by Palestinians in the 19th century. They are almost seedless, sweet and rather easy to peel.

    Jaffa Orange from Sarona

    Jaffa Orange from Sarona
    Nowadays below IDF Headquarters
    City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa

    Jaffa Oranges

    Jaffa Oranges in Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem
    Note the stickers
    Menorahs, Mezuzas, and Other Jewish Symbols

    Jewish settlements along the Coastal Plain adopted them. In one of the first national marketing efforts, they adopted an revolutionary marketing strategy.
    The main competition was oranges from Spain, a world leader in the field. In contrast, the Bible doesn't even have a word for orange. Modern Hebrew uses "tapuah zahav," "tapuz" in its short form, to design oranges. "Tapuah" is a generic term denoting a round fruit growing in a tree. If used as a standalone word, it refers to an apple. Thus, "tapuah zahav" can be translated as "golden fruit" or "golden apple."
    Marketing oranges from the Holy Land was a Herculean task.

    Zionists started sticking labels on the fruit. "Jaffa Orange" they declared in a first-ever attempt to treat fruits individually. This created a successful brand that was identified with the State of Israel for many years.
    Even brands get tired. Shortly before I left, I saw oranges with stickers stating "Shamouti," the original, Arabic name of the wonder-oranges.
    Tired brands are often refreshed. Yet, there are clear rules for performing the upgrade successfully. Sharp changes in the motif and new ideas that are unrelated to the old ones are widely considered as damaging. They irradiate a wrong message: "we were wrong."
    At first sight, the events related to the Jaffa Orange brand may look sophisticated. Looking closer, for example by noting the birth of the alternative Shamouti brand, one understand that this is the sophistication of savages saying: "I have the strength to kill you; hence I am right." Rebranding Jaffa Orange as Shamouti Orange by the Zionists equals to their nuking their own leg. They have recognized Palestinian authority on the issue.
    See Un-Branding Israel.

    ++ Those working in a date-orchard own a well kept secret. The best dates hide at the very top of the tree, where they are mercilessly scorched by the sun. They can't be sold because they are extremely wrinkled; yet, they are the sweetest. While arduously cutting the commercial fruit branches, the better ones are enjoyed by the sweating workers.
    Those working in a date-orchard in the Jordan Valley own a second secret. Among the regular trees producing the common brown-varieties of the fruit, hide areas producing yellow-dates, from the barhee type. Several barhee trees were robbed by Mossad from Iraq and brought to Israel during Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, between 1950 and 1952. Richer in flavor than regular ones, they are delicious when eaten frozen in the hot Middle Eastern summer.
    Dates are mentioned in the Bible many times; they are also the source for a name that Hebrew-speaking girls favor: "Tamar." Yet, barhee dates are foreigners in the Holy Land, they are not the heritage mentioned in the Bible.

    Barhee Dates

    Barhee Dates
    Date Pack

    $$ Can you differentiate between Israeli and Palestinian salads? It is easier than expected. Palestinians favor lettuce, Israelis cucumbers.

    + +

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    Tortured by Bolivia
    Written despite torture—a crime against humanity—by the Bolivian Government

    I have been declared a Political Prisoner of Bolivia, a country which does not respect human life. I am held in Bolivia illegitimately, violently and against my will. I am violated daily; I am denied access to safe water. Please make this public in any possible way. Before writing to me, please read 15-Day Execution Order and the Bolivia section of the website.

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    All texts and background photo © Roi Tov 2004—2014 tovroy@aol.com

    שחסד ישוע המשיח אהבת האל וחברת רוח הקודש יהיו עם כולכם