Log in

No account? Create an account
28 July 2008 @ 10:49 am
Olive Trees  
Have you ever planted or tended an olive tree?

Olive trees take a long time (~5 years) to bear fruit. A long time ago, a part of war was burning the fields of the enemy. If the groves were burned, it would be 5 years with no olives. Many people believe, and I agree, that the olive branch as a sign of peace came from these times - someone with a crop of olives was living in a time of peace and prosperity. It is such a lovely, symbolic, romantic notion. It makes me want to plant olive trees.
Current Music: "Love My Way" - The Psychedelic Furs
Deirdreevillinn on July 28th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I feel inclined to point out that to this day Palestinian farmers have their olive trees destroyed by soldiers occupying their land. The symbolism isn't so distant or ancient.
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you for pointing it out. Where can I read more?

That completely breaks my heart.

Why would anyone harm trees? I just don't understand. It's not in me.

Is it totally weird that I can comprehend shooting someone but not burning their crops?

I don't have time to look it up right now, but I wonder if there's anything in the Geneva Convention about crops...
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
Oh! I never knew that.
Deirdreevillinn on July 28th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'll get some resource information to you when I get home.
I'm not sure whether he references the destruction of trees in his book, but a great book on the subject in general is One Country by Ali Abunimah.
I have it and would be delighted to lend it to you, if you wanted.
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, please :)
yvetteserpentmoon on July 30th, 2008 05:24 am (UTC)
He makes an excellent argument for a one state solution.
Deirdreevillinn on July 28th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC)
I'm almost certain the Delcaration of Human Rights addresses this stuff. I'm at work, so am working hard to resist the urge to look it up.

Of course, the US goes to some effort to make sure some countries are exempted from having to uphold Human Rights, so it doesn't much matter. But its there, none-the-less.
(Anonymous) on July 28th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Just a quick note on the matter. I'll also be happy to provide references when I get home.

Burning or digging up trees is part of bigger offenses. It is illegal according to international law to conquer territory by military force, it is illegal for the occupying power to transfer its population to the occupied territory and it is illegal for the occupying power to take control of occupied land without considering the needs of the people. I would say it is also illegal to steal from the occupied territory.

Some of those trees are around 2000 years old. I haven't seen this happen recently, but there have been instances where they uprooted the very old nice ones and planted them in affluent Israeli neighborhoods. Other trees were uprooted with the intent to be replanted, but because they weren't replanted properly, they died.

Settlers tend to be the ones who burn the trees from what I have seen.

You can get Palestinian olive oil at Madison Market or PCC... I can't remember which. One of them is called Salam Shalom and the other is Peace Oil. I have Salam Shalom (joint Palestinian, Israeli venture) and it is wonderful! Both oils help the Palestinian olive farmers.
yvetteserpentmoon on July 28th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
oops that was me!
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
Oh! This is so wonderful. Even if it's just buying olive oil, at least there's -something- I can do in my daily life that helps in a teensy way. It's weird, I could donate $1k towards peace efforts in the region, but I would -still- feel more productive and involved buying olive oil.
yvetteserpentmoon on July 30th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
4th Geneva Convention, Protocol 1

I believe both the U.S. and Israel have never ratified this protocol. As signatories to the UN Charter, I'm not sure how that affects the application of this protocol. However, in instances of threats against people, or breaches of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other provisions, the Security Council can step in and take action against offending members. Unfortunately, the US is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power which has prevented actions against Israel with the exception of some censures and resolutions condemning its offenses.

Anyway, article 54 (below) is what you're looking for. It specifically mentions crops. I can't believe I forgot the specifics of this article! It's so pertinent to the occupation.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1)
Adopted on 8 June 1977 by the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of
International Humanitarian Law applicable in Armed Conflicts
entry into force 7 December 1979, in accordance with Article 95



Article 54.-Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population

1. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.

2. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

3. The prohibitions in paragraph 2 shall not apply to such of the objects covered by it as are used by an adverse Party:
(a) As sustenance solely for the members of its armed forces; or
(b) If not as sustenance, then in direct support of military action, provided, however, that in no event shall actions against these objects be taken which may be expected to leave the civilian population with such inadequate food or water as to cause its starvation or force its movement.

4. These objects shall not be made the object of reprisals.

5. In recognition of the vital requirements of any Party to the conflict in the defence of its national territory against invasion, derogation from the prohibitions contained in paragraph 2 may be made by a Party to the conflict within such territory under its own control where required by imperative military necessity.

Article 55.-Protection of the natural environment
1. Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage. This protection includes a prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the population.

2. Attacks against the natural environment by way of reprisals are prohibited.

bitterfun on July 28th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
It's too bad olive trees don't bear fruit in the Northwest. (heheh, that's a statement about the NW)

"Olive trees can not be expected to ripen fruit in Seattle, but they're worth planting in warm sunny sites for their ornamental appeal."

Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
Ha! I'm so plant ignorant. It never occurred to me that fruit-baring trees won't bare fruit in certain climates. I'll be damned. Learn something new every day.

-drives off in her turnip truck-
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Actually. Have you guys planted any fruit trees?

I've noticed fig and pear trees in the Seattle metro area, trying to remember what else...
sculptruth on July 28th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I've seen fig, pear, hazelnut, chestnut, English walnut, those listed above, and occasionally (I don't know how long they last) an ornamental citrus on my walks around Seattle. I have seen an olive tree here and there, but didn't know they couldn't bear fruit here!

Edited at 2008-07-28 09:20 pm (UTC)
sculptruth on July 28th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'm still thinking about the five years of life it takes for that tree to bear fruit. There's beauty in that. I'll be thinking of it all day, thank you!
yvetteserpentmoon on July 28th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
Have you ever planted or tended an olive tree?

Nope. But I would like to join the olive harvest in the Palestinian territories within the next couple years.
Kburgunder on July 28th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Oh! That would rule.
yvetteserpentmoon on July 30th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, except that I'll probably get turned away at the air port and deported. I need to practice lying. "Oh, umm, I'm here to visit my cousin Shlomo." "Peace organization? There's peace organizations here?" "No, really, I'm here to visit my friend Shlomo." "Well, he's a cousin that's like a friend. Uh, he's my buddy!" "Uhh...he lives on King David Street." "Uhhh..by the King David Hotel... Hey, that's still there, isn't it?" "Oh, I don't know the number... he showed me on Google Earth. I'll know it when I see it!" "Speakin' of which, can I go now?"
et in Arcadia egoboo: fight all antisemitismapostle_of_eris on July 30th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
I don't have the citation at hand, but I believe there's a commandment in Torah explicitly prohibiting cutting down orchards even when besieging a city.
But so many lunatics are committing so many atrocities that there's no way to discuss it briefly. Look up "honor killings".