Thursday, August 04, 2005

Concern for the bug-free lettuce in Gush Katif

Orthomom cited the NYJWeek article that details the future (or lack thereof) of the Gaza greenhouses which have produced world-famous insect-free produce for tens of thousands of Orthodox consumers who are prohibitted by Torah law from eating bugs. One commenter, who was soundly defeated by other voices, wrote:
Maybe it was nice while it lasted, but a shortage isnt a "very real problem". Typical American ortodox jews, who expect to have evrything done for them.
In his most recent article in Hamodia, Jonathan Rosenblum, cites another example, thus seeming to side with OM's dissenter, when he includes the following story:
A good friend visiting from the States last week confided to me that he "went ballistic" when one of his daughters complained that she did not know where she would now get bug-free vegetables. He asked her to imagine how she would feel if Lakewood decided to use its power of eminent domain (under the recent Supreme Court decision on the subject) to raze Lakewood Yeshiva and all the houses of yeshivaleit nearby, in order to build a huge shopping mall and upscale apartment buildings. Would her primary concern then be the quality of her lettuce?
Probably not.

UPDATE: I should have clarified myself in the post above and have, while updating, changed the original portion above-full disclosure.

OrthoMom never said she would be among those complaining; it was merely her blog and her focus on the implications of the destruction of the greenhouses in Gaza, along with the subsequent comments on her post, that I was reminded of when I read the aforementioned article. I should not have mentioned her name or her post in mine.

I understand that the agriculture industry in Gush Katif is a huge part of the local and national economy as well as a probably understated part of many GK'ers lives and should be seen as such.

She wrote that,
The article isn't clear about how the Israeli government has planned for the relocation and reestablishment of the greenhouses.
Well, the news out today clarifies the matter. After failing to reach a deal with the World Bank and the PA, the Israeli government has urged GK famers to dismantle their greenhouses and not leave them intact to benefit the incoming Palestinians. That certainly doesn't make things any easier for them.

However, my point was that it does seems a bit petty for people in America to be overly concerned about where they'll get insect-free produce when the actual disengagement, resulting in the destruction of not only Gush Katif's agriculture industry but homes, cemeteries, places of worship, parks, schools offices etc. is a week and a half away. I'm not minimizing the destruction of infrastructure, the economy, the agrarian society, or anything else. While human interest stories generally do help us understand the plight of the individual in focus, these stories-at least in my mind-tend to do muddy the picture and shift our focus away from the important matters at hand.


Blogger orthomom said...

Um, yeah, but I made it clear that I am mourning the potential loss of an industry that was a HUGE boon for the Israeli economy. I don't know how anyone can find fault with bemoaning the fact that if the industry does not manage to restart itself after its relocation, a product that has been in huge demand will be in too short supply. This would be a sad blow to the economy of those farmers already being forced from their homes. That is, exactly??? Your post mischaracterizes my post. I was not surprised to see this lack of understanding from the ONE commenter who brought this up in comments. There's always one. (A LOT of heat? Slight exaggeration. Everyone else in the comments seemed to hear me loud and clear.) But I am surprised to see this from you. I have no problem with your post, its thoughtful and well-written. But please don't equate me with the woman in the story who "complained she did not know where she would get bug-free vegetables". I said nothing of the sort.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I have changed it to "some heat" and hope that my update addresses your concerns.

I do apologize for mischaracterizing your post. I never said you were concerned about where to buy bug-free lettuce, merely that you cited the article. As I wrote in my update, I should have left you out of it entirely. However, since I thought of your post as I read Rosenblum's piece, I included your post in mine.

It was bad blogging, I apologize.

3:12 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Not a problem. I just don't like to have my opinions misrepresented. No harm, no foul.
As I wrote in my update, I should have left you out of it entirely.
NEVER apologize for throwing a link my way, though. ;)

Good shabbos.

4:47 PM  

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