Photo Credit: Yaniv Nadav / Flash 90
Farm workers from the Palestinian Authority harvesting produce in a field belonging to an Israeli moshav in the Jordan Valley.

Some lucky consumers in the United States and Europe will have the opportunity to buy “straight from the Jordan Valley” Israeli produce this season, thanks to an initiative by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and a lot of complaining by fed-up farmers.

Headed by Gilad Erdan, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is allocating NIS 4 million to fund ten fairs on the two continents where Israeli farmers will showcase their fresh-grown peppers, grapes, and spices. Those items, as well as dates and figs, have been targeted for boycotts by the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, among others. Up to now, farmers have complained there’s been little action by the government to combat the damage being inflicted on the agricultural sector.

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But this time, at each of the 10 international events Jordan Valley farmers will be able to display and sell their colorful, tasty wares while pointing out, “Our produce is legally produced and we provide a living for 6,000 citizens of the Palestinian Authority, who are not cared for by their own government.”

Erdan told the Hebrew-language newspaper, Yediot Ahronot in an interview, “The struggle against boycott organizations is preventing damage to the country, but one of the important areas still at risk is Israeli agriculture, which is being damaged by the lies spread against it.”

The strategy has been discussed before, although this is the first time the ministry has allocated funding to support the effort by the Jordan Valley Regional Council. Israeli farmers have absorbed damages of up to NIS 100 million annually due to the BDS campaign against the country.

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