By: H. Zaïm-Bashi
The Zionist regime claims it has achieved a remarkably high level of vegetable and fruit consumption, which ranks among the highest in the world. According to the latest statistics published on the "Vinenet" website, Israel has emerged as a forerunner in terms of vegetable consumption, with an impressive average of 193 kg per capita annually.
This figure surpasses the vegetable consumption rates of both Europe and the United States, which stand at 118 kg and 123 kg, respectively. In terms of fruit consumption, Israel stands out with an above-average per capita intake of 190 kg, outpacing both Europe and the US, which report 103 kg and 111 kg, respectively. The production of fruits and vegetables has a significant impact on the well-being of the populace; however, the use of harmful pesticides during this process can lead to an upsurge in the ingestion of harmful substances by consumers.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the Israeli institutions, it has been observed that the Zionist Ministry of Agriculture, which is tasked with regulating the use of pesticides, has utterly failed to carry out its responsibilities. The 2017 report by the Israel Environmental Defence Union has revealed worrisome findings concerning the inspection procedures for pesticide application in food items. According to the report, the rate of pesticide irregularities in agricultural items in Israel is four times greater compared to the global average. In spite of the aforementioned reports, which were anticipated to result in increased monitoring of the fruit and vegetable production process, it came out in 2019 that the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture approved the reusing of five dangerous pesticides. Furthermore, a report in 2020 revealed that approximately 60% of the pesticides approved for use in Israel are not subject to monitoring, despite the Ministry of Agriculture being responsible for such control.
This implies the potential utilisation of quantities exceeding the permissible limit during cultivation. This report highlights the presence of hazardous pesticides such as cyhexatin, which pose a serious threat to the development and growth of both foetuses and children. Additionally, paraquat exhibits the highest level of toxic effects, leading to fatalities upon inhalation and raising the likelihood of developing Parkinson's disease. Moreover, Dichloropropane has been classified as a potential carcinogen.
All of these pesticides have been authorised for use in Israel. The writer of the report highlights the lack of ability for independent experts to quantify the level of toxins to which Israelis are exposed due to inadequate oversight by the Zionist Ministry of Agriculture. The Israel Union for the Defence of the Environment has declared that many farming practises in Israel are regarded as unlawful and have detrimental effects on both the environment and human health. In continuation of the ongoing scenario, a report was submitted by the local ombudsman in early May of the year 2023, pointing out the worrying situation with pesticide usage in Israel.
In the past few years, several nations across the globe have decreased the level of agricultural pesticide exposure among their populations. Israel made a comparable determination two decades prior; however, research indicates that these actions do not correspond with the worldwide pattern. The tally of active pesticides sanctioned for use in Israel but not authorised for use in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations is 113. A field survey revealed the presence of pesticide residues in 25–50% of fruit and vegetable samples in Israel. Although many pesticides have been prohibited in the United States and the European Union for several years, Israeli plates still contain traces of the chemical compounds. The prevalence of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables is comparatively higher in Israel, with a rate of 7.5%, compared to the EU, where the rate is 3.9%. The aforementioned factors have resulted in a decline in the level of food security in the territories under occupation. According to the census carried out by the Israeli Centre for Food Security, it has been estimated that 20% of Israeli minors inhabiting the occupied territories encounter food insecurity.
The likelihood of this figure is significantly higher among 1948 Arab households living within the occupied Palestinian territories [Israel]. The government of Israel often employs fake statistical information to establish its status as a prominent member of the OECD. The latest report from the "Food Security" Centre in Israel indicates that at least 500,000 households living in the occupied Palestinian territories are facing food insecurity. Moreover, the prevailing circumstances have resulted in farmers experiencing frustration. Some segments of Israeli society that engage in weekly protests include people who are employed in the agricultural industry.
According to the state inspector's report, the current handling of agricultural violations is a cause for concern. During the period of 2017–2021, it has been observed that approximately 79% of the cases pertaining to agricultural infractions that were investigated had to be closed down due to the "challenges faced in apprehending the offenders". It is imperative to note that a mere 18% of the aforementioned cases ended in an indictment. The ramifications of this particular situation have given rise to a prevailing perception of governmental apathy towards the populace in Israel. Amidst the ongoing turmoil in Israel, the agricultural sector remains a top priority for the Zionist regime.
The interwoven relationship between Israel's agricultural industry and its military-industrial systems is of utmost importance. The agricultural policies in Israel have been shaped by the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories as well as the suppression of the Palestinian population by Zionist troops. It is crucial to understand that Israeli agricultural commercial enterprises emerged against a violent historical backdrop and persist in yielding their illegitimate benefits. Additionally, the Israeli armed forces are widely acknowledged as a vital contributor of both manpower and technological advancement to the agricultural sector. Moving forward, the Israeli government's lack of concern for the Israeli population's access to food could potentially lead to the downfall of Israel.