Israeli "Educational Farm": An Overt Attempt to Judaize Palestinian Land
How an "Educational farm" in Wadi Rababa is really another conquest for eradicating Palestinian heritage and agriculture at the hands of Israeli colonialism.
The Ir David Foundation, a right-wing organization in "Israel", opened an "Educational farm" in Wadi Rababa, where the land is registered under the name of the "Israel" Nature and Parks Authority (INPA).
The farm, which opened in August, boasts attractions that allow visitors to learn about so-called "traditional agriculture."
The funny part?
Many of the olive groves located in the adjacent neighborhoods of Abu Tor and Silwan neighborhoods that have been cultivated by Palestinians for years, are strategically left out of the farm in an attempt to replace the current traditions with a right-wing Jewish version.
Ir David, the supposed nonprofit organization whose funding mainly comes from transferred US funds in the form of nondisclosed donations, runs the site, and settles Jewish families in the neighboring Silwan.
Even some Israelis were taken aback by the brazen attack on the Palestinian land. A member of the left-wing Emek Shahveh organization commented by saying, " The infuriating thing about what’s happening in the 'Hinnom Valley' is that in the name of development that masquerades as an ancient agricultural landscape, they are displacing the traditional Palestinian agriculture that has preserved the historic character of the place.”
National Park or Constructed Disaster?
In 1974, "Israel" bestowed the area around the Old City with national park status.
According to the INPA, development-related activity may be carried out anywhere in the area in order to protect the land and render it accessible to visitors.
Ahmed Somrin, whose family owns property in Abu Tor and Silwan, says they “clean up this land and pick the olives that are here every year.”
Somrin details how land near Silwan and Wadi el Joz that has been cultivated by his family for generations has been handed a landscaping order. Of course, owners of land are not permitted to interfere with "temporary gardening".
Since a recent court decision ruled that the INPA was permitted to enter the olive tree area in order to maintain and clean it as a "fire precaution," the INPA recently entered Somrin's property, and broke through a wall in the process.
It is one of many of "Israel's" colonial vandalism of lands of Palestinian livelihood and sustenance.
ICRC data revealed that "over the period of one year (August 2020 – August 2021) more than 9,300 trees were destroyed in the occupied West Bank."
According to a study published in 2012 by the "Applied Research Institute Jerusalem" (ARIJ), Israeli occupation forces have uprooted 800,000 Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank since 1967.
“The Nature and Parks Authority built walls there and turned over the earth and put down red dirt and planted centuries-old trees from who knows where,” Somrin said.
“They want to change the face of it to make it look not like Arab land but like Jewish nature.”