January 4, 1991 |
Israeli Agriculture Minister Rafael Eitan held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss his country's imperiled water supply after a government report indicated that Israel is on the verge of a critical shortage. Eitan, a former general, announced after the meeting that he would not fire Water Commissioner Tsemah Ishai, although Ishai came under pungent criticism in the report by Israel's state comptroller, Miriam Ben-Porat. But Eitan left no doubt as to the seriousness of the shortage.
February 18, 1990 |
While California debates how best to attack a stubborn infestation of the Mediterranean fruit fly, the option of eradication already has bypassed this tropical state and most other agricultural producing regions of the world, forcing farmers to find ways to coexist with the feared pest. In Hawaii, Central America, Israel and elsewhere, the permanent establishment of the Medfly has not meant wholesale destruction of farming.
March 21, 1989 |
Chile's fruit isn't the first to fall prey to sabotage. In 1978, a dozen Europeans in at least three countries became ill after eating Israeli oranges, lemons and grapefruit that had been tainted with mercury. A group of Palestinian extremists took responsibility for the poisoning, saying its goal was to "sabotage the Israeli economy." Europe responded by boycotting Israeli citrus for a time, dealing a heavy blow to that nation's fragile finances.
October 13, 1988 |
The Palestinian uprising against Israel, most often an uneven struggle of Arab rocks against Israeli bullets, is also becoming a war over figs, grapes, olives and even donkeys. As part of its effort to subdue rebellious Palestinians, Israel is striking at the heart of the rural economy on the occupied West Bank of the Jordan River.
June 13, 1988 |
"I've lived here for 30 years," said Carmel Shabbat, secretary of this Israeli agricultural settlement in the Judean hills, "and I've never seen fires like this." In the space of a few hours, wind-whipped flames had destroyed 70% of the settlement's peach orchards, as well as wiping out 1,500 to 2,000 acres of forest nearby. The fires traveled quickly, scorching the yellowing grass into huge black patches on the side of the area's rolling hills.
May 18, 1988
Israel set up emergency telephone hot lines and readied cropdusting planes to fly into action against a possible plague of locusts, the desert insects feared since biblical times. Officials said dark, cloud-like swarms of locusts were spotted in Egypt's Sinai Desert, and smaller numbers were seen in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Shifting winds would determine whether the pests would cross into Israel.