Israel is considering annexing the Jordan Valley in the near-future to establish a secure and natural border with Jordan to the east. The pro-Palestinian press has not surprisingly taken a harsh view of the contemplated action. It is comical to read how the media describes the physical land itself.
Consider Al Jazeera, a Qatar-owned media conglomerate which pushes its pro-Arab narrative around the world. It wrote that “fertile farmlands would become part of Israel.” The article claimed that Palestinians “have worked on the land for generations.” The land is described as rich which “bring a lot of income to the Israeli economy and so it works well to exploit the resources and land.”
The BBC wrote that “the Jordan Valley is a fertile strip of land running along the Jordan border that comprises nearly 30% of the West Bank. It is sparsely populated – home to around 65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Jewish settlers. As such, it is the largest land reserve the Palestinians would have for the future development of an independent state.”
CNN opined that the Jordan Valley is home to many “agricultural towns, taking advantage of the fertile land near the Jordan River.”
NBC News called it the “strategic and fertile Jordan Valley, the region’s breadbasket, on the border with Jordan.”
Almost seems like a paradise… today, under Israeli control.
But in 1930, before Jews came back to the holy land en masse, the Jordan Valley was far from a “fertile farmland” and the “region’s breadbasket.”
The British commissioned a report after Arabs slaughtered Jews around the land in 1929 to consider the tension and violence that was becoming too commonplace. The Shaw Commission provided a detailed background of the land and history in the late 1920’s to provide context to their analysis and recommendations. Regarding the Jordan Valley, it wrote:
“much of the Jordan Valley is at times oppressively hot, the rainfall is slight, and it seems doubtful whether the fertile tracts within it can support a large agricultural population.”
It described sections of “the Jordan Valley north of Jericho and south of Nablus where there is practically no rainfall and no cultivation.”
This was no breadbasket but a harsh desert with occasional oases.
Even in this British report critical of Zionism which advocated curtailing Jewish immigration, the authors noted that “Jewish immigration and enterprise have been of great advantage to Palestine,” as the land began to flourish as early as 1930. But in the end, “when trade depression and unemployment followed the period of heavy immigration the indirect benefits which Jewish activities had brought to many parts of Palestine were forgotten and everywhere among the Arab people the Zionist movement was regarded as the cause of the economic problems of the country.”
The media pens stories that Palestinians’ fertile farmland which has been worked on for generations is being ripped from their hands by Jewish “exploiters” (a typical antisemitic canard), when in fact it was Israel which transformed and continues to enhance the Jordan Valley into the “region’s breadbasket” which the press describes today.
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