In the annals of animal absurdity, the Palestinians are determined to leave their mark. Recently they were alarmed that Israel was setting loose wild boars that had somehow been trained to uproot Palestinian crops but leave Israeli crops alone. Never mind that the increase in the wild boar population is even worse in Israel proper than in the West Bank, the result of more garbage being available because of the residential spread. And now they have charged that Israeli cows have been spying on Palestinian villagers. A preliminary Jihad Watch report is here, and more on this craziness can be found here: “Palestinians accuse Israel of training spy cows – report,” Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2023:
A Palestinian villager encountered Israeli cattle and fabricated a story about how Israel has been secretly training the cattle to spy on Palestinians, according to Palestinian Media Watch, citing the official Palestinian Authority daily news outlet Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
These are recruited and trained cattle, Palestinian villager Rushd Morrar reportedly told the daily. “On the neck of each cow, they hang a medallion with an eavesdropping and recording device on it and sometimes cameras, in order to monitor every detail in Khirbet Yanun large and small.”
On the neck of each cow, they hang a medallion with an eavesdropping and recording device on it and sometimes cameras, in order to monitor every detail in Khirbet Yanun large and small.”
He also reportedly claimed that “the settlers release herds of wild boars” as a way to destroy any and all Palestinian crops. “The settlers’ crimes are diversifying and becoming sophisticated and the means they employ in their war are unlimited,” he alleged. “Starting with direct acts of murder and ending with incidents of car ramming on the roads; starting with burning agricultural crops, uprooting trees and stripping lands and ending with releasing boars towards the farmer’s lands.”
The only “acts of murder” involving “settlers” are those committed by Palestinian terrorists; the settlers are victims, not perpetrators, of murder. Not a single car-ramming incident has been caused by Israelis; they have been the victims of such attacks, which take place especially at checkpoints, where Palestinian drivers suddenly swerve to hit the IDF soldiers on duty.
The charge of Israelis “releasing wild boars” to destroy Palestinian crops is nothing new. It was first made by Mahmoud Abbas back in 2014, when he accused Israel of using “wild pigs” (i.e. “wild boars”) against Palestinians, by setting them loose to forage for food in Palestinian farms, where they eat the crops and rampage destructively through the farmland. Needless to say, neither he nor any other Palestinian has ever produced a shred of evidence of such Israeli diabolism. But that did not prevent Abbas from plaintively asking “Every night, they [Israelis] release wild pigs against us. Why are they doing this to us?”
Wild boars are known to be especially destructive as they root around for food. Further, as members of the pig family they are regarded with special disgust by the Muslim Palestinians, who want nothing to do with the crops that have survived but that the wild boars have rendered “unclean” by being in contact with them. But no Israelis have ever been caught raising boars, or delivering wild boars to Palestinian agricultural areas, not before Abbas first made that charge publicly in 2014, and not in any of the years since. There are thousands of wild boars in Israel; it would be impossible to prevent all of them from damaging farmland, whether that farmland belonged to Jew or Arab, and both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered from their depredations. Wild boars do not distinguish Arab from Jewish farmland.
Far from destroying Palestinian farmland, the Israelis have shared their agricultural prowess, including the latest advances in drip irrigation and waste water management, so that Palestinians can most effectively husband their water resources. Israeli agronomists have shown Palestinians how to enhance seeds so that they produce more plentiful and robust crops, giving a big boost in yields. And let’s not forget how eager Israel was in 2005 to turn over its 3,000 greenhouses and the thriving business in fruits and vegetables Israelis in Gaza had built to the Palestinians. It was not they, but the Palestinians themselves, who vandalized and destroyed those greenhouses. Of course, the Israeli help with irrigation and higher crop yields, freely offered to Palestinian farmers, is never publicly recognized by the recipients. Instead, the official line of the PA ignores that aid, and accuses the Israelis of trying to harm the Palestinian farmers in any way they can. Among those ways, the charge, just made again in December 2022, is that they set loose wild boars to destroy Palestinian crops.
The boars’ natural habitat is the forest around Mount Carmel, right next to Haifa. But ever since the mayor of Haifa, an animal rights sentimentalist, ended the culling of the wild boars – forbidding them to be hunted – in 2019, their numbers have multiplied and now are in the many hundreds. They have been increasingly brazen, blocking traffic, digging up public gardens, and even overturning large garbage bins.
When cities were in lockdown because of the coronavirus, the boars roamed free, with no one to yell at them, or shoo them away with sticks. Some residents of Haifa are worried that the boars might attack children. They are no longer afraid to appear in broad daylight, and even with the lifting of the Covid lockdown, they continue to appear indifferent to the humans they encounter, and the cars on the roads, as they walk serenely across the streets, bringing traffic to a halt.
“I’m scared that after the coronavirus passes, the boars will have gotten used to coming every day, every night, every hour,” said Yaron Hanan, 63, who runs a public campaign that has been calling for a municipal crackdown on the animals.
The appearance of the wild boars in Haifa, having arrived from the Mt. Carmel forest, does remind us that these animals are a menace to everyone. There is still no evidence Israel has been using them to spitefully damage Palestinian farms. Israel continues to do everything it can to help Palestinian farmers increase their yield. The wild boars, don’t forget, play no favorites: they are just as destructive to Israeli as to Palestinian farms.
The charge about Israel setting loose “wild boars” isn’t the only Palestinian claim about the Jewish state using animals against them. In July 2008, a statement was released by the PA news outlet, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, claiming that “settlers” were releasing a species of super rats immune to rat poisoning in the Old City of Jerusalem.
“[Israeli] settlers have been bringing chests filled with rats and releasing them in the Old City’s [Arab] neighborhoods; they breed and have become a major curse,” the statement read. “The residents’ efforts to counter this infestation have failed, especially since cats run away from these rats because of their size and ferocity.
“All of the conventional efforts to kill them have not succeeded because they seem to be immune to poison and they breed in the sewers. It is known that this female rat gives birth seven times a year, each time giving birth to 20 babies; which compels Jerusalem’s [Arabs] today to face the dangers of [Israeli] settlement and the infestation of rats.”
How could Israel be sure those “super rats” would not spill over into the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, or run wild on the Western Wall plaza, or even manage to make it up to the Temple Mount itself, the holiest site in Judaism, that would now be covered by rat feces? It’s an absurd charge. It isn’t surprising, however, that given their standards of hygiene, the Arab shop owners in the Old City would have a rat problem – one that obviously would threaten not just the Muslim Quarter, but would easily spread to the Jewish and Christian quarters of the Old City.
Super rats that are impervious to poison that are dumped into the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, wild boars being let loose in the West Bank to destroy Palestinian crops, boars that somehow know enough to leave Israeli crops alone – these animals have now been joined by the sinister Israeli cows who work for Shin Bet, by tracking through the “medallions on their necks” everything that goes on in Palestinian villages. There is, of course, a simple solution to this problem: Palestinians should just cut the information-gathering medallions off the cows’ necks, and bury them. Or, simpler still, Palestinians should just shoo those Israeli cows away from their villages. Either way, the cow problem is solved. But the scheming Jews are sure to come up with some other way to use animals against innocent Palestinians. From dogs to frogs, the threat from Israel’ collaborators can come from anywhere in the animal kingdom. Palestinians will have to remain alert.