Hearts and Flowers: From Israel With Love, Sort Of

Abby Zimet

The news
that Israel has opened the Gaza border to exports for the first time in
a year to allow the shipping of 25,000 carnations to Europe for
Valentine's Day is surreal, and heartbreaking. How's about letting out
some people to get medical care, food, or land instead?

Israeli spokesmen said the shipping of the flowers from blockaded Gaza
was a generous gesture. Gazans, understandably, said it was "nothing."
Abdul Karim Ashour of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees
called the opening "propaganda," adding that, besides, most of Gaza's
carnation crop has already been lost, and fed to the sheep. "The season
has finished," he said. "It is very sad."

Gazan growers used to send 40 million flowers abroad. Truth is, there
is so much, too much, sad here, and flowers don't begin to cover it.

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