Green Dreamer hosted Barhoush, to talk about occupation and trees

APN | Canada

17 May 2022

Canadian journalist Kamea Chayne hosted Mr. Rami Barhoush, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of APN on episode 356 of the Green Dreamer Podcast, to talk about the role and vision of the APN in enhancing the capacity of Arab peoples, including those living under occupation and armed conflict, to protect, preserve and establish sovereignty over their natural resources and food, while enhancing advocacy efforts for civil society organizations at the regional level, as well as for global environmental issues.

Barhoush alluded at the beginning of his talk to the idea of establishing the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature about 20 years ago, to help farmers in the Arab region return to their positions and roles as producers of healthy foods for their communities. APN focuses on supporting local food systems and promoting sovereignty over food in our Arab region and supporting the farmers of poor countries who face increasing challenges due to climate change, globalization and the penetration of multinational corporations. These headlines have been translated into the goals that the APN seeks to achieve through projects in Jordan, Palestine and other Arab countries. These goals have been sought in partnership with the villagers themselves, and local agricultural organizations. The work revolves around the cultivation of fruit trees that provide an economic return, in addition to improving water harvesting, rehabilitation of land and irrigation networks and others.

In the interview, he alluded to the practices of the Israeli occupation towards Palestinian farmers as a settler-colonial regime that wants to dislodge, weaken and subjugate them and force people to accept the fact that they are "second-class citizens", that they are "weak" and that a new nation has been formed at their expense. Barhoush further explains “for example, in the olive season, the occupation and colonialists uproot trees, beat, and intimidate farmers. What's happening in Gaza is much worse, for the Palestinians there are completely isolated from many things. From the point of view of any colonizer, if you're part of a project that wants to displace a whole population from their ancestral land and replace them with new settlers from Europe, America and the rest of the world, then you have to do everything possible to make their lives unbearable. Hence, Israel controls airspace, borders, the movement of goods and the movement of people throughout Palestine.”

Barhoush drew a parallel between what is happening in the United States and Canada in many areas where indigenous people are trying to prove their presence on those lands, and the steadfastness of the people in Palestine who refuse to leave and cling to their survival, and accordingly, the only thing that can be done under the aegis of this bitter reality is to help them survive on their land, as they have no other choice and will not go anywhere. He pointed out that the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature works with everyone on its team to make world public opinion respond to the call for support of the Palestinians.