Israel Comes to the Aid of Southeast Asian Farmers

Since Zionist pioneers first began their efforts to make the desert bloom, the Land of Israel has been a source of agricultural innovation. For decades, the Jewish state has also exported these innovations, teaching drip-irrigation to farmers in Africa and techniques for increasing milk production to cattle ranchers in China. Dylan Loh describes how Southeast Asia is seeking to cooperate with Israel to increase its own agricultural output:

Israel expanded its cooperation with Thailand by marking the opening of a second greenhouse facility in the Petchburi province in October. This followed its installation of the first greenhouse in 2018 as a demonstration unit for farmers in the area. The project is equipped with Israel’s irrigation and sprinkler systems designed for efficient and sustainable agricultural production, and involved Israeli experts who helped Thai farmers apply the technologies to growing crops.

In another instance of bilateral engagement, Vietnam is set to ink a Labor Cooperation Agreement with Israel as soon as this year. Under the agreement, Vietnamese workers will be sent to Israel to gain experience in the country’s agricultural sector. Like Thailand, Vietnam has Israeli-enabled greenhouses . . . where farmers have successfully cultivated some crops using hydroponic techniques.

As Southeast Asia grapples with food-security threats arising from climate change and supply disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel’s experience with agriculture has gained attention among a handful of the region’s countries seeking to enhance farming practices.

By exporting its experience to the region, Israel’s presence in Southeast Asia’s agri-food sector is set to grow, even in non-agrarian societies like Singapore, which has set a goal to produce 30 percent of its nutritional needs by 2030.

Read more at Nikkei Asia

More about: Israel diplomacy, Israeli agriculture, Israeli technology, Southeast Asia, Vietnam

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security