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More on the True Story of the Demise of Gush Katif
and Eating and Selling Lettuce

I received the following note from our formerly of K'far Darom friend in response to my previous "lettuce" posting.

He replied quickly, two hours after I mailed him the link. I don't think there's a need for me to comment. He has expressed himself clearly. You can decide for yourselves what you believe.

I only add, that opposed to his previous letter, in this correspondence I clearly feel his anger and pain, and that of the other expelled residents of the Gush.

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I'll just speak my piece once more, and then I'm gone away . . . 

"I thought that perhaps the growers were the owners of the distribution entity. A co-operative would be the most ideal solution."

Oh, I see. You take issue with the entire concept of "division of labor" ( and believe that co-operatives are the ideal means of business organization. I didn't realize that. I thought that you understood that we operate as a normal business.

"Why weren't all of the farmers set up on new farms?"

Are you suggesting that a vegetable packaging and marketing company should have taken it upon themselves to compensate, resettle and rebuild the lives of all their suppliers who were expelled and, in many cases, ruined by the State of Israel? Not only did our company not have the resources that the state had, but the officers and management were all facing the same situation as the farmers were. We were expelled, sent to motels, our houses ripped down, all of our institutions destroyed, and many of our families torn asunder. It's the State's responsibility -- or maybe the Sharon family's personal responsibility -- to set things aright. We did what we could. And many people acted above and beyond the call of duty. But, to wag your finger at people who were victims like all of the other residents of Gush Qatif, and ask "Why weren't all of the farmers set up on new farms?" is beyond hutzpah. It is downright perverted.

"It's nice to know that Israel allows more noxious chemicals on produce than does Europe or the U.S. But I would hazard a guess that the produce contains [close to] what is allowed by law . . . . I must say I am pleased to hear from you that Israeli supermarket chains are 'often stricter than . . . the government [criterion].'"

I said "often stricter," which was a concise way of saying, "Some criteria are stricter; some are not; and some of the Israeli government's criteria may be stricter -- it don't know each and every detail." What I do know is that we meet or exceed the strictest of the criteria applicable in our market so that we can sell our produce either in Israel, America, Europe, or in large supermarket chains -- who, like it or not, have their own standards because they must constantly guard their reputations.

Please do not use the fact that I did not address all of your groundless claims and assertions here as evidence that you've somehow proven a point by default. I have a life, a family and a job, and precious little time to spend bantering back and forth with you.

In general, there is underlying theme to your little lettuce screed. You view everything with an "evil eye;" that is, you look for, and conjure up evil where there is none. And, to compound your eyin ra'ah, you've taken to publishing it as "lashon hara" in your blog.

I pity you, sir.

Menachem Kuchar, 2nd October, 2011    

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