Daily Israel Report

Initiative: Send Potatoes to Gaza

Israeli non-profit linked with leftist NGOs attempts to use food waste for humanitarian aid in Gaza.
By Dalit Halevi, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/12/2014, 12:20 PM

Potatoes
Potatoes
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Dr. Gershon Baskin, founder and director of the Israel / Palestinian Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) and a "peace activist" known for being deeply involved in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, is trying to raise funds to purchase surplus potatoes slated for destruction in order to transfer them to Gaza.

5,000 tons of potatoes have been slated for destruction, Baskin notes. To counter this wastefulness, he is attempting to raise $730,000 to cover the costs of the destruction and instead transfer the potatoes to Gaza - where one kilo of potatoes costs 2-3 shekel (75 cents) instead of the 50 agurot (half-shekel; 15 cents) they would be sold for in Israel.

Baskin also raised the possibility of regulating the transfer of potatoes and sending them to the UNRWA or other charities, to ensure that they are given to the most needy. The funding is being raised through an indiegogo campaign due to end by the end of this week. 

The assumption apparently is that potatoes, unlike money or other materials, cannot be abused to make terror tunnels or other weapons against Israeli civilians. 

Hamas has staunchly supported boycotting Israeli produce, while at the same time placing international pressure on Israel to open the borders to Gaza to allow in the very humanitarian aid it protests. 

Israel has continued to provide humanitarian aid to Gazans despite the ongoing rocket fire on Israelis.