In 1891, a Zionist of the first hour, Asher Ginzberg (under the pseudonym Ahad Ha’am, “one of the people”), wrote after a visit to Palestine:
“We abroad are accustomed to believe that Palestine nowadays is almost entirely desolate; a barren dessert where anyone can buy land to his hearts content. In fact, that is not so. All over the country it is hard to find arable land that is not cultivated.”
In reality, before the Zionists came to Palestine, the “Bedouin” (arable farmers) exported 30 million tons of wheat per year; the area of Arab-owned orchards trebled between 1921 and 1942; groves of oranges and other citrus groves multiplied seventy fold between 1922 and 1947; and the production of vegetables was in 1938 ten times what it had been in 1922.
To take only the example of citrus fruit, The PEEL Report, presented to the British Parliament by the Secretary of State for Colonies in July 1937, and basing itself on the rapid growth of the orange-groves in Palestine, estimated that of the 30 million cases of oranges by which world production was expected to increase in the following 10 years, the producers and exporters would be as follows:
– Palestine: 15,000,000
– U.S.A: 7,000,000
– Spain: 5.000,000
– Other countries (Cyprus, Egypt, Algeria etc): 3,000,000
This “projection” and the data can be found in the PEEL REPORT, Chapter 8, paragraph 19, PG.214.
If we take an account of the progress of agriculture in all countries during the last 50 years, and especially of the incredible amount of “AID” received by Israel from outside, it becomes clear that, in this field, there is no “miracle of Israel.”