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[nafex] Jaffa Further Confused

1.   I have a strong suspicion that the Jaffa orange is of North African
origin, probably Moroccan.  Prior to the 1960's, nearly all the oranges
in European commerce were from North Africa or the orange growing
regions of Southern Spain.
2.   Israel did not exist  in 1844, 1883, or 18-anything, except as a
reference in the old testament.  Prior to WWI, the territory that
comprises modern-day Israel was part of the Ottoman Empire, administered
by the Grand Vizier from Constantinople, and had been so for several
centuries.  D.H. Lawerence (Lawerence of Arabia) and his group of Berber
tribesmen helped to change that by driving the Turks out, and, as part
of the settlement of WWI, (the Turks bet on the wrong horse), today's
Israel became part of the Trans-Jordan and Palestine, administered by
the British and French under a League of Nations Mandate.  That state of
affairs continued until 1948, when Jewish Zionist partisans called the
"Haganah",  led by people like Paul Newman (remember "Exodus"?), having
pretty much made hamburger out of the Palestinians and given the British
fits, gained military control of the area.  The newly created United
Nations decided to recognize the realities of the situation and Israel
became an independent state in that year.  That fulfilled a promise made
to the Jewish people in 1917, and created an appropriate destination for
the thousands of Jewish refugees scattered around Europe at that time.
3.   The Israelis got right to work and started making the desert
bloom.  By the mid-1960's they had become exporters of citrus to Europe,
and major competitors for the North African countries of Morocco and
Algeria.  I remember seeing Jaffa oranges from Israel in Italy in the
early 1960's.  They had the thick, rough skin others have described, and
a barrel shape.  They were juicy and delicious oranges, but I very much
doubt that the variety originated in Israel.
4.   Israeli plant breeders are extremely competent, and I would be
willing to bet that if they are still growing the Jaffa orange, it is an
improved model with thinner skin, sans seeds.

Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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