Israel and Environment – One guy’s opinion(s)…

A couple friends (literally!  two friends) suggested that I include a list of my op-eds for easy reference.  I comment in Ha’aretz and other venues – primarily about environmental issues in Israel, but also about immigration, energy, Israel-Diaspora relations, my son being born in a shopping mall, etc.  The good folks at Ha’aretz, Jerusalem Post and the Forward leave there articles on line, so I can put up the links.  For an older op-ed from the Jerusalem Report I link to the Jewish Global Environmental Network site.  Comments are always appreciated!  I leave out some stuff less relevant to the Israel Green Movement, because I want to stick close to the theme of the blog and I have some opinions that do not represent the movement as a whole.  This doesn’t mean that everyone in the movement would agree with everything below, but… Oh, you get the point!  Read on.

A Contentious Landscape, Jerusalem Report, 18 April, 2005.  My impressions of illicit development in the Northern Negev following a tour of the region and meetings with land use planners, Nature Reserve Authority staff, local residents – and a few years of accumulated personal experience.

Conservation in Israel: Incredible Potential, Enormous Challenges, Jewish Global Environmental Network Website, Spring, 2005.  The state of biological conservation in Israel, what is at stake, what is being done about it.

A Black Day for the American Green Party, Jerusalem Post, 14 December, 2005.  Commentary about the unfortunate stand of the US Green Party with regard to Israel.  They have, in my opinion, made themselves totally irrelevant with regard to Israel due to their hypocritical and biased stance.  Fortunately, the Green Parties of Europe have – to the best of my knowledge – been rather constructive in their engagement in the region, particularly the German Green Party.

A local actor; A global difference for birds, Watershed: Brown and RISD’s Journal of Environment and Culture, Fall and Winter, 2006.  A profile of Dr. Reuven Yosef, ornithologist and activist, and his splendid work providing a crucial stopover in the southern Arava desert for millions of migratory birds.  Link downloads the entire issue, article is on page 20.

When an ‘ecological’ community is not, Haaretz, 25 March, 2007.  My take on new, elite, low-density communities in Israel that claim to be ‘ecological’.  For the flip-side on this, see “The City’s Big Green Secret” below.

Judaism’s Green Roots, The Jewish Daily Forward, 1 June, 2007.  A review of Dr. Jeremy Benstein’s book “The Way into Judaism and the Environment.”  Read the book to understand the Judaic foundation of the Israel Green Movement’s ideology.

A Crack in the Earth, Haaretz, 9 September, 2007.  A review of Haim Watzman’s “A Crack in the Earth: A Journey up Israel’s Rift Valley.  While he has not (yet?) endorsed the Israel Green Movement, I endorse his blog where he and Gershom Gorenberg deal with some of the most difficult issues facing Israeli society today.

One Privatized World, Haaretz, 12 October, 2007. My thoughts on a beautiful exhibit of globes in Tel Aviv, that, on second thought struck me as strange when I learned about the sponsors.

The City’s Big Green Secret, Haaretz, 20 December, 2007. Why I think Israel’s environmental future (and probably that of much of the world) lies in creating environmentally sustainable cities that are enjoyable and healthy places to live.

When Low-tech will do the Trick, Haaretz, 3 January, 2008.  A piece to encourage Israel to think twice before running forward with a conduit connecting the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.  Since writing it, I’ve been corrected regarding my contention that freeing up Jordan River water will refill the sea.  It won’t.  And its very unlikely that truly water-starved Jordan would be able to give up water for ecological purposes anyway.  I’ve also been increasingly impressed with the idea of a Dead-Med Canal (from the Mediterranean Sea, rather than from the Red Sea), however, I still prefer conservation and low-tech alternatives if and when possible.

Nuclear Born-Again, Haaretz, 19 May, 2008.  A review of Gwyneth Craven’s Book “Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy.”  A convincing book that posits that Nuclear Power could technically be made safe and efficient.  The open question is, considering politics and economics, would it be?  And should Israel consider it as an energy option?

What do we do now? Haaretz, 3 August, 2008.  A review of three self-help books for leading a more environmentally sound life (Ed Begley Jr.’s “Living Like Ed”,’s “Wake up and smell the planet” and Graham Hill and Meghan O’Neill’s “Ready, Set, Green” – all fun and informative books to read).  I conclude with some things we should be thinking about in Israel, and a claim that we need policies as much as individual changes if we are going to confront the worst of our environmental challenges.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s