Israel’s Mediterranean polluted


This is a video from Israeli environmentalists Zalul about pollution of the environment, especially the Mediterranean.

From Reuters:

Israel’s Mediterranean: a “septic tank”

TEL AVIV – The Mediterranean is often called the world’s most polluted sea and the waters around Tel Aviv offer a reason why.

Heavy metals and pesticides are discharged into the sea under government licenses, environmentalists say, and the company responsible for the sewage of the area’s 2.5 million people is the biggest polluter in the eastern Mediterranean.

“The state of Israel’s coastal waters is appalling,” the environmental group Zalul said in its State of the Sea Report for 2007.

The 21 countries ringing the Mediterranean share problems like coastal overdevelopment, overfishing and pollution but in Israel, long preoccupied with security issues, environmental awareness has been slow to take hold.

“The perception of the sea as a great outdoor septic tank for unforeseen circumstances is at fault in Israel in general,” the Jerusalem Post newspaper said in a recent editorial.

Claude Levi, a 36-year-old mother of two and former nurse, says she hasn’t bathed in the sea in several years, even though she lives only a 10-minute drive from the beach.

“The water isn’t clean and I don’t like the jellyfish,” she said. “I have a baby and I take her to the pool. I’ve never taken her to the beach.”

After a successful battle against fish cages destroying the coral reefs of the Red Sea, Zalul is focusing its clean-up fight on wastewater permits issued by a government committee.

More than 100 permits for discharging wastewater into the sea are granted by the committee every year — sometimes very close to bathing beaches, Zalul says.

“There is a big problem in Israel confronting industries and municipalities and the government doesn’t want to invest money,” Yariv Abramovich, Zalul’s managing director, told Reuters.

Discharged into the sea every year with the committee’s authorization are 140 tons of heavy metals, 130 tons of pesticides, 5 tons of arsenic, 1,300 tons of ammonia and a ton of cyanide, the Zalul report said.

“There are concerns that industries important to the Israeli economy are treated leniently when the conditions of the permits are drawn up,” the report said. …

TEL AVIV A LEADING POLLUTER

The most recent United Nations report on the Mediterranean ranked the greater Tel Aviv area as one of the 10 most polluting urban centers in the Mediterranean.

Minister Gideon Ezra recently told the Jerusalem Post his ministry lacked the manpower to enforce environmental regulations properly. “To make a real change I need a strong legal department in my office that can investigate and press charges against criminals who pollute,” he was quoted as saying.

Israeli Environmental Organization Campaigns To Clean The Jordan River: here.

Israel Urged to Aid Oil-Stained Lebanon: here.

Environmentalism and the USA: here.

Folk singer Sonia Rutstein in Israel: here.

Israel must join the Jewish world and go green, by Yossi Sarid: here.

7 thoughts on “Israel’s Mediterranean polluted

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