An Urgent Appeal to Save Israel’s National Dog

I have just received a report which, unless repealed, will be an Israeli tragedy.

Israel’s National Dog and its world-renowned breeder, Myrna Shiboleth, are being evicted from the home and kennels in which they have lived for the past 46 years. Anyone driving on the road to Jerusalem has seen the sign for Shaar Hagai Kennels.

There, for the last 46 years, Myrna has been breeding thousands of dogs called Kelev K’naani, the Israel Canaan Dog. The original breeder, Dr. Rudolfina Menzel, who emigrated to Palestine from Austria, discovered the wild pariah dogs in the southern desert and in areas close to Haifa. She captured some and bred them. The Haganah asked her to provide these wonderful dogs to be used for guarding outposts and sniffing mines for which they had been trained.

After the War of Independence, the Canaan Dog was “drafted” into the IDF and police forces. The dog is known for its intelligence and its loyalty. It has survived three thousand years of Jewish history in our country, first as guard dog to the flocks and herds of the Israelites who had left Egypt.

Following the exile of the Jews, the Canaan Dogs roamed the wilderness of Palestine searching for food where they could find it.

Myrna Shiboleth worked with Dr. Menzel and inherited the right to be Israel’s only breeder of the Canaan Dog.

She found an abandoned Arab hut in Shaar Hagai which had been left in ruins after the British Mandate ended. There she moved with the Canaan pups. For the first 17 years she lived without electricity or phone, the nearest phone was in Mevasseret Tzion.

Here she could breed her pups, provide them to the army and police forces and ship them abroad to breeders who were anxious to produce new litters.

The abandoned Arab hut belonged to no one. It was at the scene where one of the fiercest battles was fought in 1948. The Arab name for Shaar Hagai is Bab-el Wad. Every Israeli is familiar with the name and with the song popularized by Shoshana Damari.

Myrna signed a legal contract to rent the facility but several years later she learned that the person with whom she signed had no rights to the place. For all of those years, Myrna has been attempting to resolve the problem and to legalize her rights, after 46 years, to remain with her kennel at Shaar Hagai. The Israel Lands Authority has been merciless in their mal-treatment to the breeder and to her kennel.

Only silence! The Israel Lands Authority has continually ignored her case and has refused to enter into mediation.

The final blow came today. After four years of consideration, the court has ruled against her and the Shaar Hagai kennels and has given them an eviction notice to evacuate the premises within 90 days!!! Shame on the court. A Jew does not throw another Jew out on the streets with no place to go, especially after 46 years of residing there.

This is a disastrous blow to the breeding and preservation of Israel’s only National Dog, the Kelev K’naani, the world-beloved Israel Canaan Dog.

Myrna has spent the last 46 years breeding this beautiful dog. Her daughter and her grandchildren were born at Shaar Hagai. It is the only home they have known.

The kennel lacks the financial resources needed to buy new land and build new kennels. The lawyer’s fees have been enormous and there is not sufficient funds to pay the legal fees.

She is desperately looking for a new place to rent where she can live together with her kennel of Canaan dogs.

The Israel Lands Authority has shown absolutely no concern, no consideration, no compassion, no care in agreeing to resolve the problem. It is not the dogs who should be kept in the dog-house. As far as I am concerned, that seems a better place for the members of the Land Authority.

This appeal will be read by the millions of readers of The Times of Israel. I urge everyone who loves dogs and who wants to preserve with national pride our very own national dog to do whatever is possible to help Myrna Shiboleth to continue her life-long work in breeding the magnificent Canaan Dog.

Israelis who want to share our national pride should contact Myrna Shiboleth for further information at Time is fleeting… only 90 days before eviction. Please save our national dog.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
Related Topics
Related Posts