Be part of the solution, not part of the pollution

After 2,000 years of exile, the Jews returned to the land of Israel to which they waited yearningly. Two thousand years in which they wanted to come to Israel to settle, to develop the land, and preserve every flower, tree, land, and animals on it. For so many years now, we didn’t seem to appreciate enough the land of Israel. Two thousand years later, nature’s landscapes are filled with garbage, and this is because we don’t appreciate the land and the nature in Israel.

Every year this atrocity occurs, when every few months the residents of Israel celebrate their public holidays. They go out into nature, but unfortunately their waste was left behind and polluted the environment. I am amazing every time to see the amount of waste in the streams, in the bushes, and on the paths. To show you the seriousness of the issue at hand, Passover is a great sample to the seriousness of the problem. During the Passover holiday, about 50 tons of waste were withdrawn. The director of sanitation at the regional council, said that the volume of waste is similar to that collected last Passover. This amount is withdrawn almost from every stream, nature track, and open areas where many citizens barbeque and celebrate the public holiday.

You may wonder if there is a law that prohibits waste dumping in public areas and in nature. There is indeed a “Cleanliness Preservation Law”, but although there is still ongoing waste disposal, is why the big question crosses my mind a great deal. I believe that the main reason is the fact that there is no enforcement of the law. I have never seen an inspector in the natural reservation parks, a person who is responsible for fining garbage dumpers.

I visited a number of countries, including the United States, where I expected to see streets and reservation parks that are not as clean as in Israel because the US is much larger country with a higher number of residents, consumers, and waste.Nevertheless, I was surprise to discover the that the natural areas are highly unpolluted, even though the US is a much bigger country than Israel. The residents care and preserve nature. I was wondering what they were doing different. I found out that they have become accustomed to a culture of cleanliness, thanks to the very high enforcement of various environmental laws and high fines for polluting the environment; that as a result people know not to throw waste in nature, not even on the streets. Therefore, in a small country like Israel it is possible to bring about a situation where our remarkable nature will be preserved, see a landscape without waste around, and people will be able to travel near streams without waste. Israelis have waited for almost two thousand years to arrive to Israel and preserve its landscapes.

In sum, Israel can bring about a situation in which the culture of its citizens will be to preserve its unique and spectacular landscapes, live through a culture of cleanliness. And how do you do it?

By fines in the field of supervisors, and stronger environmental enforcement. The manner to reach the result is by deterring damage to a person’s pocket, using television and various nature networks to raise awareness, and make citizens think twice before dumping waste into the wild. Wake up Israel, before it is too late! We do not see the consequences of the little trash we threw at the tree right now, but in the long run we will be bringing irreversible damage to the environment and we not waited two thousand years to do it.

About the Author
Aviva Dasia Fellow at the Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy. Aviva served in the IDF as a simulator instructor in the "Meitar" unit of the artillery corps. On Israel's 66th Independence Day, she was honored as one of the outstanding soldiers of the Israeli President