We stand at a moment of truth for the future of Jerusalem. Some of you may have heard of the planned building project in Lavan Ridge in West Jerusalem. However, this is only a small slice of the frightening truth; the building on Reches Lavan is just the tip of the iceberg. There already are plans for many other building projects in the area, all of which threaten the existence of Jerusalem’s nature. We are facing a reality in the near future of being a city surrounded by expensive neighborhoods instead of green hills.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are dependent on the nature surrounding Jerusalem. It is vital for our health, as trees absorb the city’s pollution and purify the air we breathe. The natural springs in this area that are in danger of being destroyed, are the only water source sustaining the rich wildlife found within the forest. The nature in the Jerusalem Hills is a unique ecological system that may not survive the massive building.
In an age where we face the aftermath of irreversible environmental damage, let us not be the ones who stand on the sidelines and allow for the last remaining forests to be eliminated. Once these hills are destroyed, we have no hope of getting them back. While trees will be planted within the city, urban greenery is not a substitute for a longstanding ecological system.
The springs surrounding the city are at the core of Jerusalem culture. While many things divide us, sitting in Ein Lavan on a Friday afternoon brings us together. Families, teenagers, couples and hikers find peace and refuge in the springs and forests. Together with our voices combined, we can make a difference.
I am very aware of the housing shortage in Jerusalem. In light of that, urban renewal should be encouraged not by building outwards and destroying all that is in our path, but rather by developing the city from within. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel published a report in 2019 reviewing building opportunities inside the city There are other solutions.
We need to protect our nature as it protects us. We have proposed that the hills of Jerusalem be declared a National Park. This will guarantee the protection of the hills once and for all. Our fight is coming from a place of positivity, not of darkness. We have the opportunity to give back and to show how much we care. We all have the obligation to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a future in this city. It is our right to demand that our health, economy and culture be taken into consideration.
This is a time where we get to set the right priorities. Our oxygen is no less important than another neighborhood. Our voice is no less valuable than those of politicians and contractors.
Please join us by coming to the demonstration, Thursday 25.6 at 16:00 in Givaat Shaul, Beit Hadfus 12.
You are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not able to join the demonstration, we would appreciate if you could pass pn the word and join our Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/savethehillsofjerusalem/?tsid=0.33644767592317715&source=result
Our English WhatsApp notification group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/JpYCpd2W7hjFuuLVssoWE6
And sign the petition: https://www.teva.org.il/save_jerusalem
and send an email to decision-makers by going into the following link: https://www.drove.com/manage_page/5ec78c82bb4f54000160aabc
Thank you for all your help!