Russia Today reports Israeli environmentalist groups are incensed over a proposed a branch of the country’s military college that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) would like to build in the Jerusalem Forest. The green organizations were so upset that attorney Joseph Havilio sent a letter to the IDF’s Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on behalf of environmentalists protesting the idea.
I represent tens of thousands of residents in Kiryat Yovel, Beit Hakerem and Ein Kerem and tens of thousands more people in other neighbourhoods of Jerusalem who oppose the plan to transfer the IDF colleges to the Jerusalem Forest, the letter reads, Russia Today quotes as cited by The Jerusalem Post.
The Jerusalem Forest itself was planted in the 1950’s by the Jewish National Fund and has been financed by private donors. It also surrounds Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, respectfully. In fairness, environmentalist groups have suggested other sites for the facility to be built. However, according to Russia Today, the IDF has already reviewed the alternative sites and they were rejected.
Israeli environmentalist groups have accused the Israeli army of violating environmental protections and the country’s Environmental Protection Ministry has accused the National Defense College of being The biggest environmental wrongdoer in Israel mainly due to the waste the college allegedly leaves in its training fields. This, however, is merely a way to distract from Israeli green group’s true intentions.
It is abundantly clear that the real reason environmentalist groups oppose building a military facility is that it will help diminish Israel’s ability to defend herself. By opposing a site that would be adequate for Israel to train her armed forces to defend herself and proposing alternate sites that have already been inspected and are considered maligned is tantamount to seeking to prevent Israel from being able to adequately defend herself against attacks. Similar activities by environmentalists are being done in the United States too.
During November of last year, Fox News reported the green groups sued the US Navy for military exercises it conducted off the coasts of California and Hawaii. Environmentalists allege in their legal briefs that 40 marine mammal and five sea turtle species are located in the areas the Navy conducted its exercises and are jeopardized due to the sonar and explosive devices used during the simulations.
Any reasonable individual would understand that their country’s military (be it Israel or the United States) would need to use areas on land and sea in order to train its soldiers, marines and sailors for combat. If, as has been alleged, that Israeli Defense Forces has not been complying with Israeli environmental statutes, the IDF should do so as best it can as long as they do not jeopardize its function. Environmentalists, on the other hand, obviously think otherwise and you notice they make no effort to offer to clean military facilities they allege are polluted.
In the case of Israel, I would be curious to see if the green groups behind this suit are being financed with money from Middle Eastern countries. It makes sense since by diminishing Israel’s ability to defend herself in this way would make it easier for countries and groups committed to Islamic jihad to obliterate Israel and her Jewish population. It gives new meaning to the term green jihad.
Note: image for essay is by Bosch Fawstin.