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The Israeli Green Party and Gideon Spiro: a correspondence
By: Gideon Spiro
E-mail from Israeli Green Party, 26 December 2012
The race is on!
Dear friends and supporters, we have decided to raise our activism to a new level and to run for the Knesset in order to affect change from within.
On Tuesday we held a news conference, at which we announced our run for the Knesset.
We presented an innovative and original housing programme and unveiled a political platform that addresses the concerns we have heard from you over the course of time.
Now more than ever, we can offer a reasonable alternative for many voters.
We need your support to win!
We invite you to go to the party’s official Facebook page and to share with friends the messages and plans presented there so we can generate support from more voters.
Every `share` you do will transmit the message to over 200 people and represent for us more voters at the ballot-box.
Thanks to your strength and dedication, we can take action to represent the principles that we believe in.
Yours, Amir Meltzer, Head of the List, and the entire Party staff.
E-mail from Gideon Spiro to the Green Party, 26 December 2012
I would be grateful if you would send me the party platform by e-mail.
E-mail from the Green Party to Gideon Spiro, 26 December 2012
Hi Gideon, our platform is at this link:
27 December 2012: e-mail from Gideon Spiro to the Green Party
Thank you for replying to my request. I read the platform carefully, and I have no disagreement with what is written. Just about everything there is acceptable to me. But I have a problem with what is not there. On the subject of the Israeli-Arab conflict and especially the Israel-Palestinian conflict, you settle for general invocations like regional cooperation on environmental issues, which surely no one object to; but you evade the heart of the conflict, in the absence of a solution to which there can be no cooperation of any kind. Not a single word about the Occupation or about the apartheid regime that prevails in the Occupied Territories and the violations of human rights that have been committed there every day for 45 years now, which also involve destruction of the environment. Not a word about the settlements, which are not only moral pollution but environmental pollution as well. Not a word about your position, if you have one, on the subject of the borders of the State of Israel. Is the Green Line the border of the State, to which there should be a withdrawal, or do you support the continuation of the theft of Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories? What is your position on the felling of thousands of Palestinian-owned olive trees by hooligans from the settlements, which in addition to the direct damage to Palestinian families also causes serious environmental damage? Are you in favour of two states or the annexation of the Territories and the creation of one state from the river to the sea? What is your position on the issue of the blockade of Gaza, which has significant environmental impact?
I searched carefully for a passage about the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the fateful environmental and political implications of which render everything else small change in comparison. Israel is a Garden of Eden for weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, biological and chemical. Israel launched this region on a race for nuclear weapons, which are catastrophic, doomsday weapons, and yet you have nothing to say about, for example, the conversion of the Middle East into a region free of these weapons? Without disarmament, it is only a matter of time until all the states in the region are equipped with these weapons, and there is no need to waste words about the dangers that will present in an unstable and fragile region much of which is led by religious fanatics who claim a direct line to the Almighty, in Israel as well as some of our neighbours.
The reactor in Dimona is old – over 40 years old. Anywhere else in the democratic world it would be considered too old to continue operating. The reactor sits near the Great Rift Valley, and an earthquake of 9 or 10 on the Richter scale, as has occurred in Turkey, could fracture the reactor and cover Israel with a radioactive cloud that will render it uninhabitable. We do not have the territorial reserves of Russia, which after the Chernobyl disaster could close off a contaminated area the size of the State of Israel and still carry on its national existence. I would have expected that your platform would include a pointed demand to close the Dimona reactor, before a disaster occurs, but – not a word.
Storage of nuclear waste is an issue of concern to Greens all over the world because it involves material that will continue to emit radiation for thousands of years, and insecure storage endangers the ground-water, the soil and crops. There are various methods of storing nuclear waste, and the differences are in the level of security. Storage with a high level of security, such as vitrification of the waste, is also very expensive. On the other hand, burying the waste in canisters is cheaper but with the passage of years the danger increases of leakage into the water table, which means contamination of the water and the soil. And there are various levels of security available for storage in canisters as well; some are cheaper and others more expensive. What is going on in this domain that is so vital to our lives here in Israel? How is the nuclear waste being buried? With what level of security? There is no public oversight of this process in Israel and I would expect a Green Party that raises the banner of the environment and public health to include in its platform a demand to end the conspiracy of silence on this issue and to open all the storage-places for the nuclear waste that has been generated by the Dimona facility as well as the smaller reactor at Nahal Sorek to non-governmental public control, by organizations such as Adam, Teva V’Din,  with as much assistance from international experts as may be required.
I will be grateful to receive your reply to my observations.
(As of 28 December 2012 Gideon Spiro has received no reply from the Green Party - OM)
Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent
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