Monday, June 29, 2009

Israel Says No To Animal Testing

I must admit, I never leave my house during daylight hours without a coat of Ahava sunscreen covering my skin. Why pay twice the price for Ahava (an Israeli company), you ask? Simple, Ahava, along with any Israeli made skincare and cleaning product is cruelty free. This is not merely the custom in Israel, it's the law. Believe it or not, a Likud (right wing) lawmaker proposed it to the Knesset. So don't forget your sunscreen, just make sure it's not tested on animals!

Read the article about Israel's cruelty free product law here and get your Ahava products here.

Off to enjoy another sunny day, till next time,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

World Bank to Fund Dead Sea-Red Sea Canal Test Project

By David Shamah (

Dead Sea The World Bank has agreed to fund a pilot program of what could turn out to be one of the most ambitious water projects in the world – the Dead Sea Canal Project, which would see the construction of waterworks 112 miles in length, connecting the Red Sea and Dead Sea.

The project would help replenish the Dead Sea, which is in danger of major ecological damage, according to many scientists, as well as provide a new source of fresh water for the region, with large desalination plants treating water that would be provided for Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

The deal for the pilot project, which would see the construction of a pipeline between the two bodies of water, was closed Friday between Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom and World Bank President Robert Zoellick. The pipeline, to be built by 2011, will function as a study to decide the feasibility of the project.

Besides helping to replenish the Dead Sea, the project could also ease energy costs for participants. The Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, is 400 meters below the Red Sea, and the drop in altitude as the water flows could be used to generate hydroelectric power. The water would then be treated in a companion desalination plant, making it fit for agricultural or industrial use and easing the strain on fresh water resources in the region.

Eventually, the full project could see as much as 1.8 billion cubic meters of water pumped through the system. One billion cubic meters would be pumped into the Dead Sea, and the rest would be treated at a desalination plant, to be split between Israel, Jordan and the PA. The project has been much discussed for decades – it was first proposed by the British in the 1880s, according to historians.

According to the World Bank, the desalination plant attached to the project would be the biggest in the world, with a final bill of around $7 billion. The pilot project, which the World Bank has agreed to fund, will cost around $15 million. Shalom is working on developing funding for the full project, from both the World Bank and countries around the world. Speaking to reporters, Shalom said that the initial funding was "a dramatic, important move that can lead to a breakthrough. This project has been delayed for years. We see it as a staple for financial peace."

Source: Israel National News

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About Us

Let us introduce ourselves. We are Zoya and Jennifer, liberal American girls who also strongly support Israel. It's disheartening that these days, the only people on Israel’s side are die-hard conservatives, people whose opinions we respect but with whom we have little in common, ideologically. Sadly, most of our fellow liberals are rooting for Israel's enemies even though they spit on every liberal ideal. So we decided to create this blog, mainly to discuss how Israel upholds liberal morals and ethics and with each progressive day strives to make our planet a better place.

We named our blog Garden State. These words may seem odd being applied to a place that is 60% desert and located quite a bit outside the boundaries of New Jersey. Yet we thought the name was remarkably fitting. The territory of Israel is just a little smaller than that of the Garden State, our 4th smallest state; nonetheless, many feel it is still too large. Although it is mostly desert, Israel’s groves and gardens leave visitors awestruck. Certainly, for its core democratic values that are shared by millions of Americans Israel might as well be in New Jersey.

Just for a quick rundown, these are a few reasons why a liberal's heart can be found and nurtured in Israel:

1. Israel is the only nation on Earth that ended last century with more trees than it started with.
2. Israelis love their animals! No animal rights groups in the world bring about better results and better conditions for animals than Israeli animal rights groups.
3. Cutting edge stem cell research is legal and common practice in Israel. People from all over the world, including Arab countries that don't recognize Israel's right to exist, travel to Israel for medical treatments that are pioneered by Israeli doctors and are available only in Israel. Israel leads the world in medical breakthroughs.
4. Earth-friendly energy sources are just breaking ground here in the USA, but are common practice in Israel.
5. Israel is renowned for its progress in establishing equality for homosexuals and providing refuge to them from neighboring hostile countries where being gay is punishable by death.

Our blog's main focus will be on environmentalism and animal rights in Israel as those are our primary points of interest, but if you have additional information on any topics relevant to Israel regardless of your political views, or would like to write a guest spot on our blog on any of these topics, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

We would like to encourage a free exchange of information and opinions on all topics relevant to Israel and Middle East conflict in general, which is why we have also created Garden State forum.

Welcome to Garden State!