Saturday, January 26, 2013

Defense Against Gaza Terrorism: Trees

Tree sapling
To protect Israelis living near Gaza, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is using the latest technology. But the army is also going back to a decades-old, low-tech solution: defensive forestation.

The tactic is based in the simple concept of reducing terrorists’ accuracy by blocking their view. Defensive forestation was a common technique from the first years of the modern state of Israel to the 1960s.

Trees were planted close together near military or civilian buildings in order to make it harder for terrorists to aim, and to provide some cover from fire.

Gaza terrorists’ escalation in attacks on southern Israel in recent years led the IDF to bring back the program. The military is now working with the Jewish National Fund and other organizations to plant thick mini-forests around frequently targeted sites a short distance from Gaza.

On Thursday, trees were planted near the town of Netiv Haasarah in southern Israel. The trees are still small, but are expected to be large enough to provide cover within 2-3 years.

Source:  Arutz Sheva

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gazelle Urban Nature Park in Jerusalem

Gazelle in its Jerusalem habitat
This month opens a new chapter in Jerusalem’s efforts to “go green”.  After a decades-long fight to keep developers away from the site, Israel will finally get its first wildlife nature park located within a city, and Jerusalem will have preserved a precious open space in its urban heartland.

Gazelle Valley is about 64 acres of choice, undeveloped land and is the largest open space left in Jerusalem proper. It is named for a herd of gazelles of the subspecies Gazella gazella that live in this area, bounded by urban development.

The land, once planted with kibbutz-owned orchards that supplied fruit to Jerusalemites during the War of Independence and the Arab siege, is now slated to become the city’s premier nature initiative. Funded in part by the Jerusalem Foundation, it will be built in stages over the course of the next 10 years.

The park will be divided into three sections. The smallest parcel, about 12 acres, will be used strictly by the gazelles as their natural habitat. Another 32-acre section is designated for picnic grounds, while the remaining 15 or so acres will act as a barrier zone between the other sections. This is where a visitors’ center will be built.

Stage one of the plan, expected to be completed by next August, will include reorganizing the valley’s natural core with new plantings, increasing the surviving gazelle herd from four to 15, and building the first of two promenades.

The second stage will focus on two streams that run through the valley. Plans call for reorganizing their banks to create five water ponds that will be accessible to both gazelles and humans and also act as a barrier between them.

Stage three will see the building of the visitors’ center and other structures; stage four calls for a second promenade with street-level observation points; and the last stage envisions a second visitors’ center.
The Gazelle Urban Nature Park will remain open to the public during all phases of construction and there will be no admission fee.

As the first urban nature wildlife preserve in Israel, the Jerusalem park could pave the way for other initiatives throughout the country that promote urban nature as a resource for leisure, education, tourism, research and culture.

Source: Israel21c

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Israel Bans Animal Tested Products

No cruel cosmetics
2013 is turning out to be a great year for animals in Israel. Companies who test on animals in the making of cosmetics or cleaning products won't be selling their products in Israel after January 1, 2013.

Israel already banned animal testing within the country in 2007. This latest ban widens the scope to companies that import their products into the Israeli market. Israel's ban follows that of the EU, which passed in 2004, precluding companies that test on animals from selling their products in EU member nations.

Hopefully, the US and the rest of the world will soon follow the lead of Israel and the EU!

Read all about it here.

I'm off to enjoy some cruelty free skin care products, hope everyone had a great weekend and a happy new year!


Friday, January 4, 2013

3,000 Trees to be Planted in Memory of Newtown Victims

Blooming almond tree in Israel
More than 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the Newtown shooting.

Hadassah has raised over $61,000 toward the planting of trees honoring the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The trees will be part of the Beersheva River Park, a 1,700-acre water, environmental and commercial area being constructed by the Jewish National Fund in Israel’s desert city.

The idea for the Newtown grove grew from a request made by Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was the only Jewish victim of the shooting at the Connecticut school. Pozner said memorial contributions could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel.

The president of Hadassah, Marcie Natan, said her organization decided quickly that it wanted to honor all the victims of the massacre, not just Noah.

“Everybody was so affected by the massacre and wanted to do something to express their solidarity with the families,” Natan told JTA. “Each of us have had the experience of non-Jews who have found it very meaningful when a tree is planted in the Holy Land. We felt no one would be offended by this and we thought it would be a very appropriate way to honor the memory of the victims.”

The trees will be planted in a section of the park that Hadassah already had committed to populating with trees. At $18 per tree, the gifts in memory of the Newtown victims thus far are enough to cover more than 3,300 trees.

Source: JewishPress

May these trees serve as a living tribute to the adults and children murdered so senselessly in Newtown, CT