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July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Helsinki Environmental ‘World Village’ Bans Jewish National Fund

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Finnish “World Village festival emphasizing the environment has banned the participation of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest environmental organization in Israel. The Finnish government feigned it was powerless to interfere in the boycott and told the Israeli Ambassador to Helsinki that it has no say in the matter because the “Maailma Kylässä” festival is a “private event.”

Dan Ashbel, the Israeli ambassador to Finland, said:

I wonder how this scandalous decision is consistent with values such as eco-friendliness, fairness, tolerance, and the desire for peace. I wonder if the rest of the organizations in the festival are required to stand up to the same criteria.”

However, the Finnish government’s security forces were able to convince the World Village to ban the Freedom of Speech village, warning that an exhibition supporting the freedom of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine to publish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed might cause violence.

The JNF has planted 240 million trees since 1901, and Israel is one of only two countries in the world that registered a net increase in the number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century.

It can be assumed that the organizers do the World Village were celebrating Boycott Israel when deciding to ban the JNF, which also has donated 3,000 trees to the Palestinian Authority for its new city of Rawabi north of Ramallah.

The World Village organizers figure that the environment is better off without a pro-environment organization, which is Jewish, and without a free speech environment that might upset Muslims.

18 Dead, 13 Missing in Texas Flash Floods

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Flash floods ripped apart the roads and highways in Houston, Texas, washing away homes and bridges.

At least 18 people have died so far, 13 more are missing and countless others are still navigating the waters in kayaks looking for their loved ones.

Four states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas – have been hit by tornadoes, rainstorms and flash floods; basically, one storm after another since the past weekend. And the bad weather is expected to continue.

The death toll in Texas and Oklahoma is also continuing to rise. A flash flood warning was broadcast across the region again on Wednesday morning. Rain was already lashing the area by 8 am local time, with some three more inches of rain expected, if not more.

New York Nuclear Scare After Explosion at Indian Point Power Plant

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

While Israel considers how best to deal with the Iranian nuclear development race, New York residents had a more local nuclear problem this weekend.

The Indian Point nuclear power plant that provides 25 percent of the electric juice for the Big Apple and Westchester County went into “emergency response” late Saturday afternoon.

Billows of black smoke rose into the sky over the Indian Point nuclear power plant near Buchanan, New York.

A transformer failed, causing an explosion that ripped through the non-nuclear side of the plant.

The blaze was just 200 yards away from the building in which the reactor was located.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene were able to extinguish the flames, Entergy spokesperson Jerry Nappi told CNN, adding that one of the plant’s two reactor units automatically shut down.

No one was injured in the fire and there was “no threat to the public safety at any time. All Indian Point emergency systems worked as designed,” the facility said in a tweet.

But the fire had to be extinguished twice, because the flames re-ignited. Even so, the fire was out within half an hour.

Governor Andrew Cuomo received a briefing on site and told reporters, “These situations we take very seriously. This is a nuclear powered plant; it’s nothing to be trifled with.”

Or Ashraf, 22, is Last Israeli Missing in Nepal

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Search and rescue teams are still hunting for 22-year-old Or Ashraf of Lehavim, the sole Israeli still unaccounted for in Nepal after last week’s devastating earthquakes.

Ashraf’s mother Orit met a state-funded El Al flight carrying 229 stranded Israelis from Nepal landed Tuesday afternoon in Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport, hoping to see her son or someone who had information about him. Among the rescued trekkers on that flight were 15 babies, including three premies.

The death toll in Nepal following the quakes and hundreds of aftershocks has risen to more than 5,000, a Nepalese home ministry official said Wednesday. It is believed the figure could reach as high as 10,000 by the time search and rescue teams complete their work, said Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

Ashraf, 22, had recently been discharged from the IDF. He was last heard from by his parents a week before the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the region. He is believed to have been hiking in the Langtang region when the quake hit, but it is not clear whether he was alone or with others. Just before setting out on his hike, he told a friend in Langtang – Guy Yitzhak – that he might go alone.

So far, some 25 Israelis have already been rescued from the Langtang nature reserve, with another 30 waiting to be picked up some time on Wednesday.

There is a sense of urgency regarding those Israelis still awaiting rescue teams in remote areas and on mountain tops. There have been reports of violence against some Israelis and the helicopter teams by Nepalese in the mountains.

Approximately 70 Israelis have chosen to stay on in the country to help with rescue efforts, according to media reports. Forty others have been located but not yet reached due to their remote locations.

Jordan, Israel Sign Historic Red Sea-Dead Sea Rescue Deal

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Jordanian and Israeli officials signed a multi-million dollar deal on Thursday to rescue the Dead Sea from oblivion. The ceremony took place on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea, with Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom signing on behalf of the Jewish State. His Jordanian counterpart, Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim el-Naser, signed on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom.

The historic project began with a memorandum of understanding signed in Washington by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority leaders on Dec. 9, 2013.

The $800 million agreement authorizes the construction of a 65 to 80 million cubic meter capacity desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan. The plant is to produce potable water that will benefit both nations.

In return for its purchase of some 45 m.cu.m. of potable water annually from Jordan, Israel will add 50 m.cu.m. To its current annual sale of water to Jordan from Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) in the north.

A 200-kilometer pipeline will supply Red Sea saltwater to replenish the shrinking waters of the Dead Sea, also benefiting both Israel and Jordan, whose borders share the shorelines of the lake on each side.

The memorandum of understanding worked out in 2013 also called for Israel to faciliate the direct sale of an additional 20 m.cu.m. of water from the Mekorot national water company to the Palestinian Authority.

Since the PA violated the terms of the Oslo Accords and unilaterally applied to the United Nations for membership as an independent Arab country – albeit within the current borders of Israel – many things have changed. The move circumvented any need to negotiate the issues of boundaries, security and economic or infrastructure issues with Israel and resulted in the two sides generally putting aside any further talk of joint projects.

“We are going to provide water from the Israeli system to the Palestinians at points where they need water, and we are going to start discussing with them as soon as possible,” Maya Eldar, an adviser to Minister Shalom told The Jerusalem Post.

Greenpeace Protests Against Drilling for Oil

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

“Greenpeace” members protested the exploration drilling for oil on the Golan Heights on February 02, 2015.

The Afek oil and gas company is set to do some exploratory drilling this week.

At least it wasn’t the Syrians protesting.

‘Race against Time’ To Contain Oil Spill Disaster in Eilat

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry said that the crude oil leak in southern Israel was four times bigger than first believed, and that as much as 1.3 million gallons of oil have polluted the Evrona Nature Reserve in Israel’s Arava area.

Ecologists have warned that it is very difficult to fully assess the damage caused to the reserve’s ecosystem, and that the area’s rehabilitation could take years.

The pipeline, which is maintained by the Ashkelon-Eilat Pipeline Company (AEPC), was breached last Thursday night, at a site some 12 miles north of the southern resort town of Eilat, sending crude oil gushing across an area stretching some four miles.

Rains in southern Israel on Tuesday skipped over the Arava, easing observers who feared that precipitation would speed up the flow of oil to Eilat.

Ministry officials criticized AEPC for using the operational confidentiality it is afforded under its license to conceal the magnitude of the leak. According to Israel’s Channel 2, the Environmental Protection Ministry has shut down the pipeline—a major oil conduit running between the Mediterranean and the Red seas—barring AEPC from resuming its operations pending a full review of its permit.

The Environmental Protection Ministry and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority have launched an emergency operation to try to contain the pollution. More than 20,000 tons of contaminated soil had been removed by cleanup crews by Tuesday morning. An Environmental Protection Ministry official on Tuesday defined cleanup efforts as “a race against time.”

Eilat resident Lisa Mellish has filed a $96 million class action lawsuit against AEPC on behalf of the residents of Eilat, saying they were exposed to toxic fumes as a result of the leak. The lawsuit alleges gross negligence on the company’s part, which it says resulted in the ecological disaster in the Arava.

AEPC issued a statement about the leak saying the company “followed all emergency protocols from the moment the leak was discovered and reported it to all necessary bodies in real time.”

(Israel HaYom/Exclusive to JNS.org)

 

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/race-against-time-to-contain-oil-spill-disaster-in-eilat/2014/12/10/

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