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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘pollution’

Former Jerusalem Grand Mufti at War with Knesset over Mosque Noise Pollution

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

“Anyone who is angered by the call of the muezzin, should leave,” Former Jerusalem Grand Mufti Sheikh Ekrima Sabri told worshipers at the Al Aqsa mosque on Friday, meaning, of course, leave the country. He suggested that “Israel has no right to intervene with the call of the muezzin, because it is contrary to freedom of worship.”

The Knesset’s Ministerial Legislative Committee on Sunday debates a proposed bill to ban muezzins from using mosque loudspeakers to call the faithful to prayer or to make religious or nationalistic announcements. Proposed by MK Moti Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi), Merav Ben-Ari (Kulanu), and Miki Zohar and Nurit Koren (Likud), the bill explains that “hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely and daily suffer from the noise caused by Muazin calls at the mosques. The proposed law introduces a world view according to which freedom of religion must not damage the quality of life.”

Back in 2011, then MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) introduced the first “muezzin law,” requiring mosques to dial down the volume on the calls made over mosque PA systems at the five daily Muslim prayer times, but clarified that her bill does not intend to target any specific group. Michaeli said she came up with the bill after visiting the mixed cities of Lod and Ramla, where Jews have been complaining about the Muslims’ noisy devotion.

The original Muezzin bill was tabled and the Knesset ordered a report that said the use of loudspeakers began at about the same time as loudspeakers had been invented, and recommended a dialogue with the Muslim religious authorities rather than an environmental law.

But, judging by Sheikh Sabri’s recent statements, that the call to prayer is not just a Muslim ritual, but an act of worship, and that banning it would represent a violation of freedom of worship, a dialogue may not be in the cards.

MK Yogev’s bill, which has been in the works since 2015 and was tabled once, came back for a vote Sunday after several weeks in which residents of Pisgat Ze’ev in eastern Jerusalem yelled out muezzin calls at the top of their lungs one early morning in front of home of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, to share with him their daily experience, as well as the experience of the Jewish residents of the Shuafat, Beit Hanina and A-ram mixed Jerusalem neighborhoods.

“This morning we had to shatter the tranquility of Beit Hakerem in Jerusalem as part of our struggle with the muezzin noise [with] loudspeakers to emulate the sounds mosques disturbing thousands of families in the various neighborhoods of Jerusalem,” Yossi Davidoff, one of the protesters, told Ynet, noting that they started hollering only at 6 AM and not when the muezzins do it, at 5 AM and earlier, out of consideration for Mayor Barkat and his neighbors.

Police arrived shortly thereafter and removed the protesters for violating the same noise pollution laws that hundreds, even thousands of muezzins defy five times a day, every day, in Israel. Aryeh King, a member of the Jerusalem City Council, told TPS, “I brought Arab residents to testify at the Knesset, and they have said the same thing: ‘You live 500 meters away from the loudspeakers, but we live only 5 meters away.'”

“There is a ‘noise regulation’ law in Israel restricting the amount, duration, source and timing of noise (in the public sphere), and the muezzin calls are an infringement on that legislation,” King said, complaining that “over the last year, the muezzins have ramped up the volume to insane levels, not only for [prayer calls] but also for weddings and other celebrations.”

For his part, Sheikh Sabri was quoted as saying that the real noise pollution was the sound of Israeli military jets hovering in the Jerusalem sky, the sound of Israeli military tanks raiding Arab cities and villages, and the noise of bombs fired at Arab citizens. In other words, should this new law pass, a few muezzins will have to be rounded up and jailed, receiving rebuke from the US State Dept… No, wait, Trump was just elected US President.

JNi.Media

Israeli Domestic Flights Cancelled as Dust Storms Hit Region

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Domestic airlines in parts of Israel were grounded Wednesday morning as a dust and sandstorm moved through the region.

Arkia halted all domestic flights until 3 pm while Tel Aviv’s local Sde Dov airport ceased operations, as did the local airport in Eilat as well.

The Environmental Protection Ministry cautioned pregnant women, children, elderly and those with medical conditions to remain indoors.

Pollution levels were 26 times higher than the standard level in Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and in the coastal region; and 30 times higher in Rehovot as a result of the heavy haze.

In the Judean city of Efrat, about ten minutes from the capital, skies were windy with a haze beginning to creep over the area.

Not all of the country is under the blanket, however. sources in Arad, located close to the southern end of the Dead Sea and known for its clear, fresh air, said Wednesday morning the weather in the northern Negev city was windy and clear.

Hana Levi Julian

Haifa ‘War’ Continues: Factories Force Truck off Road

Monday, April 20th, 2015

The struggle between Haifa city hall and several factories in the city continued Monday morning. Managers at several factories launched a counter-assault to the city’s attempts at a forcible closure, using a crane to force a city truck from the road.

City trucks had been used to block access to four factories accused of heavy air pollution. Haifa mayor Yona Yahav announced Sunday that he plans to close the factories down.

Tensions have been high in Haifa and neighboring cities since the release last week of data showing that rates of cancer are significantly higher in the city than elsewhere in the country. Researchers said the data shows that air pollution from Haifa’s factories is directly responsible for half of the cases of cancer in children living in the area.

Yahav has accused the government of contributing to the problem by refusing to release the names of the factories that release the highest levels of pollution. He, too, has been accused of being part of the problem; some locals say Yahav ignored high cancer rates for years.

On Sunday morning, Yahav spoke at Rambam Hospital and declared, “The government of Israel declared war several days ago on one third of Israelis. And all is fair in war.” He went on to explain that he would be forcibly blocking access to factories until the government approves their closure.

Dozens of residents of Atlit, in the Haifa area, protested Monday morning against the factories. Protesters carried signs reading, “End the Pollution,” and “Stop Poisoning our Children.”

Maayana Miskin

Several Days of Rain Forecast to Drench Israel

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Several days of heavy rain are predicted to drench the northern and central regions in Israel beginning Tuesday night, bringing a bit of relief to the National Water Authority and anyone who likes to swim or sail on the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret).

While rain and snow have blessed coastal regions and parts of the south with more than the usual amount of precipitation for this time of year, areas around the Kinneret have received a bit less than usual. The lake is more than 12 feet (3.74 meters) below flood level.

That is due to change drastically, but southern Israel will suffer from severe dust pollution on its way from Africa this evening. Travelers to and from Eilat are advised that flights are being re-directed from the southern port city.

By tomorrow afternoon or night, the rain will have spread from the center to the northern Negev, according to forecasters, and there is even a chance  of light snow in Jerusalem by nightfall. No accumulation is expected.

The rain will wash away the pollution in the Tel Aviv and other coastal areas, but haze and sand storms will blanket the south , and those who suffer from breathing disorders are advised to remain inside.

Gale-force winds will accompany the storm, which is forecast to dump more snow in the Hermon ski slopes.

Rain will continue into next week, and forecasters are predicting 4-8 inches will fall in some areas.

If predictions come true rainfall and run-off from mountain streams will raise the level of the Kinneret significantly.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Two-Headed Salamander Tadpole Discovered in Haifa Ecology Lab

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Haifa University researchers have found a salamander tadpole that has two heads.

Dr Ori Segev and Antonina Plavikov noted that while they had observed an incidence of deformity, especially among the limbs of salamanders,  in the past such cases of two heads were more rare. The reason for this deformity is unknown,  but the chief theories are pollution of water sources, changes in radiation and the influence of a small population.

The Salamander of Israel is an endangered species, mainly due to factors which have disturbed its habitat such as soil and water pollution and the destruction of its natural habitat.

The university’s Community Ecology Lab, headed by Prof. Leon Blaustein, has been conducting research for many years to try to understand the biological mechanisms of this unique life form, with the aim of helping the nature and parks authorities maintain the existing population and revive populations in danger.

According to researchers at the lab the salamanders act as a signal for the general health of  the environment, because they are so sensitive to pollution and environmental changes and so they are the first to be harmed.

Jewish Press Staff

Israel First Electric Bus Debuts in Tel Aviv

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Tel Aviv residents began riding on Israel’s first electric bus Tuesday, several weeks after the Better Place electric car venture filed for bankruptcy,

The Dan Bus Company invested $112 million for the orange-colored pollution-free bus, whose route takes it from the city’s central bus station to the Arlozorov train station. It can run approximately four hours before needing a six-our charge, and if it pays off, the bus company envisions buying another 250 electric vehicles.

As for the private electric business, there still is a chance it will make a comeback. Investors paid only $5.5 to pick up the pieces of Better Place and try to recharge the idea of Israeli motorists driving gas-free cars.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-first-electric-bus-debuts-in-tel-aviv/2013/08/06/

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