Photo Credit:
Gal-On, Ariel and stray cats in Jerusalem.

Meretz party leader Zahava Gal-On wants to do to Agriculture Minster Uri Ariel what he wants to do to stray cats. In one word, “deportation.”

Ariel, strongly identified with the national religious community, has said he wants to launch a program to rid Israel of its stray cat population explosion by deporting them to other countries rather than castrating them, which violates Jewish law.


Sterilizing cats or dogs by spraying generally is an accepted procedure under Jewish law but is not a one-time solution.

Gal-On is appalled at the thought of expelling the poor cats and suggest that it is Ariel who should leave the country. She said:

I don’t know if there a Jewish law on this subject, but when the minister who is responsible for animal rights suggests something that violates basic morals, the time has come to find a country that will be willing to accept him.

It is not clear exactly what basic moral principle would be violated by deporting cats, which is a lot more humane and causes less suffering than removing their reproductive organs.

Perhaps the leader of the left-wing party is concerned that the felines will be worse off in other countries instead of fighting each other in Israel’s trash containers for an evening meal.

Stray cats are a national plague. They are not stupid animals, and many families have reported that they have to leave their windows closed because cats use their paws to open the screen window in the summer.

Unloading groceries from the car also can result in missing fish and meat if the trunk or side door of the car is open and unattended for more than a few seconds.

Ariel, who usually is in the headlines for his insistence that Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, raised a storm of protest with his suggestion to deport cats.

More than 10,000 people have signed an anti-deportation petition that states:

Following your decision, tens of millions of cats in the streets will suffer from hunger, and the financial burden on citizens will only get worse.

There are kittens everywhere, their mothers are run over and the kittens are left at the mercy of the government.


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


  1. If the issue were not so serious, I would laugh at the notion that the cats suffer less when deported than when neutered. What naivete! Not neutering them has created a massive problem. I was shocked when I went to Israel to see a country so advanced in so many ways allow animals to be treated so badly. A single female cat can be ground zero for 250,000 cats in ten years. Israeli cats starve, sicken, get hit by vehicles, are tortured by some of the sicker elements of the population, and die slow, painful deaths because they reproduce by the thousands. Every country is overpopulated with cats (and often dogs), because veterinary medicine and neutering are either too costly or not acknowledged. So to which country should they be sent? The Hallachic prohibition against neutering (as I understand it) creates an immense public health problem with all the attendant suffering.

  2. Meretz, a gang of mentally retarded energumen, which does not know that they are sitting on their tochess where their brains reside, have the nerve to even stay in Israel where they do not belong. Meretz should be sent to an arab country, unfriendly to Israel, where if they open their mouth, the arabs will spit in it. Meretz should be renamed MERDATZ

  3. I didn't know it was against Jewish law to spay and neuter cats, but, my Jewish friends, cats can carry rabies, and therein is an epidemic ready and waiting for a sick terrorist to take advantage of. (Neither was I aware of the number of cats roaming around.) There is a problem in the US in Texas with rabid cats now, and in PA a rabid cat bit a woman and her two children recently. People just don't think of vaccinating cats the way they do dogs but somewhere down the road it's going to have to come to pass, as the climate is giving us warmer months and days during which the disease can flourish.

  4. In Netanya we love cats and most of the citizens care for them, including the many restaurants who leave food bowls out for them after closing at night. Anyone who is cruel to cats or any animal for that matter, is more than likely capable of cruelty to humans as well. Both Sabras and new immigrants join the ranks of the cat lovers who are peaceful, clean and affectionate creatures. All the rest is BS and not applicable to Israel. This guy Ariel has to be suffered unfortunatelt because Israel's proportional representation electoral systems pepetuates the need for coalitions in order to form any government and that means having to put up with a bunch of morons reflecting minority interests. I attend Chabad and have a traditional background but I want Mullahs, Priests and Rabbis together with their political movements out of government everywhere in the Middle East which is the best short-cut to peace I know of.

  5. Years ago, i remember there was an effort to remove the cat population in Jerusalem. As the number of cats were reduced the number of rats and mice increased. Cats fare well in Israel. Many people feed them and the cats are not afraid of people. They are being neutered as of this moment. Cats have intense emotions, they are very loving. Remember "What greater gift than the love of a cat".

  6. Is this a joke? Is it Purim already? Cats can't be neutered? That is totally ridiculous–and Israel is going to "deport" them? How crazy can you get! Incidentally, I lived in Israel when there was a move to reduce the cat population. Just as Wayne said –the rat population increased. Do what every other civilized country does–and spay and neuter animals, don't deport them! Can you imagine the reaction from the rest of the world to the idea that Israel is actually deporting cats! This must be some sort of joke–at least I hope it is…..!!!

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