Ecological impacts of Zionism

Sinkholes beside a shrinking Dead Sea. Photograph by ArtsLAWriter. Wikimedia

Many years ago, I think 2006, I attended a seminar presented by the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ) on the environmental damage being perpetrated – and indeed, perpetuated – by Israel as it pursues its Zionist dream.

This weekend there is a report along similar lines in Haaretz, perhaps best represented by this extract:

Poor planning and neglect can be found in other countries, too. But they compensate for it with spectacular wild landscapes and architectural gems. Not so in Israel. Once there was a delightfully beautiful country here, but no longer: Zionism has wrought irredeemable destruction on it. In the long term, this is the principal legacy of the Zionist project. Political regimes will come and go here in the future, as they have done in the past. But eons will be needed to undo the ecological and aesthetic harm we have inflicted on the earth. A limestone hill truncated by bulldozers is now gone forever. A lizard that has become extinct will never exist again. If it would take a few million years for the world’s flora and fauna to rehabilitate themselves from the damage wrought by humanity to the planet, undoing the damage caused by Zionism will take twice as long.

Ofri Ilany, Haaretz, 12 May 2022

At the heart of all three Abrahamic religions is a mandate for humans to care for the earth, the khalifa principle in Islam has parallels in Jewish thought and in Christian theology.

To devastate the biblical lands with such ferocity and trigger such long term consequences is an ecological Nakba that compounds and extends the violence of the historical Nakba of 1948.

Long after there is a free Palestine from the river to the sea, providing full citizenship and authentic freedom to all its people, the land will suffer the consequenecs of these few decades of self-indulgent and destructive Zionism.

About gregoryjenks

Executive Director, Centre for Coins Culture and religious History. Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. The opinions expressed in my publications, including my blog posts, are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the CCCRH Foundation.
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