International Cleanup Day in Israel Launched in Maalot-Tarshiha.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The current wave of terrorism did not deter the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who volunteered to clean up their areas on Clean Up the World Day, and many cleanup events were held as planned, under the watchful eyes of security personnel. In some places, however, the organizers were obliged to change a venue or cancel an event altogether.
The cleanup activities were held in conjunction with the local authorities, the Center for Regional Government, educational institutions and other organizations. Around 170,000 people took part in cleanup activities in forests and open spaces throughout Israel, under the jurisdiction of 120 local authorities.
The Clean Up the World organization, which began in Australia, today comprises some thirty-five million volunteers in 120 countries throughout the world. This year, with KKL-JNF leading International Cleanup Day activities in Israel for the fifteenth year, around 170 thousand local people took part in its activities.
The day's main event took place in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Maalot-Tarshiha
in the Upper Galilee, at Montfort Lake Park.
One thousand two hundred pupils from all the city’s primary schools arrived at the lake for a day of environmental activity. “We’ve come to pick up the litter that people have left here. If human beings don’t look after the environment, then who will?” demanded eight-year-old Idan Panzowitz. “We have to make sure that the world is clean and beautiful,” added his friend Noam Zohar (9).
Apart from cleaning up, the children also took part in a variety of fun educational activities led by KKL-JNF national service volunteers.
Maalot-Tarshiha Mayor Shlomo Buhbut said: “The forests that surround us were planted by KKL-JNF with the help of the first pioneers who settled this area. We thank KKL-JNF for everything that it has done since then, and for what it still does today.” Montfort Park Lake, the family park at the entrance to the city and many other projects, he added, have all been implemented with the support of KKL-JNF.
“The environment tops our list of priorities, because it affects the daily lives of every one of us,” declared the city’s deputy mayor Ayman Sanati, who is in charge of environmental affairs locally. Deputy Mayor Sanati, who lives in Tarshiha, is a prime example of the cooperation that exists between all residents of the city, Jews and Arabs alike. After all, environmental and cleanliness issues affect the lives of all of us, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
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