Green Movement head Prof. Alon Tal 58.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It was an extremely long shot case that even they themselves recognized as such,
Green Movement head Prof. Alon Tal told The Jerusalem Post this week after
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s appointment as IDF chief was revoked just two weeks
before he was set to take up the reins.
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The Green Movement filed the High
Court petition that caused the uproar regarding Galant’s questionable
acquisition of land in his moshav, Amikam.
The petition eventually led to
an investigation by the state comptroller, and Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein
decided he could not defend Galant’s appointment and argue against the petition
before the court.
“The message here is about the rule of law and that
nobody is above the law,” Tal said, “not even the military, which has been
rather cavalier about it.”
Tal said it was inconceivable to them that a
“serial violator” of land laws should be appointed to a position that symbolizes
the values of the country.
While the Green Movement has a clear
environmental political agenda, “we’re not just about the environment, but also
about good governance,” Tal told the Post
“You could say that what it
comes down to is the notion of ‘the commons.’ As a party, that notion of public
property and public goods and values cuts across all our issues. More and more,
the public space is being taken over by myopia and greed,” the veteran
environmental activist said.
“The commons is not just about beaches, but
about education,” and other similar public values, he noted.
Movement did not break the story of Galant’s allegedly questionable land
acquisitions, which had already been raised in the media.
“We had heard
about it and were aware of the issue, but decided to leave it alone when he was
just a senior military officer in an operational capacity,” Tal
“But when he was nominated as the next chief of staff, well,
that’s not just an operational position. The chief of staff is a symbol and
supposed to embody certain values for the people and the kids,” he
So the Green Movement embarked on its petition, but even they knew
the chances of a favorable outcome were slight.
“Everybody told us we’d
be thrown out. As someone who ran an environmental law firm this was probably
the case with the lowest likelihood of success that I’ve ever been involved in,”
The purpose of the petition was to air the issues, but then
“more and more improprieties emerged.”
“The High Court showed courage and
demonstrated that we do have a participatory democracy,” Tal said.
last Knesset elections, the Green Movement received only half the number of
votes needed to pass the threshold, but Tal said they didn’t file the petition
for PR purposes. Nevertheless, he said the success of the petition would likely
“put the wind at our backs.”
The party is in the midst of a membership
drive and will hold leadership elections on February 11.
“We’re going to
have a male and female chairman to show we’re committed to women’s issues,” he
“We took on the biggest, most powerful machine in the country, the
IDF, and held its feet to the fire to ensure accountability. I’m pretty
proud of that,” Tal quietly declared.