Floating protest tries to save Dead Sea

Save Our Sea, a new grassroots organization, plans to hold a floating session and concert at the Dead Sea to raise awareness about its dire state.

May 17, 2010 08:09
2 minute read.
Dead Sea Drying Up

Dead Sea Drying Up311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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It’s not a political campaign, it’s not a tourist gimmick – it’s a heartfelt plea by some of the people who visit the Dead Sea every year.

On Thursday, Save Our Sea, a new grassroots organization, plans to hold a floating session and concert at the Dead Sea to raise awareness about its dire state.

The Dead Sea drops about a meter a year and will eventually settle into a dense mass of mostly salt in the next 50 years if nothing is done to save it. Plans are being examined, like the Red-Dead Canal, to bring sea water to the Dead Sea.

But Save Our Sea is not about politics, one of the three founders, Graham Lubin, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. The other two are former San Franciscan John Sekulow and Israeli environmental activist Ayelet Ofek.

“We are trying to make a human point, not a political point. Thousands come to the sea for health reasons, and there’s a lot of passion about its demise,” Lubin said.

So this Thursday at the Ein Bokek beach (next to the hotels) at 4:30 p.m., Lubin and his two friends hope people will come down for a solidarity float in the sea. It’ll be followed that evening by a free concert, according to Lubin. It will be the organization’s first event.

“The three of us started it. We wanted to demonstrate how much people who use the Dead Sea love the Dead Sea. It’s not a political thing,” Lubin told the Post.

“It always amazes me that we’ve got this amazing body of water, which is used by industry, for tourism, and healing. Yet [the people who visit] seem to be oblivious to what is going on, or they just don’t care,” he said with dismay.

Lubin himself is a long time fan of the sea.

“I’ve been coming down here for 27 years, and if something is not done in 30 to 50 years, it could disappear. So we’re trying to raise awareness,” he said. “We want to demonstrate how much people who come down here really do care about it passionately and want something done so that future generations can use it and see it and enjoy it.”

Sekulow made aliya recently, partly to take advantage of the Dead Sea’s healing waters, according to Lubin.

While eschewing political statements, Lubin limited himself to one.

“It pains me that under Israel’s stewardship, it’s been allowed to fade and dwindle,” he said. “Only now that we have a real crisis are things being done. We still don’t know if or when any of this is going to happen. It really is an awful situation to be watching.”

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