An Israeli climate activist smashed tablets representing the 10 climate change principles, mirroring Moses’s smashing of the biblical commandments, in a demonstration against climate crisis inaction atop Jebel Musa, the mountain thought by many to be Sinai. The event, published in a YouTube video published last Sunday, took place in protest of the COP 27 climate conference taking place in Sharm el Sheikh.The tablets, which read “keep your promises” in Hebrew, represented the 10 Spiritual Principles for Climate Repentance. The principles, which were developed by interfaith leaders at the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders in the proceeding days, were read aloud before the tablets were smashed.
“Climate promises have not been kept worldwide, including in Israel.”Yosef Abramowitz
Inaction on climate crisis
Yosef Abramowitz and other activists said that they acted in response to a lack of action from the world’s governments to reduce global emissions and fight climate change.
“Unfortunately,” Abramowitz lamented before smashing the first tablet, “Climate promises have not been kept worldwide, including in Israel.”
Abramowitz said that "when it comes to the leaders of the world who are gathering at COP 27: there's a lot of talk, there's some action, but there's not enough to be able to keep the world to one and a half degrees on the warming. The whole world needs to cut our emissions by half by 2030, and they're not yet. We take these Green Commandments, we look down to Sharm El-Sheikh, and we're not satisfied,” Abramowitz declared before proceeding to smash the second tablet.
Abramowitz rebukes Israeli government
In addition to expressing disappointment for the governments of the world in general, Abramowitz had a message for the government of Israel.
“Gas is 3 times more expensive than solar power in Israel, so if you want to lower the cost of living and be part of the international climate consensus, up your goals from 30% to 50% renewables by 2030,” he said.
Originally, the activists intended to bring dozens of multifaith leaders to the mountain for the ceremony, but Egyptian authorities prevented them from doing so.
Nevertheless, Abramowitz and other activists were able to conduct the ceremony. During the same week, other demonstrations took place on mountaintops. Additionally, the 10 climate principles were read in a live stream from Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
COP climate conference and protests
Sharm el Sheikh, the Egyptian host city of the COP 27 climate conference, located in the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, is roughly 100 miles from Jebel Musa.
It’s not the first time climate activists have gone to protest the annual UN climate conference. Last year during the COP 26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg criticized the event.
In an interview with the Guardian, she said, “Nothing has changed from previous years really. The leaders will say we’ll do this… and then they will do nothing… We can have as many COPs as we want, but nothing real will come out of it.”
Abramowitz and his fellow protesters shared a similar sentiment.
Yosef Abramowitz, CEO of Energiya Global Capital, is known for his work in combating climate change. He’s been nominated for a Nobel prize, named by CNN as one of the six leading “green pioneers” on the planet, and been one of the first to bring the solar industry to Israel.