The children of Kibbutz Barkai held a demonstration on Monday in front of the gates of the nearby Infimer factory, wearing protective masks and other chemical protective gear.
In May, an international report by Greenpeace defined Kibbutz Barkai as the community with the most polluted air in Israel, more polluted than even the largest cities and industrial areas in the state.
The kibbutz's trails now leave a sharp, stinging smell of burnt plastic and a burning sensation in the eyes that cause breathing difficulties. When the smell is strong, the children have to cover their faces with a shirt in order to protect their breathing systems.
The children carried signs with phrases saying "Infimer out," "We are not guinea pigs," "Let us breath quietly" and "Don't make us victims of infection like you." The protests were aimed at Infimer CEO Yuval Tamir, who himself was one of the navy combat soldiers who infamously plunged into incredibly polluted Kishon River, many of whom contracted cancer in the process.
Karin Rosenbaum, a member of the action committee, said that, "We are demanding to remove the Infimer plant from Barkai and are disappointed that a person like Yuval Tamir, who has suffered the effects of the Kishon himself, has made us guinea pigs, exposed to harsh chemical odors every day. "The Infimer plant, that boasts at every opportunity of its contribution to recycling and sustainability, is creating odors that make breathing difficult – and there are concerns that they may be carcinogenic," she concluded.