My husband and I like playing an “ethical dilemma” game with our children. We will often present cases that touch upon issues, such as copying homework, tasting foods at a store with no intention of buying them, hurting a bully to protect the weak, etc., and discuss them over dinner. I find that thinking through these “what-if” situations strengthens my children’s emotional intelligence, and hope and pray that if and when they do face these types of dilemmas, they will do so with a little more ease.
Last week we discussed the concept of negligence and we asked our children how they would define it. One of my daughters recalled her friend from school who was killed on a hike because of the negligent behavior of the people in charge. It is a true tragedy when a death could have been avoided – the result of people with responsibility not ensuring the safety of those for whom they are responsible.
What is striking to me is that my children, aged 12 to 21, were able to comprehend the dangers of negligence and the importance of protecting the lives of those around them better than our current political leadership in Israel.
WE HAVE been working fervently in Gush Adumim – an area comprised of my hometown of Mitzpe Yericho, Kfar Adumim, Alon, and Nofei Prat – for years to prevent the construction of a major incinerator and garbage facility that is currently planned for across the street from our homes. Studies have proven that fumes from similar plants are toxic, causing, among other illnesses, cancer, asthma, respiratory problems, miscarriages and birth defects. Our leaders proclaim that plants like these are too dangerous to be built within Israel, the lives of those who live in Yehuda and Shomron are not lucky enough to be protected.
It pained me to hear Benny Kashriel proclaim to his residents in Ma’aleh Adumim that they have nothing to worry about because the plant will be far from their homes, which we know is untrue. We have a great deal to worry about. We will be at risk not only from the garbage that we ourselves produce, but we will also be inhaling the fumes of waste from five major cities from within Israel proper.
While annexation has not happened, the health of the population “over the Green Line” cannot be completely disregarded, as we see happening here. The plan to build this incinerator is dangerous – pure negligence by our leadership, and needs to be stopped immediately.
The consequences of the decision to build this incinerator and garbage facility are very clear. We know what the results will be. We have seen the outcomes of similar plants in Europe. And we are not prepared to sacrifice our lives for this. The writing on the wall is there for us to see, and choosing ignore it is pure negligence.
I am grateful for our dear friends in our campaign: head of Binyamin Regional Council Yisrael Gantz, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch, and MKs Matan Kahana, Ayelet Shaked, Moshe Yaalon, Ofir Sofer, Betzalel Smotrich, Moshe Arbel, Amit Halevi, Michael Malchieli, Shlomo Karhi, Ariel Kelner, Hili Tropper, Yoaz Hendel and Omer Yankelevich. Thank you!!
Where are our leaders? Gila Gamliel, Yisrael Katz and Binyamin Netanyahu, please help us! We need to act now. When I sit around the table with my future grandchildren and we discuss ethical dilemmas, please God, I want to be able to tell them of this time, the time when our leaders had the opportunity to profit millions of shekel, but they valued our lives above all else – the time when these leaders faced an ethical dilemma, stood up for us and were not negligent. I want them to know that our lives, and their future lives, are precious, and that my leaders fought for us all.
To all of you out there who would like to join me, my family, and my neighbors in fighting for our health and well-being, please join our Facebook group www.facebook.com/stoptheincinerator and send letters Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at [email protected] and to MK Gila Gamliel at [email protected] and MK Yisrael Katz [email protected] and head of staff in the Prime Minister’s Bureau Asher Hayun at [email protected]
The writer is yoshevet rosh vaad aguda, Mitzpe Yericho.