SPNI says parties won't clean up their campaigns

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel lashed out at the political parties Monday, saying that they were unlikely to clean up their promotional mess following Tuesday's election. "The parties are sending out a terrible message to the public that it is okay to litter," said Ra'anan Boral, head of the environmental department of the SPNI, referring to the hundreds of party banners, posters, slogans and stickers that have put up throughout the country - some illegally - ahead of today's election. "It would not be such a big deal if the elections were every four years but because they are every two it has become a really big issue," said Boral, adding that unlike in previous years, the SPNI had decided against urging the political parties to tidy up during this election because its request would "probably just be ignored." "There is no way the parties themselves will do it, they just don't care," he continued. "Tidying up will probably become the responsibility of the local authorities." Spokespeople for the three largest parties, however, claimed that their clean up campaigns had already started. Labor Party spokeswoman Yifat Zohar said: "We only had a small budget for promotional material this election and we have already started to collect in all the banners and posters from around the country." Ronen Moshe, Likud Party spokesman, responded by saying that "a call had already gone out to party campaigners to make sure that once the voting had started, the volunteers should start cleaning up the party's posters and banners." And, in a written statement, Avital Sahar, spokesperson for the Kadima Party, promised that "all of Kadima's 130 branches would start a clean-up operation the day following the election and remove material that was left in the streets." The entrance to Jerusalem told a different story on Monday, however, with every inch of lamppost and electrical pole being used to hang up huge party banners. Young volunteers approached cars stopped at the traffic lights to hand out stickers and pamphlets, most of which ended up on the floor. "We know that most of the political parties do not care about the environment but the least they could do is tidy up the mess they have left behind them," concluded Boral.