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Almost Out of Time: Act Now to Save Samar

Israel's Samar sand dunes -- and the unique animal species that live there -- may be destroyed.

Israel's Samar sand dunes — and the unique animal species that live there — may be destroyed, unless we act now. 

(Photo courtesy of Taal Goldman of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies)


By David Krantz

NEW YORK (Oct. 12, 2011) — The bulldozers and dump trucks are getting ready. Without intervention, they will begin carting away one of Israel’s unique ecosystems, the Samar sand dunes, home to species that live nowhere else on the planet. And soon, at the government’s initiation, the sands of Samar in Israel’s Arava Valley will be turned into concrete.


Eilat needs sand for concrete, but the sand doesn’t need to come from Samar — existing sand mines in less environmentally sensitive places such as Timna and Dimona could yield more sand at about the same fiscal cost. Samar is only about one-square mile in size, but mining the dunes for their sand likely will lead to the extinction of species that are found only in Samar.


Back in May, the Green Zionist Alliance teamed with its Israeli sister organization, the Green Movement, in launching a campaign to buy the rights to the dunes from the concrete manufacturer so that Samar could be preserved as a national park. That campaign wasn’t enough and we’re running out of time. The dunes may be destroyed in the next few weeks, but it’s not too late to act.


Do you want to save the dunes? Please call the Israeli embassy and give diplomats and politicians the message: The Samar sand dunes should be preserved by the Israeli government as part of the inheritance of Israelis and Jews worldwide.


If you live in the United States, you can call (202) 364-5500, and/or fax (202) 364-5423.


In Canada, you can call (613) 567-6450, and/or fax (613) 567-9878.


In the United Kingdom, you can call (020) 7957-9500, and/or fax (020) 7957-9555.


And in Israel, you can call the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at (02) 670-5555. And/or, you can call Netanyahu's political party, Likud, during business hours at (02) 675-3539, and/or fax (02) 649-6578. And better yet, attend the protest on Oct. 17 at the dunes.


If you live in another country, then you can find your local embassy through Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


On Sukkot, when we remember our historic journey through the desert, you can help save a small piece of beautiful desert in Israel: The time to act is now.




David Krantz is the president and chairperson of Aytzim: Ecological Judaism.



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