When The Green Side of Israel Gets Tainted Black


Once upon a time, I had a friend who was a glossy magazine writer working on a story for a yoga magazine. Reporting from Israel, she wanted to interview the Ethiopian-Israeli community in Beersheba and ask them why they weren't practicing yoga. For me that was a very Marie Antoinette sort of question.

How could these people, among the poorest in Israel, who are struggling to put food in their babies' mouths, and learning the basics about the western world –– like how to use a toilet –- consider for a second about breaking into the Lion Pose, and meditating? This is how I feel right in Israel. It just doesn't seem right to talk about the environment, when people from both sides of the green line are suffering and trying to survive. I'm really not in the mood. Over on a local green blog Green Prophet I helped put together, I'd recruited a Palestinian blogger Rami to report about "green" initiatives in Gaza. It worked for a little while (see this post on recycled gas cookers), but Rami, for obvious reasons is right now more pre-occupied with different issues. I'd found another guy Muhammad in Iran who said he'd blog about green projects in Iran. He hasn't returned to me, or put our plan into action.

Maybe because a famous Canadian-Iranian blogger who I've written about named Hoder (Editor:Myself), has disappeared without a trace, for criticizing Iranian politics - and visiting Israel. Obviously to work with Israel-based bloggers, even on environmental issues, is an act of treason.

So the rockets are falling on Israel and they're now bombing Gaza. I'm still trying to find the positive, beyond the politics. I am sure I could find some interesting green idea to write about on TreeHugger, but violence –– and war –– or whatever the conflict is called these days between the Israel government and Hamas in Gaza, is just tainting all my "green" thoughts black.

It gives me perspective on why and how people in developing nations, struggling to survive, to put clothes on their kids, food on the table, or to keep commandos and militants from their villages, aren't recycling bottles, or wearing organic cotton jeans.

If you are living in a place where you don't have to live in bomb shelters, or worry about the next air raid, here are a few ideas for better wars you can fight:

Victory Gardens: War on Waste
Big Food’s War on Biofuels
TH Forums: Could Global Warming Lead To War For Scarce Resources?
(Image credit: Pagedooley)

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