Save The Jerusalem Hills

Private developers, under authority of the city of Jeruaslem, intend to pave the Jerualem Hills, extending the sprawl of the city 12 miles beyond its current permiter, clear-cutting JNF-planted forests: forests which you and I have planted with our contributions to that organization over these many years. The ‘Safdi’ plan would build 20,000 new homes as well as new commercial zones in Mount Heret, Ramat Hadassah and the Lavan Mountain Range.

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is organizing opposition to the plan and offering viable alternatives which would permit the same level of growth within Jerusalem without further trampling the region’s environment.

SPNI is lobbying for alternative growth plans, which focus on strengthening the residential development of the inner city and bolstering the city’s economy. The (SPNI-coordinated) Coalition for the Preservation of the Jerusalem Hills has proven that there is ample room for the necessary development within the city’s boundaries for the foreseeable future. SPNI and the Coalition are in the process of collecting objections from various environmental and public health organizations, to present to the Planning Commission, which will be taking objections until July 20, 2004. More than 10,000 objections have been submitted.
These projects will wreak environmental damage upon the heart of the Judean Hills, one of the most important green lungs in Israel. Effects would include:

  • Depletion and contamination of groundwater supplies from impermeable surfaces, increased pumping, and pollutants such as gas stations
  • Dramatic reduction in natural recreation areas for residents of Jerusalem and central Israel, where the majority of the Israeli population resides
  • Damage to a unique ecosystem and habitat for a range of endangered species
  • Impact on the panoramic views, historic sites, nature reserves, national gardens

Looking out for Jerusalem’s future:

  • Expanding this far westward will effectively create a new city, which will draw residents away from central Jerusalem, further weakening the core of the city
  • Diverts municipal funds, which are necessary to refurbish and revitalize central Jerusalem, to yet another upscale suburb

The Coalition is urging Jerusalem to put an end to the migration of its residents westward, and concentrate on investing in the city itself, encouraging small and big business, helping to create jobs, and renovating run-down and low-income areas. The inner city has been long neglected and the green lungs beyond the city boundaries must be preserved. The Jerusalem Hills provide a green corridor between Israel’s highways and urban development. They also provide us with a reminder of the biblical landscape and a vision of the history of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.

To express your opposition to the ‘Safdi’ plan, contact The Jerusalem Development Authority here, or e-mail Jerusalem’s mayor here.

6 thoughts on “Save The Jerusalem Hills

  1. I think It is a great idea. Expand jerusalem, the city is growing at a tremendous rate. True it will urbanize the landscape out past neve Ilan, but what is th ealternative? Going east? Going north? Cant do it politically. You have to expand west torwards tel aviv.
    Th eknee jerk environmentalist protests, when coupled with the knee jerk leftist political leanings only serve to strangle the growth of the jewish state.
    The fact of the matter is, is that people want to live in the center of the country. They dont want to live in the Negev, or up north, The center is where the Jobs are.
    Oppose the plan? Why dont we aplaud the plan?

  2. Going east is a great alternative.
    This land is your land, this land is my land,
    From Menashe (in Syria)
    To Yehuda (in Gaza/Negev),
    From the Jordan
    To the Mediterranean
    This land was made for you and me.

  3. avi. i reiterate, “The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is organizing opposition to the plan and offering viable alternatives which would permit the same level of growth within Jerusalem without further trampling the region’s environment.”

  4. Argh, what a waste of money that went to planting those trees. I know my synagogue has had numerous fundraisers for the JNF (which I’ve participated in).

  5. which would permit the same level of growth
    Not too many cities want to use up their internal land reserves and this is legitimate.
    The Arabs in eastern Jerusalem complain about discrimination and substandard municipal infrastructures but behind closed doors they support and welcome Jews returning to their neighbourhoods because Jews take care of things better, build parks and it raises their standard of living too.
    If Jerusalem would expand towards the east and engulf the Arab neighbourhoods, then everyone would win.

  6. everyone (except the arabs, because they are not included in everyone) would benefit from that. right josh?

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