VICTORY: David overcomes Goliath - AGAIN!
The Jerusalem Planning Committee accepted our position and rejected a destructive oil shale pilot project in the beautiful Judean hills, known as the ‘Tuscany of Israel’.
Photo credit: Dov Nevo
Approval of the controversial oil shale project would have transformed the Adullam Valley, the place where David fought Goliath thousands of years ago, into a polluting petrochemical industrial zone - in an age where most countries are moving to reduce the use of polluting energy sources.
It also threatened to cause irreversible damage to the landscape, wildlife and agriculture and posed great health risks to the local communities.
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
For over four years, we have gone head to head with an oil industry Goliath, Israel Energy Initiative (IEI). For over four years, you’ve helped us oppose the project before planning boards, the High Court of Justice and in the media. This week, we all won!
At times, it seems that we had the odds stacked against us.
The Israeli company, headed by retired IDF generals, made promises of realizing the Zionist dream with claims of energy independence. To further complicate matters, IEI, a subsidiary of the U.S. based Genie Energy, run by former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, exerted immense economic and political pressure to advance the project by any means.
But, like young David who only had a slingshot and a lot of determination, we refused to be bullied into backing down.
Our lengthy legal battle not only put a stop to the destructive oil shale project, it brought about revised regulations to the archaic Petroleum Law, ensuring heightened environmental safeguards in such projects.
DAVID OVERCOMES GOLIATH
After an intense ten-hour debate, the Planning Committee rejected IEI's three-year pilot project on the grounds that the uncertain risks of the untested "fracking" technologies outweighed the uncertain benefits of the oil shale project.
The brave ruling proves that a committed and professional group of citizens can stand together against overwhelming odds and successfully defend their environment, their health and their heritage against those who would harm them all in the name of profit.
But, our battle for a healthy environment isn’t over. A similar controversial oil drilling project is threatening the Golan Heights and its residents.
We hope that our victory serves as a precedent to other planning boards to bravely stand up to economic pressures and responsibly protect our environment, our homes and our health.
David once again stood up to Goliath and won, it seems that history does repeat itself.