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Upholding the golden rule: Israel’s beaches are meant for recreation & tourism

11/08/2016
 

At the height of Israel’s beach season, you helped us keep vital coastline protections in place - protections a hotly debated law was looking to unravel!

 

 

ISRAELIS #1 LESUIRE ACTIVITY

From security tensions to the high cost of living, Israelis are hungry for a time-out. The beach is Israelis’ #1 choice to escape the ‘balagan’ of everyday life. But, over the years it has been getting harder and harder to find a patch of sand to spread your towel on.


Hotels, cafes and new neighborhoods are popping up all over the shoreline. Recently private beach condos were almost added to the tug of war over Israelis’ beaches through a controversial law. This is a big deal because Israel’s narrow shore (122 miles!) doesn’t have room to squeeze in private beach residences.   

 

Read more about our work on coastline protection here. 

 


THE ISRAELI PUBLIC WAS UP IN ARMS OVER THE LAW.

WHAT WAS THE HOO-HAH ABOUT?

 


Under the guise of boosting tourism, the Minister of Tourism hastily tried to push through an amendment to the National Planning and Building Law aimed at lowering hotel rates by fast-tracking the construction of new hotels and seaside tourist attractions. As an incentive to encourage entrepreneurs to build new hotels, the bill gave the green light to allot 20% of the hotel land for private beach residences.

 
BEACH CONDOS? WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Israel is not Nice, Florida, Cape Cod or Cape Town. Israel boasts a skinny 122 mile long stretch of coast. Two thirds are taken up by ports, power plants, natural gas and desalination facilities and military bases, hotels, marinas so it’s important to keep the shoreline we have left (1/3!) open and accessible for EVERYONE to enjoy.

 

“Coastline protection in our in DNA, it is the cornerstone of our 'Ani Ma'amin'. This estimated boon to Israel’s tourism industry jeopardized Israel’s beautiful beaches - an integral part of the Israeli experience and Israelis’ most popular recreational resource. If Israel’s beaches are paved over by hotels, which holiday-makers will want to spend their vacations here?”

– Eli Ben Ari Adv, senior attorney

  


SANDCASTLES INSTEAD OF CONDOS

 


Thanks to you and hundreds of beach-loving Israelis like you, we put our proven legal and planning know-how in action to minimize the damage of this controversial law which threatened to unravel fundamental coastline protections - protections you helped us to uphold.

 

Our legal and planning experts working around the clock to protect our beaches!
• Recruiting the power of the Israeli public to put pressure on decision makers.
• Raising awareness on the dangers of the bill in the Knesset, in the media and on the social media networks.
• Redrafting the problematic clause allowing unwarranted residential construction.

 


IT WORKED!

 


Thanks to your help the law will continue to preserve the status quo of existing beachfront buildings – no private residences will be allowed to be built before the current line of beachfront buildings. This is huge! This important provision means that the golden rule has been upheld: Israel’s beaches are a place of tourism and recreation for EVERYONE who wants to enjoy them.

 

The support and encouragement we have received from the Israeli public and Members of Knesset who backed us up has been phenomenal!
• Hundreds of beach-loving Israelis helped us beat our goal in our first-ever emergency crowd-funding campaign to defend coastline protections!

• Israel’s decision makers are using our professional knowledge to promote beach-friendly policies!

 

“Adam Teva V’Din, who is doing fantastic work to protect our beaches and the quality of our environment, worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Together we have ensured a law, which is far from perfect (if we would have drafted it, it would have looked very different) but at least it saves our beaches from private residences”

- Yael German, MK and former Minister of Health at Knesset Plenum ahead of vote on ‘Hotel Law’.

 


 

KEEPING OUR EYES AND EARS OPEN

 


The law is far from perfect and we still have to keep our eyes open to make sure that the construction of new hotels won’t sidestep carefully crafted coastline safeguards. But after a win this big we wanted to take a second to thank you. Your determination and dedication were the winning difference to overcome this threat. We couldn’t have done it without your support.


Our coastline protection efforts continue because Israel's beaches are never saved - they are always being saved!

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