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I moved from dank, dark North Manchester, U.K. to Karmiel, Western Galilee, Israel in March 2010. It is, believe me, one of the sunniest, loveliest towns on earth. With a background in local Jewish journalism I continue to write freelance. I manage several blogs, have  appeared on Technorati and Blogcritics and now contribute to the online magazine, 'Live Encounters'. My main blog is Alwayswriteagain (http://wwwalwayswriteagain.blogspot.com

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Young Israel’s Shame

Youngsters plant a sapling for Tu B’Shevat

Above is a charming video clip of a Tu B’Shevat (Jewish ‘New Year for Trees’) sapling planting in Karmiel last month.

So with the greatest shame and disgust I report that on Tuesday evening last week I actively helped to prevent two teenage vandals from uprooting another young tree from its moorings outside the city’s public library.

I had been tempted to write a long piece discussing how public uproar had forced the British government to withdraw plans for the sale of the country’s forests. I had intended to compare the failed scheme to the Israeli authorities’ massive re-planting policy following the Carmel Forest Fires with reference to the Torah injunction of ‘bal tashchit – do not destroy.’Israel.Tree.Image

Instead, I will ask a universal question: Is there nothing that bored, disaffected youngsters won’t attempt to wreck? What’s the matter with everyone?

 

I realise I am been ridiculously naive when I complain of local racism, vandalism, general dirtiness and neglect. But I did – and still do – expect better of Israel and its citizens. Karmiel, still a new city less than 50  years old, has been designed as a child-centred haven of pleasant parks, play areas and delightful walks. Sometimes I wonder why the authorities bother!

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