By: Hani Taleb
Israel banned the animal fur trade days after the human massacres it committed in Gaza Strip
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons (Afaq magazine):
While the Israeli warplanes were committing the most monstrous brutal massacres and ethnic cleansing by bombing Palestinian civilians’ homes on the heads of their residents without prior warning in the month of May 2021 in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government came out after a few days boasting of its extraordinary “moral” announcement banning the sale of furs to the industry fashion, to become the first country in the world to take such a step, even though the fur trade generates financial gains, and the reason was “because the fur industry kills millions of animals all over the world, and involves revolting cruelty and suffering.”
It is one of the statements of the Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection, "Gila Gamliel", who asserted in a statement that the use of the skin and fur of wild animals in the fashion industry is immoral, and that animal fur coats cannot cover up the brutal killing industry that they produce."
On June 9, 2021, the Israeli minister signed the 1976 “Amendment to Governmental Legislation for Animal Protection Regulations.”
The Israeli authorities set a penalty for violators of the new law by paying a fine of about 75,000 shekels (about 22,000 US dollars) or imprisonment for a year, to enter into force within six months.
Shortly before that, the Israeli war had been launched on Gaza, following the escalation of tension in the city of Jerusalem, after an attempt to forcibly evict the Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in favor of some Jewish settlement associations, under the pretext of the issuance of judicial rulings.
At that time, each family who was condemned to eviction was fined $20,000, after which the aggression wheel began in the city of Jerusalem on April 13, then aggression started to spread to the West Bank and the occupied interior, and ended up in Gaza Strip, where Israel used its most powerful weapons without caring for the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians, most of them were children and women, who have suffered for many years as a result of the collective punishment imposed by the siege.
On the other hand, the barefaced moral contradiction appears when we look at the Israeli government’s launching of fierce military attacks that wiped out entire civilian families in Gaza Strip. According to an analysis published by the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz on May 19, the Israeli strikes completely wiped out 12 families “during the military escalation between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” without receiving any prior warnings. These strikes which targeted civilian families were not a mistake but were based on decisions approved by senior military officials.
Among the victims were two doctors and more than 60 children, in addition to more than 1,400 wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
How can one understand or explain this great contradiction between the crimes of a state, to say the least, as “brutal and barbaric” committed by its warplanes!
An incident to remember, one air strike (which lasted 70 minutes) before dawn on Sunday 5/16/2021, targeted three houses in Al-Wahda Street in Al-Rimal neighborhood in Gaza, killed three families consisting of 38 people, which led to the genocide of Abu Al-Awf, Kolk, and Ashkuntana families.
The irony is that after less than three weeks, Israel announced such a "decision", based on its keenness to treat animals kindly!
So, Israel’s step towards banning the fur trade in its proper context is one more step towards covering up the brutality of its policies, by demonstrating its keenness to world public opinion to commit to protecting the environment and animal life and using it as a moral and legal basis for its policies.
At a time when international efforts were concerted to preserve the environment and its components, and limit the deterioration of environmental systems, the occupying forces, in their direct and indirect military operations and policies, did not hesitate to destroy the components of the environment in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to create an environmental reality that threatens human, land and marine life, using advanced, high-explosive and destructive offensive bombs and missiles, targeting safe civilians, as well as their public and private property and infrastructure.
Israel did not hesitate to bombard agricultural lands with missiles and high-explosive bombs, which resulted in the uprooting and destruction of trees and damaging of crops. This led to heavy losses in the agricultural sector, especially vegetable, poultry and livestock farms, as farmers and farm owners were unable to access them, especially in areas near the separating fence.
The occupation also deliberately targeted basic facilities that contribute to preserving the environment, destroying sewage pumps, and causing damage to central treatment plants designated for wastewater treatment, which led to pumping untreated sewage into the sea, increasing the pollution rate and threatening the lives of citizens and marine life.
In addition to the above, the bombing caused major destruction of wells, drinking water networks, and main pipelines, which exacerbated the crisis of accessing sufficient and safe quantities of drinking water.
In conclusion, what Israel is trying to market about the morality of its decisions and civilizing its policies to the world expresses a state of contradiction that is easy to detect, when just looking at what Israel is doing outside its own ethnic scope against the Palestinian people.
Nevertheless, the Israeli government continues to relentlessly apply a policy of double standards, deeming that the system of rights and legal and ethical principles that govern its relationship with its territory and its Israeli citizens - Jews - do not apply to Palestinians and the natural ecological assets under its military occupation. The truth is crystal clear. It is the apartheid policy that Israel applies in all its actions against the Palestinians.
Translated by: Rasha Abu Dayyeh