Over 1,000 concerned citizens attended last Friday’s protest gathering in Tel Azeka to oppose powerful oil interests using their land as a guinea site for oil shale extraction. Protecting the land where David fought Goliath, their message came across loud and clear: they intend to fight – even against Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.
Thwarted by Colorado’s tough environmental regulations, where the largest oil shale reserves are latent in the Green River Formation, American Shale Oil LLC (AMSO) is unable to test its in-situ technology as quickly as they’d like. So Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) offered to do it for them in the Elah Valley by exploiting a legal loophole that enables oil-related tests to proceed unhindered. But they are messing with the wrong people.
Even though fires raged on in the North, killing 42 of their own and leaving sentimental Israelis in a somber mood, more than one thousand people attended the event in central Israel organized by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).
People who live in the Adullam District of the Judean Hills are fighting for an area laden with heavily wooded national park lands, well-maintained biking and hiking trails, and land that small-scale farmers painstakingly cultivate for their food and produces internationally-acclaimed wines. They are fighting for the land that provides a livelihood for small tourism-based businesses.
What is it that protestors oppose?
- Increased greenhouse gas emissions.
- On-site storage of hazardous materials (that could potentially infiltrate ground water).
- Multiple boreholes.
- Risk of other pollutants.
- The landscape that supports thousands of local residents will be altered for decades to come.
The head of the Regional Council, Moshe Dadon, drew “constant applause” according to the Citizens’ Coalition to Save Adullam, the group responsible for exposing IEI’s clandestine approach to this project.
Dadon told attendees that the proposed industrial fuel factory does not reflect the interests of the local citizenry, who have made great strides to develop the local agricultural and tourist economy, and who are committed to protecting and showcasing the area as a national model for natural, ecological, cultural and historical preservation, according to Save Adullam.
This boy’s sign reads: “Oil and Wine Don’t Mix” – drawing attention to the area’s thriving wine industry.
images courtesy of Chaim and Inbal Rose
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