Participants in the SFP change agents course for leaders in environmental justice visited projects showing Jewish-Arab cooperation or lack of cooperation in the field of environmental justice.
The SFP training course for leaders in environmental justice met on November 11, 2016 for a tour of northern Israel. Our first stop was the Al Muna association in the town of Majdal Krum. There we were welcomed by Aya Manna. The association conducts courses for youth in Arab and Jewish settlements in the Galilee, training young people to work with advanced technology in the field of robotics.
Their activity spans the country, between Yeroham in the south and Horfesh in the north. The young people build together UAVs and other robots. The encounter between the two national groups takes place through shared learning and practical activity.
Next, we went to the Shajur River Nature Reserve and met with Mr. Abed Nimarnah of the Al-Amal association. Al-Amal has waged a 13-year joint Jewish-Arab struggle against sewage waste pollution in the river. The struggle also promotes joint action that reflects a shared living space belonging to all. The association includes members from Majdal Krum, Maayanot, Deir al-Assad, Tzurit, Gilon, Tuval and Karmiel. They are trying to break down walls between Jews and Arabs while promoting ideas of sustainability. Some 15 academics have joined the struggle, as have associations like Environmental Defense, Tsalul and Shatil. This collective community struggle has yielded results: in 2017 there is a government plan to pump the sewage water from Dir al-Assad to the waste water treatment facility in Karmiel.
We traveled through Karmiel and saw there the situation of the Bedouin village of Ramia which has found itself trapped among city neighborhoods without an appropriate solution to the plight of its inhabitants.
We ended the tour in a meeting with Mr. Liti Ghnaim, an engineer and environmental consultant for the Albatof / Emek Beit Natofa area. Ghnaim told us about the challenges to promoting sustainable agriculture in the valley, despite the fact that they have been attempting to bring proposals that will both allow farmers to practice sustainable agriculture and protect the environment. However, they have faced repeated refusals from the establishment that their proposals will harm the environment. They have not given up the struggle.
We finished our tour with a delicious lunch at the Rubian restaurant at Yovalim junction.