06/18/2010 05:21

The four new resolutions were proposed by the Green Zionist Alliance.

The World Zionist Congress voted nearly unanimously in favor of four resolutions Thursday which would significantly improve its – and its subsidiaries’ – environmental practices.

The WZO exerts influence over legacy Zionist organizations like KKL/JNF and The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) in addition to its own organization. The four resolutions were proposed by the Green Zionist Alliance (GZA), which has been a member of the Congress since 2001.

“The four resolutions are meant to support Israel’s environment by calling for concrete steps and staving off the results of climate change,” GZA President and Chairman David Krantz of New Jersey told The Jerusalem Post by phone in between voting.

“KKL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the WZO, and JAFI is a 50 percent subsidiary,” so these resolutions would be binding upon the two organizations and the WZO itself, said Krantz.

“We want them to serve as green models for the rest of Israel,” he added.

The four resolutions address several different aspects of the WZO’s environmental practices. One resolution calls for using energy efficient lighting as well as putting solar panels on the roofs of the buildings. The same resolution also calls for the purchase of alternative fuel models or high fuel efficiency vehicles in the future.

Another resolution calls for implementing environmental education as an integral part of the immigrant absorption process in all JAFI-run absorption centers. Such measures would include starting a community garden at each center, with the one in Beersheba as a model.

“It means putting environmentalism as a key Israeli value,” he said, “We may squabble about politics and religion, but one thing we all agree on is that we care about the land, which means caring for the land.”

As for the other two resolutions, one called for “carbon-mitigating projects in Israel, such as JNF’s Go Neutral program and the Good Energy Initiative .” The other called for reducing meat consumption, since the meat industry has a disproportionately large impact on the climate, as well as buying food from local and organic producers.

“This was the first time that food justice issues were brought to the Zionist table,” Krantz declared.

All of the resolutions were drafted by a team of Israeli and American environmentalists, including noted environmentalist Prof. Alon Tal.