07/09/2012 02:42
“Emergency March to Save the Beaches” to protest of the destruction of the nation’s coasts.

Several hundred activists will embark on a “Emergency March to Save the Beaches” on Tuesday evening, in protest of the destruction of the nation’s coasts.

The demonstration, which will begin at Tel Aviv City Hall and end with a party on Borgoshov Beach, is being organized by environmental groups Green Course; the Israeli Forum for the Preservation of Beaches; the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel; Life and Environment; Adam Teva V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense); Shatil; Wake Up; Green and Blue; and Zalul.

The activists are calling on the cabinet to next Sunday approve an amendment to the Law for the Protection of the Coastal Environment, sponsored by MK Dov Henin (Hadash) and co-sponsored by 18 other lawmakers.

As of Sunday night, a Facebook page for the event had nearly 300 confirmed attendees.

The amendment aims to close a loophole to the Coastal Law, which allows for the implementation of beachside construction plans that were approved before the law went into force in 2004, according to Green Course.

The proposed amendment calls for reexamination of old building plans near beaches to determine whether the land where the projects are planned constitute a natural resource. If the Committee to Save the Coastal Environment, created under the 2004 law, would decide that the land did constitute a natural resource, the developer would be able to build the project farther from the shore instead.

“The coastal strip in Israel is rare land and valuable to every person who wants to find quiet, nature, recreation of vacation,” said Udi Chen, a campaigner for Green Course.

“But precisely because it is so valuable there will always be those who wish to make themselves a private profit and prevent public access to it. This is not fair, and therefore we need a law, since the role of the law is to ensure that there is justice in the way in which our shared life is conducted as a society.”