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    Parties present environmental agedna
    With the elections just two days away, Ynet explores the various parties' positions on environmental issues

    Environmental issues have been largely marginalized during the short 2012-2013 elections campaign, despite them having a profound impact on our everyday lives.

     

    With the elections just two days away, Ynet explored the parties' various green platforms in an effort to understand how – if at all – they plan to effect change.

     

    The joint Likud-Beiteinu ticket: The Likud, which is poised to win the coming elections, has no solid green platform to speak of. Nevertheless, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan was instrumental in promoting green legislation during the outgoing Knesset term, and his ministry has been able to secure funding for various environmental projects, such as a national recycling venture, the Dead Sea salt harvest and the emission reduction program.

     

    The government has been criticized for failing to back renewable energy programs, and for aggressively pushing the land reform, which according to environmental groups threatens Israel's open spaces.

     

    Yisrael Beiteinu, however, has presented an environmental platform, which details measures the party wants to take to conserve open spaces, reform the public transportation system and addressing the water crisis via promoting the development of desalination and water reclamation facilities.

     

    The party has also pledged to pursue legislation that will protect Israel's beaches.

     

    Labor: Labor has pledged to pursue comprehensive environmental legislation, focusing on the public's right to access, enjoy and profit of off Israel's natural resources; as well as promoting energy, water and transportation reforms.

     

    Habayit Hayehudi: The party makes only a general reference to the environmental in its platform, saying it will support clean air and open spaces conservation ventures – as long as the latter does not compromise settlement expansion.

     

    Meretz: Meretz has a very detailed environmental platform, focusing on urban planning, open spaces conservation and the fair distribution of natural resources' revenue.

     

    The party also says it will promote a public transportation reform that will see it operate seven days a week; as well as ventures promoting clean air, water and animal welfare.

     

    Shas: The ultra-Orthodox party has no detailed green platform, but it says it believes is the preservation of nature as part of the protection of the Holy Land. The conservation of greenery and wildlife has a profound Jewish meaning as part of protecting God's creation, the party says, adding it will pursue legislation to that effect.

     

    Kadima: Kadima introduces a seven-point environmental plan in its platform: The conservation of open spaces, protecting public beaches, an energy industry reform, promoting water quality and water reclamation projects, promoting green consumerism and protecting animal welfare via legislation.

     

    Yesh Atid: The party's platform focuses on the need to increase the use and development of renewable energy sources and protect water and air quality; as well as the need to develop environmentally-friendly public transportation and protecting animal rights.

     

    Hatnua: Hatnua's environmental platform states that it will pursue the legislation of "basic law: the environment"; as well as present a master-plan for the energy industry and promote a public transportation reform.

     

    Hadash: Hadash was considered the "green-marker" of the 18th Knesset. The party has a very detailed green platform, the highlights the need to protect the environment and embrace the principles of environmental justice.

     

    The party pledged to fight any financial interests that spell the destruction of the environment for mere profit and to protect communities in the vicinity of industrial areas. Hadash also wants to subject the IDF and all military industries to environmental laws.

     

    United Torah Judaism, Balad and United Arab List-Ta'al have no environmental platform.

     

     

     

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    Final Stretch
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    Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
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