Israel Environmental Issues

Ask any environmentally aware and informed person what are Israel's critically important environmental issues and they will no doubt all come up with more or less the same list. But if you ask them to arrange the issues in order of priority you will probably get as many opinions as you have participants. This is not unexpected because not only is Israel's list of environmental problems large, but there are so many factors to be considered that priorities are, to a great extent, in the eye of the beholder and depend on the particular area with which they are in personal contact. Therefore I have listed the topics here alphabetically and not according to any particular priority; they are simply the issues at stake.



For the first three or four decades of its existence, Israel was overwhelmingly concerned with the development of the emergent state, and quite understandably, national security, infrastructure and economic development took precedence over all other considerations. As a result, very little attention was paid to the changes that were taking place in the environment as a result of all this activity. Real attention to environmental concerns has really only began to come about during the last 25 years or so, slowly gaining more and more attention but even so, still low enough in the list of national priorities that it was only in the last elections that concern for the environment formed a part of the platform of any party running for national election. Even so, the Ministry for the Environment remains one of the least sought posts in the cabinet, and it is usually reserved as a reward for some party stalwart to whom the prime minister owes a post.

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