Untreated latrine and sewage release in OccupyTLV

Human Rights Alert (NGO) סייג לזכויות האדם
Joseph Zernik, PhD ד"ר יוסף צרניק
123456xyz@gmail.com; 6133301 ת"ד 33407 , ת"א

April 12, 2014
Mr Revuen Zluf
Deputy CEO, Tel Aviv Municipality
By email and by fax

RE: Untreated latrine and sewage release by “State Persons” in
OccupyTLV camp.

Dear Mr Zkuf:
For about a year I am signed on the permit for the OccupyTLV camp. In
my first meeting in this regard with Mr Yacov Drachman, Neighborhood
Manager, he clarified to me of his own initiative that building latrines and
showers by the camp people, not by the Municipality, is strictly prohibited.
Such conduct is an obvious fundamental public health problem.
At the same time, an Iraqi Muslim family, which has nothing to do with the
OccupyTLV camp; and was apparently implanted at the front of the
OccupyTLV camp by State authorities, operates here for about a year a
private, untreated latrine and a private shower.
This morning, sewage was released by this family, which flooded
neighboring tents.
The tent most affected by the sewage flooding happens to belong to an
IDF invalid from the Second Lebanon War.
My attempt to explain to the Iraqi man that their conduct is unreasonable,
was answered by expletives.
It should be noted that Tel Aviv Municipality Inspectors, who routinely
inspect the tents of the OccupyTLV people, skip this family, which clearly
violates the restrictions placed on OccupyTLV people. Municipality
Inspectors explained to me that this family was exempt, since they were
“State Persons”.
I request immediate action by the Tel Aviv Municipality to eliminate this
serious health hazard in a public park and the OccupyTLV camp.
Needless to say, State authorities should find adequate solutions for
“State Persons”.

Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)
1) City Council Members
2) Architect Sharon Rotbard, Bezalel Art School
3) Members of Knesset
4) Social Protest activist


Michelle Hites / Why Israelis make the worst tourists (Haaretz)

Here is an opinion article published in Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, by Michelle Hites, a Chilean student at SABA Spring 2013, who expresses her deep concern about Israeli Backpackers' (mis)conduct in South America  
(Hebrew edition: http://www.haaretz.co.il/opinions/.premium-1.2290662)

As an active member of the Jewish community in Chile, a small minority making up only 0.1% of our country's population, far too often I have had to step up and defend you, Israeli tourists, as well as other Jews visiting here. I have been part of different Jewish groups and organizations all whom have seen their members waste energy, time and money trying to “clean-up” Israel’s image. I am tired, and I believe I am not the only one.

When you, Israelis considering travelling to Latin America, talk to your compatriots who have made a similar trip, you have probably heard or read more than once about Israelis who have been thrown out of a national park, or refused accommodation; they may have mentioned the lack of help from local residents and other difficulties they might have experienced during their post-army trip.

Every month there are more and more headlines, Facebook statuses, and blogs mentioning Israeli tourists. Sadly, they don’t describe Israelis as harmless, friendly and sociable tourists, but as harmful, aggressive, unsociable, disrespectful ones. They demonstrate an astonishing lack of education and respect.

December 2011: An Israeli was arrested on suspicion of having started a forest fire in Torres del Paine that consumed 16,000 hectares of land. November 2012: Two Israeli tourists were thrown out of the park for camping in an unauthorized area - a protected wilderness between Refugio Grey and Campamento Guardas, even after they had signed a document clearly indicating that this was forbidden.

December 2012: Five Israelis were expelled from the Torres del Paine for illegally lighting a fire. The same month, four Israelis were kicked out of the park for ignoring the ranger’s instructions and provoking a disturbance in the camping area. 

To this we can add the naked Israeli posing for pictures in Machu Picchu, a sacred place for the Inca; Israelis “forgetting” bullets in their backpacks while traveling to India; and –most recently - the orgy-party in Mulluqocha, a Peruvian archeological park, where 60 Israelis were found with drugs, alcohol, spray paint and loud music, as well as 21 ancient Incan ceramic pieces. I could continue.

Hatred towards Jews, political campaigns tinged with anti-Semitic, and conspiracy theories positing Israeli backpackers as 'scouts' checking out land in South America to establish a new Jewish state (the notorious 'Plan Andinia') are long-term staples of life in the Diaspora - but they are growing. That is why we do hasbara and why we fight anti-Semitism all over the world.
I know that many Jews around the world (including Israelis) do their utmost to transmit a good and positive image of Israel, but when this is followed up by young Israeli tourists flouting legal and cultural norms, it neutralizes the hours of work put into this.

I have been to Israel several times and I resent the lack of “please” and “thank you,” but this goes a step further. When you come to Latin America, or visit other countries around the world, remember one thing, Israeli tourists: This is not your country. You are in someone else’s home.
An Israeli tourist is an ambassador, but undoubtedly they are creating more harm than good to Jewish communities abroad. Israeli tourists, when you're planning your big trip, please, remember that you go back to Israel, but we are the ones that stay and have to deal with the aftermath you have left, and we are tired.

Michelle Hites is an architecture student and an active member of the Jewish community in Santiago, Chile.