quote:ISRAEL PULSE Likud offers vegans a new political home Mordechai Goldman September 15, 2019
One of the significant electoral reserves that has recently appeared on the radar of Israeli political parties are vegans and vegetarians. Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics show that among those ages 18-64 in Israel, 5% are vegan and 5% are vegetarian. These are about half a million Israelis — representing a potential 15 seats in the Knesset — who are aware and concerned about the suffering of animals. In part as a result of all the Israeli restaurants and markets offering vegan and vegetarian food, several magazines and newspaper around the world have crowned the country as the Vegan Nation.
In the 2019 campaigns, it seems that one party has succeeded in controlling the vegan discourse in Israel, by means of an especially vocal spokeswoman, the activist Tal Gilboa. In June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Gilboa his adviser for promoting animal rights and welfare. The person responsible for this unique appointment was Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, who is vegan himself, and has befriended Gilboa.
Gilboa, who was even considered for a spot on the Likud’s list for the Knesset, is totally committed to the party’s campaign. She enthusiastically shares her political activities and diligently recruits supporters for the party. On Sept. 12 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Gardens, she led the launch of the “Likud headquarters for animals,” and in recent weeks the party also published a video where vegans declare that, following Gilboa’s appointment, they will vote for the Likud.
“The Likud is the home of vegans in Israel,” Gilboa told Al-Monitor. “There’s no other party that did as much for the sake of animals. You have to listen to all the party leaders. None of them, other than Netanyahu, takes account of animals. The very fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu, who cares about so many things and is preoccupied by so many matters, is also concerned about animal — I salute him for that!” Gilboa said her closeness to the prime minister allows her to act for the sake of animals and promote steps that haven’t been done in Israel for many years. “As the prime minister’s adviser, I have direct access to most of the ministers. Not 'send me a fax' or 'set up a meeting with my secretary.' I simply text them directly, and promote huge steps in the field. As far as I’m concerned, such access to power does not go without saying.”
As a person who has been a REAL vegetarian (one who does not eat fish or fish oil supplements) for a long time, I salute these developments.
It is very telling that the spiritual centers of the world (India, Nepal, Israel) are the most vegetarian (Israel is the most vegan nation), and the reason for the vegetarianism has absolutely nothing to do with health (I am one who think health takes a hit by vegetarianism, but I am one regardless), but only for humanity toward animals.
PETA gets attacked in the west, but in Israel (especially starting around 2006), it has had a massive impact. It has been reported that 13%-15% are vegetarian in Israel, but the best data still support the 10% number. It was only 2% in 2005.
It is news that this has become a political issue.
(I always wonder if the discovery of the James Ossuary has a little to do with the animal-rights climate in Israel. There does seem to be a revival of the old - dead - Ebionite Jewish Christian movement in Israel, and Israel, alone. According to reports, anyway.)