For many people, Israel is an easy place to be disenchanted by. However, every once and a while, a story—even a small one—emerges that highlights the best of the country and its possibilities. Take, for example, a story in the Jerusalem Post yesterday about a Knesset bill that would forbid the sale of fur in Israel. Here are the great things about this bill:
The most salient part is that it’s inclusive: The law would still allow the sale of fur needed for science as well as for traditional use—meaning fur could used to make the shtreimels that haredi men wear to express their religious identity and follow their customs. Previous versions of the bill failed because it didn’t make provisions for shtreimels.
The second positive is the coalition involved in the creation of the bill:
The bill, drafted by MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) in conjunction with the Israel-based International Anti-Fur Coalition, received the support of eight Knesset members from across the political spectrum—Tirosh, Eitan Cabel (Labor), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Yoel Hasson (Kadima), Dov Henin (Hadash), Miri Regev (Likud), Nino Abesadze (Kadima) and Masud Ganaim (United Arab List).
That’s eight different parties that might never agree on anything else, coming together to work on something they all believe in.
The tertiary bonus (when does one ever get a good chance to use the word tertiary?) is that the law would result in the application of Jewish values into society in a way that is meaningful.
The text of the bill explains that there is no longer any necessity for fur, as synthetic fabrics heat much more efficiently, and fur is now simply a fashion item and status symbol. A ban on the sale of fur within Israel would provide animals protection according to the Animal Welfare Law, and would be in accordance with the values of human compassion and Judaism, the bill text says.
The fourth positive thing is that, if passed (and considering the provisions), Israel would be the first country in the world to ban fur. While there have citywide bans before, no country has ever banned the sale of fur.
And the fifth good thing is that it’s way too hot in that part of the world to rationally wear fur and, accordingly, anything that might tamp down the instability over there would be welcomed. Let’s just hope it passes.