The Israeli Food Justice Resolution: Interview with David Krantz

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Thanks to David Krantz, Chairperson and President of the Green Zionist Alliance for participating in this interview about the development of a Food Justice Resolution to be passed through the World Zionist Congress in Israel.

What is the Green Zionist Alliance? What is its mission?

Based in New York, the Green Zionist Alliance strives to connect the Diaspora with Israel’s environment. We work to support Israeli environmental nonprofits, and by appointing GZA members, such as Dr. Alon Tal to the board of Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (KKL), we help to green Israel by shaping the environmental policy of one of Israel’s largest organizations.

What is the World Zionist Congress and how is the GZA involved?

The World Zionist Congress was founded by Theodor Herzl in 1897. Today it is a democratically elected voice for world Jewry that helps decide the policy of KKL, the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization. The GZA is the only environmental organization to ever participate in the World Zionist Congress, and we propose legislation that helps green Israel. For example, at the last Congress, we passed a resolution that will lead to the development of a recycled-paper industry in Israel. This
year, we’d like to bring food-justice issues to the Zionist table.

What is currently happening with food and agriculture in Israel that influenced the GZA’s decision to develop a food-justice resolution?

The KKL spends about 15 million shekels annually on agricultural research, but virtually none of that money is dedicated to sustainable-agriculture practices. And access to food is a big issue in Israel as well. According to the Israeli organization Latet, more than 200,000 families in Israel suffer from nutritional insecurity. The team that works on the resolution will have the opportunity to research ways that we can help these and
other food-justice issues through the World Zionist Congress.

What is the process for passing a resolution through the WZC?

After we’ve written the resolution, we can present it for a vote at the Congress. For the resolution to pass, it needs to be approved by a majority of the worldwide delegates in attendance. Most American delegates come from the Zionist arms of the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements. Other American organizations with delegates are the Reconstructionist movement, Herut, Russian American Jews for Israel, Hatikva (Ameinu, Meretz, Habonim Dror, Hashomer and UPZ), Bnai Zion and World Confederation of United Zionists, Baltimore Zionist District, and the Zionist Organization of America.

How can people help participate in writing this resolution?

We are in the process of assembling a food-justice resolution team. If you’re interested, please contact me at chairperson [at] greenzionism [dot] org. Or, if you are just interested in the Green Zionist Alliance, you can check out our other programs at www.GreenZionism.org.

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