Below is an e-mail we received the other day with good news from Tel-Aviv -- the animals now have a voice in their municipal council! We have been in touch with Julian of Letet Lihyot for some time now, helping in any way we can. Their results are to be applauded. We must remember that when things seem bleak for the animals, there are good people out there, doing all that can be done to make this world more compassionate.
Pursuant to our discussion last Thursday, please send me any pertinent information you may have with regard to Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Projects. Additionally, please find a short summary of the recent success achieved by “Latet Lihyot” in the Tel Aviv municipal elections held on the 11th of November 2008:
The founder of “Latet Lihyot” is advocate Reuven Ladianski, who up until recently served as the CEO and legal counsel for “Let the Animals Live”, the biggest and most well known non profit animal welfare society in Israel. Following years of imperviousness on the part of the authorities, Reuven decided that the time had come to try and make a change from within the system, since it has become clear that only that route of action will we able to make a significant improvement in animal rights issues in Israel. Therefore, he resigned his post at "Let the Animals Live", and founded the “Latet Lihyot” organization (* translated into Hebrew “Let Live” - written in Hebrew, it could also mean “Give to the Animals”), with the purpose of running in the 2008 Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal elections.
The manifest of the “Latet Lihyot” organization contains various provisions based on, inter alia, the following principles: (1) the Promotion and enforcement of Animal Rights and welfare in Tel Aviv- Jaffa; (2) Educating people to love animals and protect the environment, with the emphasis on enlightening people as to the positive affects animals, and caring for animals, has on the lives of those that do so; and (3) Environmental issues and urban planning. With scarce funds, “Latet Lihyot” based its election efforts mainly on numerous volunteers who were willing to donate their time and expertise in an effort to raise awareness amongst animal lovers vis-à-vis the new party and what it stands for.
The campaign effort was promoted via numerous means such as distributing fliers all over Tel Aviv and utilizing the internet as much as possible, and also included various original methods of campaigning such as setting up “Latet Lihyot” water/food stands in and around the coffee shops of Tel Aviv for street cats and dogs and posters stuck upon the inside of trash bins but to name a few. Concurrently, Reuven assembled a list of well known, highly talented and experienced animal lovers from various walks of life who were willing to join him in the “Latet Lihyot” candidate list for the elections, including Prof. Orzion Bretna, amongst other things a university professor and prize winning author, Dr. Ronny Redo, an experienced zoologist and initiator of numerous animal related projects, Dafna Rechter, a well known actress and others. The willingness of those volunteers and candidates, along with the tireless efforts of Reuven and his close assistants, Jonathan Shpigel and Nofar Nohi, amongst others, were to pay great dividends.
The Tel Aviv municipal elections were held on the 11th of November, 2008 and after a massive effort by “Latet Lihyot” activists on the election day itself, the results were received with great excitement – “Latet Lihyot” had achieved its goal of making history – the first animal rights party in Israel to be elected to municipal government! Latet Lihyot received no less than 6,263 votes, constituting 4.51% of the total votes (!!!), and by doing so obtained one (1) of the thirty one (31) seats available on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipal Counsel, therefore enabling Reuven to take his place on the city counsel. Indeed, “Latet Lihyot” were just 326 votes (!!!) short of obtaining a second seat. Since then, Reuven has joined the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal coalition and, in doing so, obtained numerous groundbreaking commitments from the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Mr. Ron Holdai, in connection with the promotion of animal welfare projects in the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Reuven has begun representing the animals of Tel Aviv-Jaffa on the city counsel and is currently exploring the feasibility of a number of potential projects that shall no doubt be initiated in the very near future.
On behalf of “latet Lihyot”, I wish to thank you for all your help during the election period and hope to cooperate with you further in the future.