Animals at the Kinneret

In the 1990s authorities in Tokyo decided, as a security measure, to remove all public dustbins from train and subway stations. For many years, the tens of millions of Japanese using the greater Tokyo public transportation system daily, could not dispose of their litter. So what did they do? Simple. They carried it with them until they reached the office or home, and disposed of it there. The streets of Tokyo and the train platforms remained spotless.

Last week, the authorities around the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) decided to grant free access to major beaches around the largest lake in Israel for the duration of the Pessach holiday. As expected, many Israelis (estimate: 200,000) seized the opportunity to vacation and picnic on the shores of the Kinneret. Here is what they left behind:

Kinneret1

Kinneret2

Kinneret3

There is a debate in Israel about public access to the beaches of the Kinneret, as many private entities sealed off sections of the beach and started charging for access, allegedly without proper authorisation. I was in favour of opening up most beaches for free access, but after seeing these pictures I’m having second thoughts. If the choice is between allowing the teeming masses in to behave like this, or restricting access by levying entrance fees, I’m inclined to charge for entrance and keep the animals away. Alternatively, allow free access but enforce proper behaviour, à la Singapore.

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