As a follow-up to my earlier post about cats in Lebanon, I present the Cat Welfare Society of Israel. They provide the usual cat-welfare services, including spay/neutering for strays, adoption, advocacy programs and a sanctuary for cats.
I did not see any news or information about the current conflict, although they do have some about the withdrawal from Gaza last year. There is a bittersweet story as well as a video about cats left behind in the Gaza settlements.
Although video is in Hebrew, it still pulls at heartstrings.
While the story of cats left behind doesn't change my view that evacuating the settlements in Gaza was the right thing (one wonders why Israelis would live there in the first place), it does leave some questions. Were people ordered not to take their pets with them during the evacuations, or were these simply communal animals left behind? Did the violence and chaos caused by some of the more militant settlers and activists make an orderly rescue of the cats more difficult? Did any of the people who poured into Gaza to protest stop to help? Very naive questions, I admit. This article about CWSI and its founder Rivi Mayer discusses a prevailing view among many in Israel of cats as “pests not pets”, and though changing, this article from CSWI documents more recent animosity to cats. I can't say I've really done a lot of independent research on any of this. Nonetheless, for those who support Israel, whether for nationalist or reglious reasons, or something a little more enlightened, a little soul searching never hurts. Especially now, given the recent tragedies surrounding the current war.