In the L.A. Weekly cover story about West Hollywood's first of its kind fur ban, several folks were skeptical about its impact on the rest of the world. Well, the Jerusalem Post reported in late July that the Israeli government is considering its own ban on fur sales.

“The text of the bill explains that there is no longer any necessity for fur,” the newspaper reports, “as synthetic fabrics heat much more efficiently, and fur is now simply a fashion item and status symbol.”

Have we heard that line of reasoning somewhere before?

Yes. Animal rights activist Ellen Lavinthal made that same point with the Weekly.

“Are you really worth 100 animals?” Lavinthal asked rhetorically in an interview with us. “What kind of narcissistic person do you have to be to think that you are worth 100 animals? Just for glamour. You can't say it's for warmth — we know there are alternatives. It's just for fashion.”

Israeli politicians had pushed for a ban on fur sales in 2011, but that met heavy opposition. The newest proposal is less stringent and allows for “the sale of fur needed for science or to follow traditional customs or express cultural identity,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

The new bill in Israel just happened to be rolled out around the same time the July 26 Weekly cover story was published. Interestingly enough, Lavinthal's father was a gunrunner for the Israeli underground.

Animal rights activist will undoubtedly be pleased with the newest development.

But it will probably give the fur industry even more incentive to try to kill the West Hollywood law before it goes into effect in September 2013 — fur proponents will not want a precedent set for other countries to follow and threaten their billion-dollar industry.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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