Environmental concerns will be a decisive issue in this January’s upcoming
election as the country looks forward to taking care of its future generations,
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund Chairman Efi Stenzler told The
Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“The environment is the most important thing
for the next generation,” Stenzler said, during an interview at his Jerusalem
office. “And as long as the country becomes more developed, this issue becomes
While many countries around the world still may not care
about what happens to the environment – as occurred in the 1960s and ‘70s in
Israel – this is certainly no longer the case in Israel, according to
Environmental protection takes care of the next generation and
supports development efforts for the future, he said.
In order to
contribute to both the protection and development efforts, KKLJNF has been
active since 1901, developing forests and greenery all over Israel with the help
of 45 JNF branches across the Jewish Diaspora, according to Stenzler.
of KKL-JNF’s newest projects that it is trying to push forward is the
development of a canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea. As opposed to
the path from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, this route would contain flat land
and would be ideal for a hydroelectric industry, ultimately supplying
much-needed water to the Israeli and Jordanian Dead Sea regions as well,
“For this project we need all the Jewish people
around the world,” he said.
In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense,
Stenzler said he was happy to see that the fruits of KKL-JNF work provided a
shelter and oases to the soldiers on standby.
“The army stood in our
places and in forests we planted years ago,” he said, noting that the troops
rested under shade as opposed to open space.
While the organization has
already developed many towns and recreation spots for Negev residents as well as
for former Gush Katif evacuees, Stenzler stressed that his teams are trying to
provide additional aid to those affected by the recent turbulence.
this operation our people are now going from one city to another city looking
for what we can do to help create better places for these people,” he
One such ongoing example is the Beersheba Park, which will soon
contain Israel’s second largest lake and will provide a recreational oasis for
southern residents, according to Stenzler.
Meanwhile, KKL-JNF teams have
planted trees all along the border of the Gaza Strip, in order to challenge the
visibility of terrorists launching missiles and rockets to southern Israel, he
“Now before Tu Bishvat we will increase those numbers of
trees,” he said.