Papua New Guinea PM Plants a Tree in Jerusalem
“Planting a tree symbolizes that the world has a future and that we all have life,” said the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill at the planting ceremony in Jerusalem’s Grove of Nations. Prime Minister O’Neill has now joined the august ranks of dozens of leaders from all over the world who have planted olive trees in this special plot in Jerusalem Forest.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his entourage arrived at the Grove of Nations after a visit to the nearby Yad VaShem memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which overlooks the planting site. “This is a moving day for us all,” said the visiting prime minister. “It’s heartening to see how the State of Israel is growing and flourishing, and we are grateful for having been given the opportunity to share and participate in this.”
Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Defense Minister and Minister of Agriculture were also members of their country’s delegation on this visit to Israel. KKL-JNF’s Board of Directors was represented at the ceremony by Andy Michelson, the organization’s Chief of Protocol, and KKL-JNF representative Jana Marcus presided over the ceremony.
Andy Michelson exemplified the importance of tree-planting in Jewish tradition by quoting the midrash (commentary) that says: 'If you are busy planting a tree and someone comes and tells you that the Messiah has arrived, you must finish planting before setting out to welcome him."