President Peres at the 2014 Arava Open Day
Israeli President Shimon Peres attended the 2014 Arava Open Day Agricultural Exhibition, which took place place at the Arava Research and Development Station on Tu Bishvat, which this year fell on January 16. This was the 23rd time that the agricultural fair, which is the largest in Israel, is taking place, with over 30,000 visitors from Israel and abroad.
"The Arava is a place that shows what the world could be, not what it is. If one were to look for the most unlikely place for agriculture, they would end up in the Arava, where there is no fertile land and no water, but only harsh climatic conditions. The success we see here today was accomplished not by monetary investments, but by investing in people," said President Shimon Peres.
"If, instead of looking back, Lot's wife would have kept going forward, she would have become a daughter of the Arava rather than a pillar of salt," President Peres quipped. "Whenever I visit the Arava, I am filled with optimism and belief. I am an optimist not because I believe in this plan or that plan, but because I believe in believing. I am an optimist because when I come to the Arava, I see how people have taken one of the most pessimistic places on earth and transformed it into a true light unto the nations, by growing amazing crops, developing water sources and greening the desert. Israel symbolizes the success of belief."
Read more about the Arava Open Day Agricultural Exhibiton
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