"We are now celebrating the Hanukah holiday, which is a time of miracles. In Israel, if something is not miraculous, it seems somewhat strange. One of the miracles is changing the climate in a positive way, which can be accomplished by planting trees in the desert." Dr. Leonid Eidelman, the chairman of the Israel Medical Association (IMA), was speaking at a tree planting ceremony that took place on Wednesday, December 12, at the IMA grove in the Dudaim Forest, not far from Beersheva. The forest grove was planted in honor of the IMA's one hundredth anniversary, and was attended by members of the IMA along with visitors from the World Medical Association (WMA), including the chairman, Dr. Cecil Wilson.
Dr. Eidelman told the audience that by planting trees in the desert, they had now become part of the Israeli narrative. "If you look at the side of the hill, you can see trees that were planted here about a year ago. You can imagine what the trees you planted today will look like twenty years from now."
The ceremony was graciously emceed by Mr. Michael Ben Abu, KKL-JNF Israel Fundraising Department director. "Only eleven years separate between the years in which KKL-JNF and the IMA were founded," Ben Abu said. "I am very glad that 100 years after the IMA began its activities and 111 years after KKL-JNF came into being, our paths have once again crossed. I am even happier that Dudaim Forest is the site of this historic encounter. There could be no better place, because by planting trees in the desert, you are helping to cure the earth of a very severe disease that continues to plague it - global warming."
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