Shimon Peres 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Ever since he was a young man who helped found Kibbutz Alumot in the Lower
Galilee and who lived for several years on Kibbutz Geva in the Jezreel Valley,
President Shimon Peres has had a soft spot for the Galilee and is ready to go
there at the drop of a hat.
This was especially felt during the period in
which he was minister for the regional development of the Galilee and the Negev
from 2006 to 2007.
Despite the intense heat and humidity on Wednesday,
Peres headed north to help launch the Galilee Vineyard Trail. He visited
vineyards, wineries and breweries, saluting those residents who had taken the
initiative to grow grapes and produce wines, beers, cheeses and various regional
After pronouncing the vineyard trail “unique,” Peres said
that he was not sure how many Israelis had been exposed to its charm, rustic
beauty, rural hospitality and wonderful people. If anyone was looking for an
Israeli equivalent to Tuscany he said, this was it.
the new voice for the promotion of domestic tourism, Peres urged the public to
spend a day or two in the area, or to choose the Galilee as a venue for a family
holidays or romantic vacations.
The launching of the vineyard trail took
place that evening in the presence of some 400 tourists. Peres, who toured the
area earlier in the day, remained for the evening’s festivities.
Galilee has in recent years become a place of pilgrimage for wine connoisseurs
who attend the annual international wine festivals in the area.
Galilee, however, is not without its problems. The heads of the local
authorities that hosted Peres discussed some of these issues with
For some people the time spent in wearying climatic conditions might
have been a draining experience, but for 87-year-old Peres, it was all in a
day’s work as he remained as buoyant as ever.