Bulgarian Prime Minister Plants Tree TOP1.
(photo credit: KKL)
"Human beings have many ways of
expressing closeness and friendship – a handshake, a smile, a pat on the back.
In our tradition, the way to demonstrate a connection is by planting a
tree." KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler was speaking at
Jerusalem's Forest Grove of the Nations, where the Prime Minister of the
Republic of Bulgaria, the Honorable Boyko Borissov,
had come to plant a tree, in the custom of heads of states on official visits
"Before you arrived at the forest
grove," Stenzler continued, "you visited the Yad VaShem Holocaust
Memorial. I would like to take this opportunity to express the Jewish people's
for protecting its Jewish population from the terrible fate of the rest of
European Jewry. We will never forget Dimitar Peshev, the Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Parliament, who influenced the Bulgarian
King and government to refuse German orders to
deport 50,000 Bulgarian Jews.
With the help of the Church,
became the only European country under Nazi occupation that prevented the
destruction of its Jewish population.
"KKL-JNF is 's
largest Green organization. We have planted over 230 million trees in . The
tree you plant here today will offset all the carbon that will be emitted by
one Israeli household over the course of one month. We have also built 212
water reservoirs which store purified effluents and harvest floodwaters for
agricultural use. We are proud to say that the water in these reservoirs now
account for 50% of our agricultural needs. In desert afforestation, I can
safely say that KKL-JNF is the leading world pioneer in this field. We have
successfully planted trees in arid regions where experts said it simply
couldn't be done. All in all, we have no
desire to keep our knowledge and expertise to ourselves. We are more than happy
to share it with other countries. I would like the future to see extensive
cooperation on environmental issues between KKL-JNF and ."
Mr. Borissov, the Bulgarian Prime Minister,
expressed his thanks to Stenzler and to KKL-JNF for the opportunity to plant a
tree in Israel. He laughed and said that if one tree has such a powerful effect
on the atmosphere "we may have to plant a few more trees here before we go
back to .
I am happy to see that you work so hard promoting Green energy. Although we
didn't reach a final agreement about climate change in , I believe it was a good starting
point for future change. I think that if the conference had not taken place
during a global financial crisis, the conference would have been more
"Earlier today, I met Reuven
Rivlin, the Speaker of the Knesset. I was very impressed
by him! He told me that he was a ninth-generation Jerusalemite and said that
his fondest hope was that in another 200 years, would be an even better place to
live in. We express the same hope for and the rest of the world.
We want to leave a better world and a better
for future generations. But as for now, I say, let's get to work planting that
The Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Dimiter Tzantchev, read the Planter's Prayer in
English. The Bulgarian Prime Minister made
enquiries about how the trees are watered and was shown the underground drip
irrigation system. At the conclusion of
the ceremony, graciously emceed by Andy Michaelson, KKL-JNF Head of Protocol & VIP Ceremonies, the Prime Minister was presented
with a certificate in honor of the tree planted in the Grove of Nations. The olive sapling
he planted joins the many trees at the same site planted by other heads of
states, expressing the hope of a greener and better future for ,
and the whole world, as Stenzler had stated.