hungarian pm tree.
(photo credit: )
Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai planted an olive tree in The Grove of Nations in the Jerusalem Forest, during his recent visit in Israel.
This is the first-ever visit of the Hungarian Prime Minister in Israel and after a tour in Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial, he joint the leaders of countries from all over the world, as the 27th dignitary to plant an olive tree in the KKL-JNF Grove of Nations.
"This tree symbolizes life. After the moving tour of Yad-VaShem, tree planting marks the continuity of life," said the Hungarian Prime Minister. Olive trees are a symbol of peace and the purpose of this visit to Israel is to look for ways to promote peace."
Welcoming the Hungarian Prime Minister on behalf of KKL-JNF, Board member Professor Alon Tal said that "one hundred years ago when the Jewish people started returning to the land, they found a barren country with sparse trees. Even in Jerusalem which in biblical times was completely forested, there were no trees growing. KKL-JNF is leading the tree planting effort in Israel, and we know that also in Hungary significant progress has been achieved in this area. Today, when we are aware of the importance of tree ecology, we realize that trees are not planted just for recreation and industrial timber. Planting forests stimulates an ecological revolution and is part of the rebirth of our people in its land."
KKL-JNF's Director of Protocol & VIP Ceremonies Andy Michelson noted the transition from Yad-Va-Shem which commemorates millions of victims who perished in the Holocaust to the planting site where trees are planted in the soil of Israel - a symbol of life and rejuvenation.
Israel's Ambassador in Hungary Aliza Ben-Nun said "the visit reflects the good ties between the two countries. Tree planting is not only a symbolic act. It is also a way of strengthening bonds between leaders and peoples."
Following the speeches, time had come for the visitors to roll up their sleeves and get to work. The Hungarian premier noted that the last time he'd planted a tree was at the age of 14, though it seems he hadn't forgotten how to do it. After filling the hole, padding the soil over the roots and watering the young sapling, he promised to return to monitor the tree's growth.
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