Israel’s President & PM Inaugurate KKL-JNF Tu BiShvat Event

Yesterday (January 24th, 2010) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu planted a cypress tree in Maaleh Adumim. Hundreds of guests – including a delegation of KKL-JNF USA leaders, led by CEO Russell Robinson, pupils from local schools, members of local youth organizations,

By KKL
January 25, 2010 16:17
3 minute read.
President

President. (photo credit: President)

 
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On January 20th, 2010 President Shimon Peres inaugurated this year’s Tu BiShvat events at a ceremony held at the presidential residence with the participation of KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, who told those assembled: “In the course of this year’s Tu BiShvat events KKL-JNF will plant some 650 thousand trees over an area of around 50 thousand dunam (approx 12,500 acres) of forest, park and woodland.” Stenzler added that during the past 100 years KKL-JNF had planted around 240 million trees; iis speech President Peres said that he could still recall the planting of the first million.

The tree planted ionor of Tu BiShvat was added to the garden of the presidential residence, which is maintained by KKL-JNF with the help of its Friends worldwide.The gardens of the presidential residence are a symbol of the Land of Israel and every year, tens of thousands of people enjoy the gardens at the presidential residence during events and receptions.

Yesterday (January 24th, 2010) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu planted a cypress tree in Maaleh Adumim. Hundreds of guests – including a delegation of KKL-JNF USA leaders, led by CEO Russell Robinson, pupils from local schools, members of local youth organizations, Members of Knesset, the Mayor of Maaleh Adumim and heads of local councils throughout Judea and Samaria – gathered in a large marquee set up in the park situated in the valley at the foot of the Maaleh Adumim hills.

“We are here, and here we shall remain. We shall build here, because this is an integral part of the State of Israel,” declared Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the sound of applause from his audience. “Gush Etzion, Ariel and Maaleh Adumim are three settlement blocs that will be part of the State of Israel under any future agreement. The rest of the world is also beginning to understand this.”

Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashariel thanked the Prime Minister for his decision to take part in the town’s main Tu BiShvat ceremony, which many years ago became the KKL-JNF festive occasion. “You planted the first tree here fifteen years ago,” he said. “We who live here serve as the guardians of the eastern walls of . Without us, would be in danger of suffocation.” Kashariel expressed special thanks to KKL-JNF and all its workers for having planted trees around Maaleh Adumim over the course of many years, creating a forest that the residents enjoy in their leisure time; he likewise thanked the youth movements for their nature activities. “Despite the pressure from the , you are here today planting a cypress,” Kashariel told the Prime Minister. Maaleh Adumim’s woodlands and park were established with the help of KKL-JNF Friends in and .

Iis speech at the ceremony, KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler said that the Tree for Every Resident project initiated by Prime Minister Netanyahu was already taking shape, thanks to country-wide cooperation between KKL-JNF and ’s local authorities. “I should like to express special thanks to the Prime Minister for his initiative for the planting of trees next to every Israeli home and in every Israeli yard. KKL-JNF promises to be a loyal partner in this welcome enterprise.

Stenzler described the extent of the infrastructure work and planting carried out by KKL-JNF in and around Maaleh Adumim over the years, the most important of which was the construction of terraces to prevent the meager rainfall from flowing away downhill too quickly. “Thanks to these terraces trees in Maaleh Adumim enjoy 2,000 millimeters of water annually, even though the average annual rainfall is only 300 millimeters,” he said. “Everything possible is done to trap the rainwater and channel it towards planted areas.” Stenzler added that also thanks to Prime Minister Netanyahu's initiative, a 20-kilometer cycle trail established around the circumference of the town.

For security reasons the Prime Minister planted the first cypress within the temporary compound at the marquee. On both sides of one of ’s main paths hundreds more saplings awaited other participants. Once the ceremony was over, everyone went out enthusiastically to take part in the festive planting throughout the park, where hundreds of KKL-JNF flags marked each sapling waiting to be planted. 

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