Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plants a tree in the Jerusalem Hills.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
It was after an official tour of Israel, together with 7 US Attorney Generals from 7 other states, when Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton and his wife Angela arrived at the KKL-JNF planting site at the Kennedy Memorial outside Jerusalem to plant a tree. Mr. and Mrs. Paxton were accompanied by their friends from Dallas, Jimmy and Hava Mcclintok.
The guests were welcomed by KKL- JNF Chief of Protocol Andy Michelson, who spoke to them about KKL-JNF, and revealed that Israel is the only country on the planet which had more trees at the end of the 20th century than at the start.
“The organization was founded in 1901 for the sole purpose of developing this country. Already then we started planting trees, and that was long before it became trendy. To date we have planted over 240 million trees, that is, some 17,000 per week, every week. 80% of Israel’s forests were planted by hand. Members of the US Forestry Service come to us to learn how to plant trees in arid conditions, and they teach us how to combat forest fires.”
The Texas Attorney General was very curious to understand the status of KKL-JNF in Israeli law, especially concerning the vast tracts of land owned by the organization, and the services which it provides to the public at no cost. Andy Michelson told him about the covenant made between KKL-JNF and the government, and the establishment of the Israel Lands Administration.
Paxton read aloud the Planter’s Prayer, after which he and his wife planted a carob sapling. He said that planting trees was not new to him.
“I grew up in a farming community in California where I planted many fruit trees. It’s really cool for me to do it here in Israel and leave something behind that will hopefully outlive me.”
Read more about the tree planting with the Texas Attny. General and see photos