Is Israel actually growing a forest in a desert?

by Phil Schneider

Israel’s former President Shimon Peres described the revolution of the State of Israel as follows. The State of Israel simply lives beyond the laws of nature. Turning the desert green is one of the best examples of this.

Desert terraces, shaded green areas, small tree-filled ponds and drip irrigation are all part and parcel of the KKL – Jewish National Fund plan to turn the desert green. Open yellow spaces are now green. The Land is truly becoming alive. This is important for ecological reasons. Environmentalists from all over the world praise Israel’s work towards reversing the greenhouse effect. The Yatir forest grew to become the largest forest in the entire Land of Israel. The planting began back in 1964. This large forest in the southern Negev desert of Israel is now a major tourist attraction.


David Ben-Gurion not only spoke about the importance of the Negev – Israel’s south. He moved to Israel’s south – to Sde Boker. Today, tourist groups stop by his grave and speak about his dream to bring Israel’s south alive.
Herzl was the one who claimed, “If you will it, it is no dream.” Ben-Gurion extended this idea to the importance of settling Israel’s south.

Since 1985, KKL – JNF literally planted hundreds of thousands of trees around Beer Sheva – Israel’s capital of the South. A green belt all around the city will literally be a forest.

Just like the people of the Land of Israel are like a newborn nation after the Holocaust, so too, the Land of Israel is now newly alive. The analogy is crystal clear.

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