The Reforestation Of Israel: One Of The Greatest Environmental Success Stories

UPDATE: Sderot rocketed repeatedly overnight by missiles fired by Palestinian terrorists in Islamist Hamas Gaza. The continuing assault has not even made the mainstream Israeli news. The IDF, as usual, has done nothing to stop the attacks.


This is a picture that your humble servant took in November from the top of Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem looking eastward toward the Dead Sea which is on the horizon to the right. Take a good look at the terrain of Judea--the Judea populated by Palestinian Arabs--after the tree line. You will notice that it has been totally denuded: not one tree, few shrubs, few plants. This denuding is result of Arab flocks intensely overgrazing the land.

Pine tree seedlings being taken for planting in 1937 at Kibbutz Ein Hashofet (in central Israel)

Tu Bishvat began at sundown last night (Tuesday) in Israel and continues through sundown tonight (Wednesday). It is a holiday to celebrate the Earth, and tradition calls on all Jews to eat a copious amount of fruits and nuts. There is also a tradition to plant something–literally anything–such as flowers, bushes, or trees.

Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion planting trees with kindergarten children on Tu Bishvat 1963.

For example, this year Tel Aviv’s Beautification Division supplied 30,000 seedlings (including potted herbs, vegetables,  shrubs, and small trees) to community gardens, schools and other institutions throughout the city for planting today. These seedlings will be planted by students in kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior and senior high schools as well as volunteers at community centers.

Your humble servant has always had a special affinity for trees and is in great admiration for what different Israeli organizations have done to establish forests all over the country. For example, the Jewish National Fund has a Tu Bishvat offer today that for every tree that you plant in Israel, you will be entered in a raffle to win two round trip El Al tickets to Israel (click here). Another website through which you can order a tree to be planted in Israel isTrees For the Holy Land“.

Since 1900, almost 250,000,000 trees have been planted in all regions of Israel from the Golan and Galilee in the north to the Negev in the south.

Kibbutzniks planting trees at Kibbutz Beeri in the Negev Desert in 1947 (note how the trees were being watered by the horse drawn water tank)

Here is a picture of the same Kibbutz Beeri today:

The Zionist reforestation of Israel–after centuries of Arabic denuding the land of trees, shrubs, and plants–is one of the greatest and most underpublicized environmental success stories on the planet. Israel is the only country in the world that ended the 20th century with more trees than it had in the year 1900.

One of Israel's many forests today.

What have you done for Israel today? How about planting a tree?

Hag Sameach (Happy Holiday)! Happy Tu Bishvat!


On February 8, 2002, four Palestinian terrorists (aged 14-16) stabbed Moranne Amit (25) of Kibbutz Kfar Hanasi to death as she was strolling on the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood on a lovely Friday afternoon.

On February 8, 2005, Palestinian PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared a truce to end four years of Middle East violence.

That truce lasted for about 5 seconds–as does every truce with the Palestinians such as the one supposedly in place now (note the israelstreet breaking news today).


This entry was posted in News and tagged 1937, 1947, 250 million, 30000, Abbas, afternoon, arabic, armon hanatziv, attacks, beautification, ben gurion, breaking news, bushes, celebrate, centuries, children, community centers, community gardens, dead sea, denuding, desert, division, does nothing, Earth, eat, ein hashofet, el al, elementary schools, end of century, environment, environmental, february 8 2002, february 8 2005, flowers, friday, fruits, galilee, Gaza, golan, great, hamas, horse drawn, IDF, islamist, Israel, Israeli, israelstreet, isreal, jaffa, Jerusalem, jewish national fund, jews, Judea, junior high school, kfar hanasi, kibbutz, kibbutz beeri, kindergarten, middle east, moranne amit, more trees, Mt. Scopus, negev, neighborhood, news, north, nuts, only country in the world, overgrazing, overnight, Palestinian, pine, plant a tree, plant something, potted herbs, prime minister, promenade, qassam, raffle, reforestation, repeatedly, rocket, schools, sderot, seedlings, senior high school, sharon, sherover, shrubs, small trees, south, special offer, stab, story, stroll, success, sundown, tel aviv, terrorists, this date in israeli history, to death, to stop, tradition, trees, trees for the holy land, truce, tu b'shevat, tu beshvat, tu bishvat, two round trip tickets, underpublicized, vegetables, volunteers, water, water tank, what have you done for israel today, win, Zionist. Bookmark the permalink.

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