The certificate presented to the President. At right, Bush's mom plants trees in Israel in the seventies.
It turns out George W Bush left more than just traffic jams in the wake of his visit to Israel this month. Thirty-six new trees will adorn the landscape in Bush's honor, courtesy of the Jewish National Fund, which presented the President with a certificate in honor of the occasion.The Jewish National Fund (JNF), an institution unique to Israel, has planted over 230 million trees in Israel since its founding in 1901. Long before carbon offsets became all the rage, the JNF began planting trees in honor of visiting foreign dignitaries and anyone else who wished to have a tree planted in his name. JNF officials also represented Israel in the recent UN Bali conference on climate change.
While this month Israel celebrates the Jewish Arbor Day, this year is actually one of the sabbatical years mandated by biblical law, meaning that much of the country's land is left fallow (thus Bush's 36 trees will not actually be planted until next fall). Though the law is not taken as literally as it once was, it represents sound ecological principles anchored in the local religion. The union of Jewish religious principles and ecology has become increasingly necessary as awareness of the state of the earth grows in the Jewish State. Check out this video about the Ultra-Orthodox community in Israel and its growing environmental awareness.
For more information about the Jewish National Fund, click here.
Source:: Jerusalem Post