Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Belize Foreign Minister Plants Tree in Aminadav Forest
Belize is a small country that is in the 150th place on the list of countries of the world according to their size, only one place above Israel, which is in 151st place.
Another young olive tree was recently planted in the VIP forest grove in Aminadav Forest, which is located at the foot of the Kennedy Memorial in the Judean Mountains. The tree was planted by the foreign minister of the South American country of Belize, Mr. Wilfred Elrington, who was on his first visit to Israel as part of efforts to strengthen political ties between Israel and Belize.
Belize is a small country that is in the 150th place on the list of countries of the world according to their size, only one place above Israel, which is in 151st place. "We're still bigger than you are," the Belize foreign minister said with a smile in response to this statistic, which was noted by Andy Michaelson, KKL-JNF's Master of Ceremony.
Foreign Minister Elrington came accompanied by the Israeli ambassador to Belize and Ecuador, Mr. Matanya Cohen, and the secretary of the honorary consul of Belize in Israel, Ms. Dafna Friedlander.
"I came here from Mount Herzl, where I learned about one aspect of the Zionist vision, and now I am here to see yet another facet of the realization of this vision. The people of Israel are visionaries," said Foreign Minister Elrington. "KKL-JNF is a leader here in restoring and caring for the environment and what I see proves that there is something special about your people. In Belize, we also protect our environment, particularly our forests. What I will be taking back with me from this visit is the idea of tree planting ceremonies, which we will try to implement in Belize. I am grateful for the opportunity that has been afforded me, and am happy to take part in the noble act of planting trees."
The ceremony was opened by KKL-JNF's Master of Ceremony, Andy Michaelson, who briefly spoke about the importance of planting trees in the Jewish tradition, and on the symbolism of the olive tree in Israeli culture, beginning with the olive leaf that announced the end of the flood, the inclusion of an olive branch in the Seal of Israel, and its being used as a symbol of peace in the beak of the dove.
The visiting foreign minister read the Planter's Prayer in English, and Ambassador Cohen read it in Hebrew. Afterwards, the new olive tree was planted alongside the dozens of trees planted by visiting ministers on other occasions, and Foreign Minister Elrington made sure to water the young sapling.