Israelis Go Green for Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat celebrations will span over three days this year, metamorphosing from a tree-planting holiday into an occasion with wider environmental and social significance.

Zafrir Rinat
Zafrir Rinat
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Zafrir Rinat
Zafrir Rinat

The Hiriya former waste dump is certainly an unlikely place for a Tu Bishvat (Israeli Arbor Day) planting ceremony, a holiday that symbolizes the rebirth of nature. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attend a festive planting event on the mountain of waste, as part of a widespread initiative towards environmental renewal.

During the visit, Environmental Protection Ministry officials will present the prime minister with an outline of plans to turn the site into a recycling park. Netanyahu's visit comes just one day after the packaging recycling law was passed, aimed at reducing packaging waste and encouraging repeated use of packaging materials.

Tree planting in NaharayimCredit: Yaron Kaminsky

Tu Bishvat festivities will span over three days this year, metamorphosing
from a tree-planting holiday into an occasion with wider environmental and
social significance.

While many in the Arab community had seen Tu Bishvat in the past as a holiday symbolizing forest expansions intended to strengthen the Jewish hold on the land, groups and organizations are now using it to promote joint Jewish and Arab environmental activity.

Jewish and Arab environmental activists intend to hold a "coexistence Tu
Bishvat" ceremony on Saturday in the Arab village of Um al Kutuf in Wadi Ara.

The Hiriya garbage dump outside of Tel Aviv.Credit: Yuval Tebol

The activists will plant olive trees on a site owned by a family in the village and farmed by the villagers for the past 100 years. The Housing Ministry plans to confiscate the land for the planned ultra-Orthodox town of Harish.

Environmentalists object to building the town, fearing the construction will damage the landscape and forests in the region.

Together with the Jewish National Fund, the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem municipalities will hold events on Sderot Rothschild and in community parks respectively.

The JNF will also hold more conventional Tu Bishvat planting events in large forests. The JNF has clarified that that all Tu Bishvat tree planting is included in the JNF annual planting quota and will not exceed it.

This week JNF workers saved trees that were planted in an expanse near Kiryat Tivon that is slated to be paved and turned into a road. The carob and oak trees were uprooted and transferred with the help of the National Roads Association.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism