Howard plants trees in Israel

April 5, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
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Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard took time out during an official visit to Israel to plant trees in the Jewish National Fund’s Australia Park in the Jerusalem Forest.

John Howard and Grahame Leonard plant trees

Howard, accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to Australia, Yuval Rotem, heard Australian JNF president Grahame Leonard point point out in his welcoming speech that the JNF “is probably the oldest environmental organisation in the world”. It was founded 110 years ago.

John Howard said that there had been many trees planted in his name over the years and that there was a John Howard Forest in Israel. He added: “This is the first time I have planted a tree in Jerusalem and I must say I am delighted. In an area of the worl where people are demanding democracy for the first time, Israel stands as an oasis of freedom and democracy. It is difficult for me to understand why certain countries don’t appreciate this fact. Israel may be facing a difficult vote in the United Nations in September and I hope the Australian Government votes in the same manner that the government I led would have voted. I am certain Israel will continue to exist. No-one can force Israel to do anything or go in any direction it doesn’t want to.”

He added: “I feel affection for the Jewish people and the State of Israel and wholeheartedly support you. This has been a wonderful visit.”

Former JNF President Michael Naphtali read the Planter’s Prayer in Hebrew before John Howard planted his tree…and current CEO Rob Schneider translated the prayer into English. Schneider said that Howard, who was Prime MInister from 1996 to 2007, had attended the 100th anniversary of the JNF at Parliament House in Canberra in 2001.

The John Howard Forest is in the Negev near Be’ersheba.

 

Comments

2 Responses to “Howard plants trees in Israel”
  1. Mona Peli says:

    How many villages like Al Arakib been demolished to make way for the John Howard Forest? The excellent SBS programme, “Israel’s Mabo” documents the struggle of the traditional owners of one Negev village whose homes are being demolished time and time again although they have lived on that land for hundreds of years, long before modern-day Israel was even formed.
    Not that one would expect that to bother the author of that other land grab, the NT intervention.

  2. Henoch says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful positive news! John Howard will be blessed. We did put it on our Christian-Zionists Blog: http://bit.ly/gvgRXG

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