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Israel Recovers From National Tragedy

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In early December, millions around the world witnessed our nation’s most deadly forest fire on the slopes of Mt. Carmel. Forty-four brave Israelis lost their lives to the flames that engulfed the lush Carmel forest. We are grateful for the help and prayers we received from our friends around the world.

 

As our nation mourns the lives lost in this tragedy, we must also make plans to rebuild the damaged villages and restore the natural resources consumed in the fire. The Carmel National Park lost approximately 5 million trees across nearly 10,000 acres. This area also includes an immense portion of our protected wildlife sanctuary.

 

Our need to replenish this forest is urgent. Immediately following the wake of this disaster, an emergency meeting was held in the Ministry of Tourism with representatives from the Jewish National Fund-USA and the Land of Promise Foundation. We have agreed to begin working together to encourage the planting of trees by both the American Jewish community and Evangelical Christian ministries.

 

The Israel Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, recently stated on the Salem Radio Network, “Israel was created 62 years ago, and we didn’t have many trees. The fact that we suffered this catastrophe is also a sign of our success. We planted those five million trees. If we hadn’t planted those five million trees, there wouldn’t have been a forest fire. But that is not going to in any way deter us. We’re going to go back and we’re going to plant ten million.”

 

Stas Misezhnikov, our Minister of Tourism, asked us to creatively encourage the re-planting of as many trees as possible by the end of the 2011.

 

As you consider standing with Israel, I also hope you will consider investing in the replanting of our National Forest. This is yet another way you can bless Israel.

 

I also hope to you will plan to visit Israel – the land of the Bible – this year. It is a life-changing experience. Once you visit Israel, you will never be the same! 

 

Many Thanks and Shalom,

 

Haim Gutin

Tourism Commissioner

North & South America

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