Quotes on the preservation of Israel's environment
"We have come to our homeland in order to be planted in our natural soil from which we have been uprooted, to strike our roots deep into its life-giving substances, and to stretch out our branches in the sustaining and creating air and sunlight of our homeland. … And when you, O human, will return to Nature, that day your eyes will open, you will stare straight into the eyes of Nature and in its mirror you will see your image. You will know… that when you hid from Nature, you hid from yourself. … We, who have been torn away from nature, who have lost the savor of natural living — if we desire life, we must establish a new relationship with nature."
"And it shall come to pass that on that day, O child of Adam, that you shall receive a new spirit, you shall feel a new feeling, a new hunger — not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for money, but for labor. You will find delight in every labor and in every deed that you do., like the delight you take in eating and drinking. On that day, you will take care to make labor pleasurable and appealing, like you now take care to make your food appealing, and like you know take care to increase the fruit of your labor — money. Most of all, though, you will take care to do all your labor and all your deeds in the midst of Nature, in the midst of the Boundless Space of the World. That is how you will do your work in the field and that is how you will do your work in the house, for that is how you will build your house. And it shall come to pass when you work at your labor, that the spacious expanse of the universe will be your workplace, and you and nature the workers. The two of you will be of one heart and of one spirit. … On that day, the fruit of your labor, child of Adam, will be: Life. For there will be life within your labor. … On that day, child of Adam, you will know Nature, for your eyes and all your senses will be sufficiently clear, your heart sufficiently open, your mind sufficiently deep. On that day, the light of your wisdom and your science will no longer be a cold and terrible light, but it will be a living light, flowing abundantly from all of the worlds. On that day, child of Adam, you will know how to live with Nature, for it will be your will to know."
A.D. Gordon (1856-1922) was born in Lithuania to a religious family. The founder and lead philosopher of the Labor Zionist movement, Gordon moved in 1903 to Israel, where he was a founding member of Kibbutz Degania. After a hard day’s labor on the land, Gordon was known to write his essays by candlelight.
"The establishment of a true community cannot come about unless the agrarian life, a life that draws its strength from the soil, is elevated to a service of God and spreads to other social classes, binding them, as it were, to God and to the soil. The laws of spirit are the laws of the soil, correctly understood; they carry out the dictates of a nature that has become humanized and God-directed. Our revolution, the revolutionary settlement, signifies the elective fulfillment of a task with which our tradition has charged us. We must choose in this tradition the elements that constitute closeness to the soil, hallowing worldliness, and absorption of the Divine in nature; and reject in this tradition the elements that constitute remoteness from the soil, detached rationality, and nature's banishment from the presence of God."
Martin Buber (1878-1965) was born in Vienna and he lived in Germany until he moved to Israel in 1938. His legacy is as a philosopher, mystic, scholar, author, peace activist, translator, socialist, historian and Zionist
“This land is part of me and I am part of it. My American friends laugh when I tell them that the flowers and trees in Central Park seem fake to me.”
"For a long time Zionism embodied an exuberant declaration against the wilderness; it was anti-wasteland, and for ‘making the desert bloom’. … Making the desert bloom meant doing away with the wasteland, erasing the nothingness, exploiting completely all natural resources. We felt that if we succeeded in doing this thing, if we could conquer the wilderness, do away with it, make it bloom — in other words, it we could settle it, build it up, make it not wild, not devoid of human values — then we would have achieved the Zionist dream. … In those empty places there is a slow wisdom that surpasses our hasty wisdom — the same slow wisdom of stalactites in the darkness, working in historical harmony. There is in those empty places more balance than in the things that were created only yesterday in order to satisfy our human needs.”
Quotes on the development of Israel's wilderness
"From the slopes of the Lebanon to the Dead Sea,
"The tasks that lie ahead will require pioneering efforts the likes of which we have never known, for we must conquer and fructify the waste places (in the mountains of Galilee, the plains of the Negev, the valley of the Jordan, the sand dunes of the seashore, and the mountains of Judea) … First of all, we must conquer the sea and the desert, for these will provide us with room for new settlers and will serve as a laboratory for the development of new forms of economic and agricultural endeavor. Unless we conquer both the sea and the desert — by creating Jewish sailors and even Jewish Bedouin tribes — we cannot succeed in the tasks of immigration and resettlement that we must shoulder after the war. … This combination will enable them to find a way of making the wilderness bloom and turning the desert into a place of settled habitation.”
David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) was the first prime minister of the modern state of Israel.
“And now it is my turn for a terrible confession. I object to nature preservation. The very ideal of ‘preservation’ is not acceptable in almost any area of life. We have not come into this world to protect or preserve any given thing, mitzvah, nature or cultural heritage. ... We have not inherited a museum, to patiently wipe off the dust from its displays or to polish the glass. ... Nature also is not a museum. One is allowed to touch, allowed to move, to draw closer, to change and to leave our stamp. ... Touch the stone. Touch the animal. Touch your fellow man. On one condition. How to touch? To answer ‘on one leg’ and in a word I would say: ‘with love.’ ”
“Israel's constantly growing population in the north is running out of space, and the Negev is a massive land reserve waiting to be developed. In the Hebrew calendar 5764 alone, Israel's population grew by 143,000 newborn babies, plus 22,000 new immigrants. Grasp the economic, demographic and geographic realities of Israel, and you will understand the immediate need to develop the Negev. Over the next five years, our goal is to bring 250,000 new residents to the Negev. And over the next ten years, Blueprint Negev will bring over 500,000 people to 100,000 housing sites that will be created in 25 new communities.”
Dr. Alon Tal is Israel’s leading environmentalist. He co-founded the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Green Zionist Alliance.
Israeli Nature Poll
"When a fruit-bearing tree is chopped down, a voice is heard from one end of the world to the other, but it is not audible."
- Pirkei D'Rabbi Elazar 34
Did You Know?
The Dead Sea is a finalist in the contest to name the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Mideast Green News
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New Publication: Dynamic political contexts and power asymmetries: the cases of the Blue Nile and the Yarmouk Rivers...Source and link: International Environmental Agreements Abstract: This paper explores the evolving patterns of hydropolitical relations in the...
Israeli-American Group Invents Breakthrough Way to Really Clean Viruses From Wastewater – Haaretz/ Jerusalem PostHAARETZ Special hydrogel could bring the answer to thirsty cities in a warming world Ruth Schuster Apr 20,...
Six arrested for illegal well drilling in Irbid – Jordan TimesBy Hana Namrouqa – Apr 18,2017 AMMAN — Authorities have arrested six people for drilling an illegal well...
Five water pumping stations to operate on solar power — Water Ministry – Jordan TimesBy Hana Namrouqa – Apr 21,2017 AMMAN — Five of the Kingdom’s main water pumping stations will operate...
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