Israel: Planting

During Israel's first five decades, a popular activity for visiting dignitaries, tourists and residents has been tree planting. It is an outgrowth of the Zionist plan launched 100 years ago to revive the Holy Land, which was barren after 20 centuries of neglect.

Now Israel is expected to be the only country in the world to end the millennium with more trees than it had the century before.

Israel's forests look peculiar because they come to abrupt ends on the sides of mountains. This is due not to logging, but to the limit on reclamation funds.

For an easy-reading explanation of the role Israel's trees have played in history, there is the book "Trees ... The Green Testament," by Ya'akov Kirschen, priced at $14.95. To obtain copies, contact Vital Media Enterprises, 80 Eighth Ave., Suite 200, New York 10011.

To arrange tree plantings for tour groups, contact the Jewish National Fund, an organization founded in 1901 to reclaim barren lands and improve the environment, (011) 972-2 707-402.

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