The Burning Bush

Disaster in the North of Israel, at least 40 dead as fire rages across the Carmel Mountains. A mass evacuation has begun.

The story goes far deeper.  The fire in northern Israel is far from being a coincidence. Israel’s rural landscape is saturated with pine trees. These trees are totally new to the region. They were not there until the 1930’s. The pine trees were introduced to the Palestinians landscape in the early 1930s  by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in an attempt to  ‘reclaim the land’ . By 1935, JNF had planted 1.7 million trees over a total area of 1,750 acres. Over fifty years, the JNF planted over 260 million trees largely on confiscated Palestinian land. It did it all in a desperate attempt to hide the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and their history.

Along the years the JNF performed a crude attempt to eliminate Palestinian civilisation and their past but it also tried to make Palestine look like Europe. The Palestinian natural forest was eradicated. Similarly the olive trees were uprooted. The pine trees took their place. On the southern part of mount Carmel the Israelis named an area as ‘Little Switzerland’. I have learned tonight that Little Switzerland is burned.

However, the facts on the ground were pretty devastating for the JNF. The pine tree didn’t adapt to the Israeli climate as much as the Israelis failed to adapt to the  Middle East. According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive. Those few trees that did survive formed nothing but a firetrap. By the end of each Israeli summer each of the Israeli pine forests become a potential deadly zone.

In spite of its nuclear power, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be very vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated from the land it claims to own. Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region.

Gilad Atzmon

December 2, 2010

Article originally appeared on Gilad Atzmon: http://www.gilad.co.uk/

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