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Monday, 29 June 2015

Dutch MEP Bastiaan Belder very impressed by his visit of Israel's pavilion at the Milan 2015 World Expo

Dutch MEP Bastiaan Belder (C) at the Israeli pavilion of the Milan World Expo with Itzhak Moshe, deputy director of KKL-JNF's southern region in Israel and David Brand, head forester and director of the KKL-JNF Forestry Division.

MILAN (EJP)---Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) is the right gateway for Europeans to understand Israel because the environmental organisation contributes so much to society and culture in the country, said Dutch European Parliament Member Bastiaan Belder during a special visit of the Israeli Pavilion at the Expo in Milan.

Belder was veryimpressed by what he saw at the pavilion and at the exhibition of KKL-JNF achievements and projects. 

After signing the guestbook, he met with KKL-JNF representatives including Karine Bolton-Laor, director of international relations and exhibitions, Itzhak Moshe, deputy director of KKL-JNF's southern region in Israel and David Brand, head forester and director of the KKL-JNF Forestry Division. He planted a virtual tree in one of the forests. 

He noted that his most impressive visit in Israel was in September 2014 with KKL-JNF when he he toured several sites of the organisation around the country. 

A Member of the European Parliament since 1999 on behalf of the Dutch SGP party, Belder serves in the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

He is also Vice-Chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Israel and a member of the European Conservative and Reformists (ECR) political group in the parliament. 

At the end of his visit Belder stated: ‘’Israel is a small yet diverse country, like the Netherlands, with major differences between the various areas. KKL-JNF’s personnel have an intimate and in-depth knowledge of all of the different regions and areas around Israel.” 

He also said that he was very impressed with KKL-JNF’s professional knowledge and the great work for the Bedouin population in Israel.

“I know KKL-JNF and its aspiration for coexistence and good relations with the Palestinians,” he added.

During a conversation with the KKL-JNF officials, he mentioned that he would like to hold a seminar and/or an exhibition on agriculture in Israel, and for this purpose he would like to raise wide support and attendance. 

“I’ll recommend to my colleagues at the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development as well as other committees to take part in such a seminar. I think that in order to understand Israel, you need to get to know the work that KKL-JNF does. KKL-JNF’s work is the right gateway for Europeans to understand Israel,'' he said. 

In less then 70 years, hard work, research and development, KKL-JNF has been able to transform a mostly arid land into fertile terrain. KKL-JNF advances a sustainable Israel, capable of meeting the world's challenges: dwindling agricultural land, combating desertification and climate change. It promotes solutions that can feed the world sustainably, using renewable resources and little water. 

From its very beginning, KKL-JNF led an unprecedented forestry project, which transformed a desolate land into a marvelous green country. Israel is the only country that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees and is the top world country in recycling waste water.

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