Beautiful Israel Greens the Knesset!
After a year on view before some 16 passers-by at Ben-Gurion airport, Israel's national gateway, the “Beautiful Israel in Green” exhibition made the next stop on its journey. For the next few months it will grace the halls of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem.Dedicated to the country’s natural wonders, the exhibition was drawn from the Council for a Beautiful Israel's annual album of the same name, which explores Israel's varied wild flora. This fascinating photographic document presents the best of Israeli plant life.
Like the album, the exhibition is based upon the “roots” of Israeli vegetation:
Israel is a meeting point for plants from various origins, continents and climates,
creating a melting-pot of vistas, much like the country’s varied human landscape.
Bringing “Beautiful Israel in Green” to the nation’s parliament was only natural –
an initiative welcomed by Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein as part of the Knesset building’s 50th anniversary celebrations (the Knesset was established on Tu B’Shvat,
the “new year” of the trees that feature so prominently in the exhibition).
The exhibition also reflects the spirit of the “Green Knesset” initiative,
aimed at making the Knesset the world’s most environmentally-minded Parliament.
A festive opening was attended by government ministers,
members of Knesset and 300 other guests.
Minister of Environmental Protection, Avi Gabai, termed the exhibition an expression of the Knesset’s commitment to legislation for protecting the environment, public health and quality of life. Opposition leader, MK Yitzhak Herzog — a faithful friend of Beautiful Israel — also delivered greetings, noting the importance of protecting Israel's unique flora, especially its botanical gardens, whose budgets were recently reduced.
After the Knesset, “Beautiful Israel in Green” will set out on a world tour of galleries and Jewish community centers, beginning in the United States. But first, it will be displayed at United Nations Headquarters in New York, dedicated during the Israeli UN mission’s annual festivities in honor of Israel's 68th Independence Day. The event will also mark the establishment of the Council for a Beautiful Israel’s American friends association — Beautiful Israel USA.
Beyond working through education and public diplomacy for improved quality of life, one of Beautiful Israel's missions is to create awareness of Israel's beauty – the beauty of its nature, its vistas, its climatic variety and its rich human fabric. We have something to be proud of and to share with the world.