MembersMaking the Desert Green

Very few seem to have the time, resources or desire to invest in the desert, which accounts for 60 percent of Israel’s territory.

By Aviel Schneider |
olive groves
Photo: Israel today

A mere five percent of the population lives in the desert regions. Most Israelis live in the more naturally-lush center of the country. It’s true that the Negev desert isn’t the most inviting landscape, and it can be a headache, and an expensive one at that, to develop this land. But for some, our Zionism drives a deep love for this desert. It was the same for David Ben-Gurion (pictured). Of all the beautiful areas of the reborn Jewish state, he chose to live in the Negev. The greening of the desert was an integral part of his vision. But in 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War and the liberation of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, the nation’s political and financial attention was diverted elsewhere, and the desert was neglected.

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