Royal Visit: H.H the Belgium prince Michel de Ligne plants a tree at KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest
Wednesday, July 13th, 2016, H.H Michel Charles Eugène Marie Lamoral, Prince de Ligne of Belgium planted an olive tree in KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest in Neve Ilan. Other honorable guests joined the planting ceremony, among them KKL Belgium president and the Organization of Belgians in Israel (OBI) and other dignitaries.
His highness is a Belgian - French aristocrat and businessman, member of one of the most prestigious families of the Belgian nobility - the House of Ligne, which is one of the oldest Belgian noble families, dating back to the eleventh century.
H.H Michel Charles Eugène Marie Lamoral stated: "The tree we are planting today will live for a thousand years. It is an eternal symbol to the bravery of our forefathers. Our responsibility towards the other is important. We should be standing united in order to preserve the right for life. The location of this tree is a symbol of courage and solidarity"
KKL Belgium supports projects for land development, tourism, preservation and environmental rehabilitation in Israel including the Neve Ilan Park. In honor of the event, President of KKL Belgium, Jacqui Benzennou said: "There is no better place to commemorate Prince Eugene and his wife than Belgium Park in Neve Ilan, a village near Jerusalem overlooking the Holy City, the forest symbolizes the connection between Belgium and Israel. Planting a tree in this forest is a living testament to the desire to advance and develop the country, which is KKL-JNF's mission".
Organization of Belgians in Israel (OBI), a non-profit Belgium organization which assists new Olim, students, lonely soldiers, Zionist youths and Holocaust survivors living in Israel to receive support from Belgium. Sally Zajfman, President of OBIaddressed the Prince emphasizing that: "Your visit today threads a string between remembrance, friendship and hope – three core values to the Jewish people. Remembering the past, friendship in the present and a hope for a good future"
Belgium Forest in Neve Ilan is located to the west of Jerusalem. It has groves, a recreation area and lookout points that were all established thanks to the help of donations from KKL-JNF’s Friends in Belgium. As a gesture of appreciation for their generosity, KKL-JNF dedicated the forest to the Jews of Belgium, and in the 1990s, a special center was established there in their honor.
Photo Caption: H.H the Belgium prince Michel de Ligne plants a tree at KKL-JNF's Belgium Forest
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir, Courtesy of KKL-JNF