“Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches… And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”—Galatians 6:6-10
Israel is no stranger to sharing. From desert farming expertise to humanitarian aid projects, Israel is as active as any great nation in serving the global community and contributing to environmental change.
We can thank Israel for drip irrigation, which has helped countless countries make better use of water in arid environments. In addition to going out to other nations to promote sustainable agriculture, they impact the globe directly from their ancestral homeland.
Let’s take a look at how Israel, a nation the size of New Jersey, creates a ripple effect of positive environmental change around the world.
The Golden Age in Africa
During the 1960s, Israel took a keen interest in developing good relations with African nations who had also recently gained independence. The success story of the Jewish state inspired many African leaders who were eager to develop their own countries, establish a partnership with Israel.
Israel helped set up a network of embassies in Africa, and Israeli leaders would visit the newly established African nations to learn about Africa and their new allies. Similarly, African leaders would visit Israel to learn new strategies for farming and development.
Africa felt divided between Israel and the Arab League. The Arab League, at the time, was invested in the destruction of Israel. Peace offerings of Israel and the humanitarian aid coordinated by MASHAV showed the new nations of Africa that Israel’s objective was nothing more than peace and friendship—a gesture that many were glad to accept and reciprocate.
“The aid provided by MASHAV is not a tool for political activity but should be considered in its human context… motivated by considerations of human brotherhood.” —Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister 1966-1974
Israel offered scholarships to newly independent African nations for students to study in Israeli Universities. Many of Africa’s brightest students took them up on their offer, traveling to Israel to learn from desert farmers and policymakers in one of the world’s most remarkable nations.
Kibbutzim and Climate Change
Israel, said to produce only .2% of global emissions, is in support of the Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. And the kibbutzim (communal farms) in Israel appear to be taking the lead in their efforts for environmental sustainability.
The nation is committed to mitigating climate change by advancing food production in such a way that it conserves water and gives back to the environment around the globe.
The kibbutzim lifestyle has always been to look out for the greater good and hold tight to their agricultural roots. Kibbutz farmers historically embraced sustainable living.
Today, Israel has combined their innovative technology, such as drip irrigation, with their drive to thrive and the heart to better those around them. As a result, kibbutzim are recognized for their ecological effects on sustainable living.
Kibbutzim from the northern part of Israel to the southern region, are using organic farming techniques and a biodiverse market-garden model, which is the absence of insecticides or pesticides.
Not only are they farming in such a way that sustains life both for them and the environment as a whole, but they are also passing on the legacy.
A number of kibbutzim developed…
- Educational institutions
- Afterschool programs
These educational resources are based on the same traditional principles that original kibbutzim were founded. They also ensure that the innovative technology and sustainable living won’t be forgotten because they pass it on to the next generation.
Kibbutzim and Israel’s Beginning
Organic farming and development are the foundation of the great nation of Israel we know and love today. When the first pioneers came to Israel, working the dry ground to produce a crop was hard work, but it paid off.
The kibbutzim (communal farms) provided refuge for millions of Jews fleeing persecution from pogroms in Eastern Europe, Genocide in Nazi-Germany, as well as opportunities for the families to prosper.
By the time Israel gained independence in 1948, the nation could sustain itself with its agricultural production. It wasn’t long after that when Israel began nurturing other countries.
Today, even though Israel’s economy has evolved to more than agriculture, this continues to be a foundation of the land. And their environmental savvy technologies are recognized by other nations in furthering environmental change.
Israel is known as “Europe’s Greenhouse,” because during the winter months, Israel continues to provide fresh crops for countries where it becomes too cold to grow.
And they always will.
Kibbutzim are making comeback in Israel as young people escape the overcrowded cities and look for new opportunities in the Negev Desert—Israel’s untapped potential of agricultural wealth and more.
Sowing the Seeds of God’s Garden
My Olive Tree has been helping Israel develop the Negev Desert to fulfill an ancient prophecy of the Bible. Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and more all mention the restoration of the Holy Land—God promised to return the displaced Jews to Israel, and then He envisions the desert wasteland blooming and vibrant with life.
Our calling is to bring God’s vision to life. We’ve partnered with the Israeli government and sponsors from around the world to help.
Check out more about how My Olive Tree and Israel develop farmland, create opportunities for newcomers as well as the next generation, and ultimately sow the seeds for God’s Garden to enact environmental change and prosperity.