Sir Eric Pickles part in JNF UK tree planting ceremony in Israel

The UK Government’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, Sir Eric Pickles, was honoured today in a ceremony at the JNF UK Lord Sacks Forest near Jerusalem. Through JNF UK, the Conservative Friends of Israel planted trees to recognise his dedication and support for the Jewish people and the state of Israel, and for his outstanding chairmanship of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Sir Eric is taking part in a trip organised by the Conservative Friends of Israel, along with other senior figures from the Conservative Party, including Nicky Morgan MP, Stephen Crabb MP and Theresa Villiers MP.

Sir Eric Pickles: “My thought remains the same that it is good to put down roots in this wonderful country, this bastion of democracy. It has been a real pleasure playing a small part in trying to bring our two countries closer together. I remember meeting Prime Minister Rabin shortly before his assassination, and he said “The desire is to get water into the desert, and to get blood out of the land” and I think we have a chance in the coming few years not only to see trees flourish, but to see friendships flourish.”

Yonatan Galon, the JNF UK Representative in Israel, said in a speech in front of other senior UK political figures attending the ceremony, “Our close relationship with the UK is one we value enormously. We thank you not only for your support in establishing Israel in years gone by, but also for supporting Israel in the present and into the future. May this tree planting symbolise an ongoing growing and fruitful partnership between us.”