Published on : 09/06/2017
By : Arista Asmawati
A new fire truck was presented to KKL-JNF by the government of the Czech Republic at a festive ceremony that took place in Yatir Forest in Israel’s south on August 24. Participants in the ceremony included ministers from the Czech government, directors of the Czech fire department and top KKL-JNF officials from Israel and the Czech Republic.
Michael Pacovsky, President of KKL Czech Republic, said that the idea to donate a fire truck came up in November 2016, when Israel was fighting the wave of forest fires throughout the country caused by arson and hot, dry weather. “Many forests were damaged, and that was the moment we asked ourselves how we could help,” Pacovsky related. “We did this not only for the state of Israel and the Jewish people, but because all human beings need the oxygen that trees provide us. Fires don’t distinguish between people of different religions. We support Israel in its struggle against desertification, because it’s a small country that proves that everything is possible.”
Mr. Milan Chovanec, the Czech Republic Minister of the Interior, emphasized his support of Israel in his remarks: “Your country is fighting terrorism, something they forgot was possible in Europe. We should learn how to do it from you. If something like this happens again in Israel’s forests, I hope that the new fire truck will help extinguish the flames.”
KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar noted the unique importance of the gift from the Czech Republic: “This is a significant addition to our firefighting network, which will help our ability to cope with fires.”
The ceremony took place at the Czech Republic Forest - a planted forest that marks the friendship between the two countries - and Atar mentioned the excellent ties between Israel and the Czech Republic over the years: “We want to thank the Czech government, not only for the fire truck, but primarily for standing by the state of Israel’s side.”