From the Destruction of Kassams, a Symbol of Peace
The Sderot Tulip, Available through JNF, will Benefit the Targeted Community
Contact: Jodi Bodner • JNF Director of Communications • 212-879-9305 ext. 221 • firstname.lastname@example.org
May 4, 2009 -- New York, NY -- If Hamas only knew.
The Kassam rockets that terrorize the people of Sderot and nearby communities are now being fashioned into flowers and sold to better the very lives the rockets were designed to destroy.
Available exclusively and in limited quantity on the Jewish National Fund (JNF) website at http://www.jnf.org/store, the "Sderot Tulips” sell for $1,000 each. Proceeds will go to support the ongoing costs of the secure indoor recreation center JNF just opened for the community.
“In contrast with those who use Kassam rockets to sow ruin,” said David Buskila, Sderot’s mayor, “there are those of us who use its steel remnants to cultivate hope. The people of Israel -- the people who live in Sderot and around the Gaza Strip, the people who strive for normalcy, seeking peace and tranquility -- they believe that the day will come when all Kassam rockets will do is serve as the material from which flowers are made. This is our version of a different and optimistic reality.”
Folk art made from the vestiges of war, known as “trench art,” took hold during both world wars. Shell casings collected by soldiers became vases, bullets were turned into model airplanes and ashtrays and helmets became heat-resistant lampshades.
The Kassam tulip’s sculptor, Eldor Levy, drew his inspiration for the flower from the not-so-distant memory of his military service in the Gaza Strip as a combat officer in the Givati Brigade. “A hill there remains vividly etched in my mind,” he said. “All the soldiers called it ‘tulip hill’ because at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar, the hill would give birth to a great variety of flowers, the most impressive among them the tulip, the flower that signifies the approaching spring season.
“It is particularly symbolic for me to create a thought-provoking message from that familiar and well-remembered hill in the Gaza Strip. Instead of raining destruction and tears through Kassam rockets, we are sending a flower to sow peace, growth, and radiance.
“It is said that in the 16th Century, an Ottoman Sultan gave tulip bulbs as a mark of friendship and royalty. This should be our hope.”
The poignant symbolism of a beautiful flower created from deadly munitions recalls the Biblical admonition from Isaiah, 2:4: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: national shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
“It really says something about a people when they can take horror and create something beautiful that represents hope,” said Terry Katz, national chair, of JNF's Women’s Campaign for Israel. “And the fact that the very item designed to kill and frighten is instead going to help and build, is perfect justice.”
Each handmade tulip is a unique work of art, comes in a box with an accompanying booklet and bears a plaque that describes what it’s made of. Visit http://www.jnf.org/store to place an order.
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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.
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