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In Search Of a Blooming Desert examines the relationship between history, memory and landscape. The Jewish National Fund, a Zionist organisation that, since 1907, has acted as a quasi-state body, exploits environmentalism in order to sanitize land theft. Through ecological projects, the JNF has ‘made the desert bloom’, bringing the land of Israel into fruition, relying on propaganda in the Jewish diaspora to function. The Jewish diaspora is given the opportunity to feel ownership over the physical land and soil. I myself have a tree in Bnei B’arek (or British Park), a national park a few hours south of Tel Aviv. I believe it is a Eucalyptus.


The eucalyptus as a tree is violent. It is not native to Israel but rather was brought from Australia to drain the swamps. The eucalyptus has qualities that repel insects, pushing away undesirable beings, as well as various healing qualities long used by indigenous cultures. The Eucalyptus produces oil that is highly flammable, with folklore recalling trees that spontaneously combust. The Eucalyptus grows incredibly fast.


In Israel, trees have attained profound metaphysical, and political power; the act of planting them has been crucial to the national state, and fundamental to Israel’s nurturing of a global system of support. Indeed, trees offer a particularly profound and powerful tool in binding people to the status quo. 

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