JNF Launches Fundraiser for Chilean National Park
Six months after Israeli backpacker was arrested on suspicion of starting wildfire, Jewish National Fund, Jewish community leaders raise money to help park's recovery
A piece of toilet paper resulted in a wildfire in Chile, and Israel is still trying to put out the political fires caused by the incident. The blaze at the popular tourist site Torres del Paine at the end of 2011, which the Chileans claim was started by Israeli backpacker Rotem Zinger, burned tens of thousands of dunam and led to Zinger's arrest.
The Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday that Israel will help rehabilitate the national park, through the Jewish National Fund.
In recent months, the organization's Chile branch, along with Jewish community leaders, have been raising funds in an effort to help rehabilitate the reserve. As part of the fundraising campaign, singer David Broza held a charity concert and donated all proceeds to the cause. The campaign aims to raise a total of $40 million.
Twenty-three-year-old Zinger was arrested in January 2011, on suspicion that he lit a piece of toilet paper in the nature reserve, against visitors' instruction. Zinger denied the allegations and claimed he was tried in a kangaroo court. A month later he reached a settlement with the prosecution and was released.
This article is reprinted with permission from Ynet.