Anti-Israel and Arabic sites are publishing antisemite Gilad Atzmon's comment on the fires in Israel, where he blames the fires on, who else, Jews. Specifically, he blames the pine trees that the JNF planted:
Israel’s rural landscape is saturated with pine trees. These trees are new to the region. The pine trees were introduced to the Palestinians landscape in the early 1930s by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in an attempt to ‘reclaim the land’ . By 1935, JNF had planted 1.7 million trees over a total area of 1,750 acres. Over fifty years, the JNF planted over 260 million trees largely on confiscated Palestinian land. It did it all in a desperate attempt to hide the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and their history.The pine tree that the JNF has been planting for so many years is the Aleppo pine, pinus halepensis (known in Israel as the Jerusalem pine.) It is found throughout the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Syria. The JNF did not choose the tree to make Israel look like Europe, a lie repeated by Mondoweiss. Native Aleppo pine forests exist in the Carmel and Galilee regions.
Along the years the JNF performed a crude attempt to eliminate Palestinian civilisation and past but it also tried to make Palestine look like Europe. The Palestinian natural forest was eradicated. Similarly the olive trees were uprooted. The pine trees took their place. On the southern part of mount Carmel the Israelis named an area as ‘Little Switzerland’. By now, there is no much left of “Little Switzerland.”
...In spite of its nuclear ability, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated from the land it claims to own and care for. Like the pine tree, Zionism, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region.
Moreover, pine trees were observed in Palestine by travelers in the 19th century. From The Popular Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, 1856:
The tall cypress only exists in Palestine, as cultivated by man in gardens, and in cemeteries, and other open places of towns. But as the spontaneous growth of the country, we find upon the heights and swelling hills, the walnut-tree, the strawberry-tree, the laurel-tree, &c.; while on the formerly wooded heights, various kinds of pine-trees, large and small, still maintain their ground.As far as Mount Carmel is concerned specifically, the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1907 says it is "covered with helm-oaks and pine trees."
So in one sense, Atzmon is correct. Jews are just as native to the region as the Aleppo pine.