Call for an international campaign against the Jewish National Fund

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has charitable status inover 50 countries, a status based on the JNF’s claim that it preserves andadvances Jewish culture, community, civic and political participation, rightsand safety. In reality, the JNF was created in 1901 for the purpose ofcolonizing Palestinethrough the acquisition and management of land for exclusively Jewishsettlement. Today, it continues to play a central role in the violent colonizationand occupation of Palestine,and is a key institution in maintaining Israeli apartheid.

Where once the JNF’s role was birthing the State ofIsrael, it is now granted special privileges and an ongoing role in Statefunction, such as their administrative role in the Israeli Land Administration.In turn, the JNF, as a private institution, can hold in trust land and propertyfor the State of Israel, its Jewish population and Jews living outside of Israel and openly discriminates againstPalestinian citizens of Israel-preventingPalestinian leasing of JNF land. Far from the charitable organization the JNFclaims to be, it is a para-statal organization-enacting functions of the Stateof Israel as a private organization, but without the attendant legal accountabilitiesor regulation.

13% of land in ’48 (Israel) is controlled directly bythe JNF, most of it seized from Palestinians and transferred to the JNF afterMay 1948.

  • The JNF and Israeli Lands Administration control, through a joint committee, 93% of the land in Israel.
  • By its own description, JNF money is also used for the ‘Judaisation’ (equating to ‘de-Arabisation’) of the Galilee and the Negev.
  • In addition JNF money is used to finance reservoirs in the West Bank that steal Palestinian water for settler-only use.

Most recently, the JNF has been involved in expandingIsrael’s colonial project into the Negev-displacing the indigenous Bedouinpeople from their "unrecognized" villages into "concentration zones" anddestroying their economic, cultural and social way of life. More broadly,central to the mission of the JNF is the acquisition of Palestinian land andproperty in historic Palestine"for the purpose of settling Jews on such lands and properties." This includesJNF involvement in settler enterprises across the WestBank. When the Israeli army razed to the ground the Palestinianvillages of the Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba villages in 1967 and expelled theirinhabitants, the JNF took over the construction of the Canada National Parkon the ruins. The JNF today claims to be a global environmental leader andtrumpets their slogan of ‘Plant Trees and Bring Water to Israel’-a coverup to the ethnic cleansing and acquisition of Palestinian land and water involved in this process. Donors from aroundthe world are then implicated in these crimes, as are the Canadian governmentand tax payers in the case of CanadaPark.

Beyond this, the JNF is active in countries throughoutthe world and supports a broader network of Zionist institutions andorganizations that support the Israeli military and militant Jewish settlementswith direct funds. The JNF and its network of organizations also provide thepolitical support necessary for legitimizing and promoting public policies andaid packages for Israel.Every year they bring thousands of public officials and community leaders to Israel to lobbytheir support. In individual countries, these organizations censor criticism ofIsraeland target individuals and organizations with blacklists, violence,imprisonment, deportation, unemployment and other economic hardship.

The JNF does not do what it claims to do. It claims toexist for the well-being of the Jewish people. In reality, its activities andthe organizations that it funds exist almost exclusively for the purpose ofsecuring and expanding Israel’scolonization of Palestine and the apartheid Israeli State. The JNF claims that Jewish safetydepends on a secure IsraeliState. But Israel does notmake Jews safe. Its violence and racism guarantees instability and fear forthose within Israel, therest of historic Palestine,and endangers the safety of all people, including Jews, far beyond its borders.

We are calling for an international campaign to challengethe legitimacy and actions of the Jewish National Fund. We arecalling for sanctions against the JNF as a key institution of Israeli apartheid defined bythe UN as a crime against humanity. We are calling for the JNF to payreparations to the Palestinian people for the catastrophic damages done over the course of theJNF’s 107 years of existence as a vehicle for the colonial settlement of Palestine.

Demands: Our abiding demand is to revoke the charitable status ofthe Jewish National Fund.

From states and the United Nations we call for:

  • Sanctions against the JNF for its participation in Israeli apartheid
  • Boycotting of JNF funded, directly and indirectly, delegations to Israel

From civic society, we call for:

  • Civil suits by those whose property was confiscated by the JNF
  • Jewish divestment from JNF and its subsidiaries
  • An end to grassroots and NGO collaboration with the JNF, particularly by environmental organizations
  • An active boycott of Zionist and Israeli events organized by JNF and its subsidiaries

We will:

  • Take Legal action: challenge the charity status of the JNF and coordinate other judicial review process, support cases against the JNF by Palestinians whose land and property were stolen by the JNF and/or who were dispossessed by the JNF – from 1948 until today,
  • Research and document JNF’s activities, use of funds, and impact, support investigation into JNF funding of and participation in para-statal activities, collect testimonies, produce research reports and publications, write articles, publicize findings, collect land deeds, digital stories/videos of testimony and a book of specific cases that highlight JNF role in land confiscation and discrimination as part of a broader system of occupation and colonization
  • Educate: produce printed materials, submit presentations for conferences, organize workshops and public speaking events, coordinate art exhibits, performances and speaking tours, create digital stories based on testimonies
  • Boycott and Disrupt JNF Events: JNF organized fundraisers, delegation, and cultural, educational, sporting and political events
  • Take Direct action: Petitions, letters, poster and sticker campaign, disruption of events, pickets, civil disobedience, demonstrations
  • Produce and leverage mass and grassroots media: submit editorials and article to print and online journals, organize press conferences, buy advertisement, produce grassroots media, produce and/or screen documentaries, produce and participate in public radio and television series, produce poster campaign
  • Support processes of accountability under international law: participate in review processes being organized by civil organizations to hold Israel accountable under human rights and other international law (i.e. review of Israel for its treaty implementation under the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)

Join the Boycott, Divestment and SanctionsCampaign National Committee (BNC)[1], Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign,Habitat International Coalition of Cairo and the International Jewishanti-Zionist Network in coordinating this campaign.

For more information, contact us at: jnf.campaign@gmail.com.

[1] TheBoycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee includethefollowing member organizations: Council ofNational and Islamic Forces in Palestine;General Union of Palestinian Workers; Palestinian General Federation ofTrade Unions;Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO); Federation of Independent Trade Unions;Union of Arab
CommunityBased Associations (ITTIJAH); Union of Palestinian CharitableOrganizations; Palestine Right of Return Coalition; Occupied Palestineand Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative; GeneralUnion of Palestinian Women; Union ofPalestinian Farmers; Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid WallCampaign (STW);Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel(PACBI); National Committee toCommemorate the Nakba; Civic Coalition for the Defense of PalestinianRights inJerusalem (CCDPRJ), and the Coalition for Jerusalem.

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