Stop the JNF UK
In 1948, during the ‘Nakba’, the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, the Jewish National Fund in Israel acquired land that had been appropriated from Palestinians by force. It continues to hold this land for the sole use of Jewish citizens of Israel, barring the return of the indigenous Palestinian population.
The JNF-UK has been strongly involved in this process, funding the creation of British Park, a forested leisure facility built on the land of 3 Palestinian villages, Ajjur, Kudna and Deir al-Dubban, whose residents were ethnically cleansed and barred from returning.
JNF UK's complicity in Palestinian dispossession continues today. They provide funds to the OR Movement, which has supported the construction of the Jewish town of Hiran, which aims to replace the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm-al-Hiran, which has been subject to forcible evacuation. Further, JNF UK has supported the illegal Jewish-only settlement of Sansana, situated in the occupied West Bank. Every Israeli settlement on occupied Palestinian territory is illegal, and considered a war crime.
Stop the KKL-JNF's Land Grab!
In February 2021, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) voted to allocate NIS 38 million (£8.2million) to acquire land to expand illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank; this expansion would be in flagrant defiance of international law. Their partner in this country, JNF UK, continues to hold charitable status.
All Israeli settlements, based on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, constitute a war crime under international law. The UK government has repeatedly affirmed that settlements are illegal under international law and has called for settlement expansion to cease immediately.
While the decision opens the way for KKL-JNF to spend millions to expand existing illegal Israeli settlements, it is not an aberration. Since its foundation in 1901 KKL-JNF has been deeply complicit in the ongoing colonisation and settlement of Palestinian land. As Israeli NGO Peace Now confirms, in the past decades KKL-JNF have acquired at least 65,000 dunams (16,000 acres) of West Bank land for settlements, through its subsidiary Himnuta.
Despite this, KKL-JNF’s partner in this country, JNF UK, supports numerous KKL-JNF projects, and is listed as the KKL-JNFs office in the UK. Ample evidence shows the close partnership between the JNF UK and the KKL, not least the KKL-JNFs periodic publication, The Fruits of Our Partnership, which lists 27 joint projects involving JNF UK.
Click here to call on your MP to ask the Attorney General to ensure their charity status is investigated, as a step towards holding UK businesses and organisations accountable for their complicity in Israeli violations of international law.
Friends of Earth Scotland Pass Motion Condemning KKL/JNF
Eurig Scandrett (Friends of the Earth Scotland, Scottish PSC and Stop the JNF) proposed an important motion, seconded by Angus Maclean at the 2020 AGM of Friends of the Earth Scotland, relating to the KKL /JNF. The motion strongly refuted the KKL/JNF claims that it is an environmentally friendly organisation, citing cogent evidence to the contrary (see the full text below).
Several policy positions were proposed and adopted as a consequence of this move. Friends of the Earth Scotland has committed to challenge the inclusion of KKL/JNF in COP26, to offer support to the Sumarin family who face eviction at the hands of Himanuta, a JNF proxy, and to call on MPs to sign EDM 529 in support of the family. The organisation also agreed to support a future challenge to the charitable status of the KKL in Scotland.
Friends of the Earth Scotland have set an example which we hope other FoE national groups will follow.
Congratulations, Friends of the Earth, Eurig and Angus!stop the JNF Friends-of-the-Earth-Scotland-AGM-2020-Motion signed
Write to your MP: Tell the Attorney General to Investigate JNF UK
4000 of you wrote to the Attorney General telling them to investigate JNF UK. But they haven’t taken action.
Keep up the pressure! Write to your MP and get them to put pressure of the new Attorney General. Ethnic cleansing is NOT charity, JNF UK should not hold charitable status!
Campaigners hand in 4000 letters, urging the Attorney General to launch an investigation into JNF UK
Human rights activists have handed in over 4000 letters from members of the public to the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC, calling on him to launch an immediate investigation into the charity status of JNF UK.
This comes months after a First Tier Tribunal (Charity) refused to grant legal “standing” (i.e. legal right) to the descendant of an expelled Palestinian, Kholoud al-Ajarma, to challenge the charitable status of the JNF UK, even though the Charity Commission’s barrister noted that JNF UK “may have infringed the legal rights” of her family.
The Attorney General is the only office holder with “standing” to require the Charity Commission to act further on this matter and to examine whether the JNF-UK has broken UK Charity laws.
Coverage of the hand-in, as well as further research into the role of the JNF, can be found in this article by investigate journalist Jonathan Cook here.
Stop the JNF UK - Campaign Video
Charity Commission Ask PSC to Submit Evidence on Issues Relating to JNF UK
Over 4000 of you wrote to the Charity Commission and Attorney General, asking them to investigate the charitable status of JNF UK, due to their support for the Israeli military and complicity in the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people. While the Attorney General hasn’t responded – the Charity Commission has.
While they didn’t commit to an investigation, they’ve asked us to submit evidence relating to the issues we outlined.
PSC has responded, outlining the JNF UKs support for the Israeli military. We’ve stated:
“JNF UK lists a remittance to Israel titled ‘Tzuk Eitan Gaza war effort’ in its 2014 and 2015 annual accounts. Tzuk Eitan is Israel’s name for its 51-day aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2,100 Palestinians. The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict found credible allegations that Israel had committed war crimes through its indiscriminate targeting of civilians.
In its Statement of Strategic Intent, the Commission states that it aims to ensure the public can make informed decisions when donating to a charity. It is therefore vital the Charity Commission find where this money went, to ensure public choice is informed.”
We’ve also outlined evidence of the JNF UKs complicity in the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians.
“As stated in its 2016 Annual Accounts (section 13: restricted funds) JNF UK has provided funds for the OR Movement, an Israeli organisation which supports Jewish settlement of the Negev and Galilee. The OR movement supported the construction of the Jewish town of Hiran, which aims to replace the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm-al-Hiran, which has been subject to forcible evacuation. JNF-KKL’s own website states that “[F]riends of JNF UK have supported…. The Hiran Forest”, part of the attempt to replace the Palestinian village. Such demolitions are against international law. The United Nations have stated on numerous occasions that Bedouin Palestinians must be allowed to remain on their land”
The full letter can be read here