All posts by Dick Pitt

Open Shuhada Street

This is Sundus Azza. She is from the campaign to open Shuhada Street. At a meeting in Sheffield on Tuesday she described the daily humiliations and provocations caused by a small group of Zionist settlers defended by 2,000 Israeli soldiers. Hebron is the most populous city in the West Bank, Shuhada Street was the main market area. In 1994, an American Zionist Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims at prayer. Palestinians demonstrated, Israeli military stepped in. The road has been closed to Palestinians ever since.
In a dignified calm voice she described how she was attacked by a settler Zionist, then arrested by the Israeli military for the incident. One Israeli settler killed a Palestinian, unusually he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in his house. The people of Hebron face rubber bullets, arrest, violence, and even bullets. See more here. Her powerpoint is here.

Stop the Jewish National Fund

Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) – campaign update 2019 

Background: 

In the Nakba of 1948, the wanton destruction of over 500 villages, seizure of land and property, not to mention massacres of inhabitants, were all war crimes committed to establish the new state of Israel.  The JNF was, and still is, a direct beneficiary of these crimes, having received much of the land it now “owns” as a by-product of the ethnic cleansing. Indeed, the JNF has been described as “the principal tool for the Zionist colonization of Palestine.” (Ilan Pappe) The historic complicity of the JNF in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine during the Nakba has not ended – the JNF remains actively involved in the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians from their land. 

The JNF tries to give a veneer of legitimacy to stolen land. It has planted forests, created parkland and claims to be working to enhance the environment. One such venture is the park named British Park, funded by the JNF UK. This park has been created over the ruins of three Palestinian villages, ethnically cleansed in 1948. The park  

Campaign to de-register the JNF UK: 

As registered British charity, the JNF UK receives all the associated financial and reputational benefits of this status and it is this privileged position which the campaign challenges. The campaign to persuade the Charity Commission to withdraw the charitable status of the JNF UK began in 2013 and a new appeal was lodged in 2018. 

This appeal highlights the case of a Palestinian family whose land in Ajjur was taken from them by force in 1948 and lies beneath British Park. A young Palestinian member of the family has produced a strong case, evidenced with title deeds and tax receipts related to the family land. Her family lands are open as a leisure facility for Israelis, but inaccessible to their rightful owners. Her case was supplemented by statements and evidence from UK supporters. The submission to the Charity Commission shows the unsuitability of the JNF UK to hold charitable status. 

Despite all this the Charity Commission has rejected the case. 

Tribunal appeal: 

On appeal, the case has been granted an oral hearing by the First Tier Tribunal (Charity). This takes place in Manchester on April 2nd 2019. We see this as a step forward in advancing the argument against the JNF. 

Speaking Tour: 

After the Tribunal, there will be a speaking tour, featuring the Palestinian applicant, lasting 2 weeks. Dates and venues are being arranged. It is possible that a second such tour will be staged later in the year as the campaign unfolds. (Tour being arranged by Manchester and Sheffield PSC

For further information re tour: enquiries.sheffieldpsc@gmail.com 

Stop the JNF website:  http://www.stopthejnf.org/ 

2103 complaint to the Charity Comission: http://www.stopthejnf.org/media-release-human-rights-campaigners-charity-commission-failing-to-follow-own-guidelines-to-end-abuse-of-charity-status/ 

Stop the JNF ebook, Volume 1: http://www.stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol1ed2x.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 2: http://www.stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol2.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 3: http://stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol3.pdf 

Stop the JNF ebook Volume 4: http://www.ijan.org/projects-campaigns/stopthejnf/e-book-v-4/