Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF) – campaign update 2019
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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/