More than 50 people danced the dabke and flashed peace signs at a peaceful demonstration against the Jewish National Fund (JNF) at the organization’s annual Manitoba fundraising dinner in mid-May. The JNF Canada website states: “JNF Canada envisions a world where Israel’s communities are supported and healthy, and where generous Canadians can help us build strong foundations for Israel to thrive.” JNF acquires and develops land in Israel and the occupied territories used for settlements, illegal under international law. In 1972 JNF Canada raised $15 million to create Canada Park.
Jewish National Fund
Al-Naqab — On Sunday, roughly 200 activists demonstrated outside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office in Jerusalem against the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) tree-planting project in al-Naqab, maintaining the forestation is an attempt to displace the indigenous Bedouin population. Contracted by the Israeli government, the JNF razed fruit trees and seeded fields in al-Naqab in January to “make the desert bloom” with non-native plants. The purported environmental project has been met with fierce protest from the local villagers, with more than 60 Bedouin arrested in the last few weeks. JNF maintains that its actions in al-Naqab encourage sustainability, but other organizations disagree. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel took the JNF to the Supreme Court last year after its research found that JNF’s afforestation will harm the area’s biodiversity.
The JNF (Jewish National Fund) once again is in the news, this time for collaborating with the State of Israel in dispossessing Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. According to a 2010 UN report, this is not the first time Sheikh Jarrah’s residents have been dispossessed and, while illegal under international law, it is not illegal according to Israeli law. It is one more act of brutality, brought to you on a regular basis by Israel and the JNF since 1948. On the evening of January 18, 2022, in Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli police attacked the home of the Salahiya family—a family that was originally displaced by Israel in 1948. The destruction of homes and land in such attacks is executed by the JNF. In the January attack, police arrested Mahmoud Salahiya and his sons and violently removed the rest of the family from their home.
At dawn today, January 12, 2022, Israeli bulldozers and combat-ready soldiers raided the Palestinian village of Al-Atrash in the Naqab desert in southern 1948 Palestine [present-day Israel]. For the third day in a row, Israeli bulldozers have been bulldozing large swathes of land belonging to Palestinians from the village. The escalated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Al-Atrash is part of a scheme that is being implemented jointly by both the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Israel’s Land Authority. As a response to this, Palestinians from Al-Atrash and the surrounding areas have been protesting for three days now in an attempt to stop the seizure of their land.
Washington, DC - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and others against a U.S.-based Palestinian rights organization. The JNF had accused the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) of engaging in “material support for terrorism,” citing their speech and expressive activity, including their support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The JNF—a quasi-state institution in Israel that acquires and administers land for the sole benefit of the Jewish people—also sought to hold the USCPR liable for their participation in the “Stop the JNF” campaign, an advocacy campaign that sought to highlight the JNF’s own unlawful and discriminatory practices.
Last month, for the first time in its long history, the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) openly declared that it will fund land confiscation in the West Bank, in defiance of international law. Its board of governors voted through the allocation of NIS 38 million to purchase land to expand Jewish-only settlements. All Israeli settlements, based on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, constitute a war crime under international law. Yet the British arm of KKL-JNF, JNF UK, continues to be a registered charity, enjoying tax exemption to raise funds for its parent organisation. This decision is not an aberration, or a reversal of existing JNF policy, but a clear indication that the settlement expansion driven by Israel’s far right government and emboldened by the support it received from the Trump administration, is set to continue, more blatantly than previously.
Hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel protested on Monday in the Negev region to denounce the Israeli government policy of house demolitions and evacuation orders in the village of Khirbet al-Watan. Marwan Abu Frieh, a coordinator and field researcher for the Adalah human rights centre in Israel, told Middle East Eye that Israel’s Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Land Authority (ILA) were planning to plant hundreds of trees on lands from five Bedouin villages, including Khirbet al-Watan, which had all received demolition orders and faced the displacement of thousands of residents "in the name of developing the area". Demonstrators started marching from Khirbet al-Watan and ended in front of the courthouse in Beersheba, carrying banners accusing the JNF and ILA of forcible land grabs, displacement of Palestinians and discriminatory practices.