Campaign Fact Sheet
WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE JNF?
Stop the JNF is an international campaign aimed at ending the role of the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeIsrael) (JNF-KKL) in
• the on-going displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their land,
• the theft of their property,
• the funding of historic and present day colonies, and
• the destruction of the natural environment.
WHY STOP THE JNF?
Created in 1901 to acquire land for a Jewish State in Palestine, the JNF is most commonly known for its campaign to ‘plant a tree in Israel’ in order to ‘make the desert bloom.’
However, the trees are not planted in a barren desert empty of inhabitants that Jewish people have come to populate and make flourish. Lands were, and still are, obtained from their Palestinian inhabitants through exploitative land sales, forced removal or other apartheid State policies.
By the time of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, approximately two-thirds of the Palestinian population had been forcibly removed from their homeland. In addition to funding colonies, the JNF planted and built forests, parks and recreational facilities on the ruins of hundreds destroyed and depopulated Palestinian villages. These forestation projects served two purposes: to hide the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and to prevent the Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes.
These practices are still underway today. By erasing the traces of Palestinian homes and villages, the JNF green-washes the history of the colonial settlement of Palestine and covers up its on-going displacement of Palestinians from their land and property.
The JNF Practices Racial Discrimination
The activities of the JNF are based on its discriminatory founding mission and constitution: the removal of indigenous Palestinians from their land and property to hold land in Palestine in exclusive reserve for settlement and use by Jews. The JNF’s constitution explicitly states that JNF land and property is not to be rented, leased, sold, or worked by non-Jews.
The JNF destroys natural environments and ways of life
The State of Israel and the JNF destroy the natural habitat and way of life of the indigenous Palestinian people who have lived there for thousands of years.
The JNF has historically not been concerned about the environment at all – instead focusing on forestation and claiming land exclusively for Jews. The JNF has thus inflicted grave harm on the natural environment in Palestine by its manner of planting, by its use of hazardous chemicals and by planting trees that are not native to the land. Over time, extensive planting of pine trees by the JNF has killed off much of the native habitat in addition to causing massive forest fires.
In 1950 the JNF drained Lake Hula in the interests of agricultural development. Once rich with diverse animal and plant life, today the area is a barren desert devoid of life.
WHAT IS THE JNF DOING TODAY?
Today, the JNF’s projects of displacement and forestation of stolen land continue, particularly in the Naqab (Negev), in the south of the State of Israel, and the Jordan Valley (deep in the West Bank).
A current initiative of the JNF is a 10-year, $600 million plan ‘to revitalize, develop and preserve the Negev desert.’ In these areas, “development” projects in which the JNF plays a central role, continue to forcibly displace Palestinian citizens of Israel to make way for exclusively Jewish settlements and JNF parks and forests.
Al-Araqib is one of the long-standing villages in the Naqab that is currently being “developed.” Large police and military forces protect JNF demolition tractors and trucks and guard JNF workers. Residents have now been removed 70 times; some have moved to a nearby town; others continue returning to rebuild their demolished homes and refusing to relinquish their land.
In the Jordan Valley, deep in the West Bank, the JNF is central to fulfilling Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu’s public commitment to maintain control of the Valley. This promise has meant home demolitions, the theft of water sources, increased military control and destruction of agricultural land and olive groves.
Once again the JNF is partnering with the State of Israel in securing and covering up stolen land and ethnic cleansing – planting parks and building monuments on Palestinian land and property.
The JNF continues to serve as a global fundraiser for Israeli ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid. Each year, the JNF raises over $60 million in the United States alone. Despite its role in a State institution of Israel (the Israel Land Authority) and in institutionalized racism and apartheid, the JNF and its affiliate organizations enjoy charitable status in over 50 countries and many also enjoy consultative status with the United Nations.
HOW CAN WE STOP THE JNF?
Join the campaign in your region to Stop the JNF. In addition to the ongoing struggles against the JNF in Palestine, the campaign is underway in Canada, France, the UK and the United States.
Help stop the human rights and environmental violations of the JNF:
• Revoke the charity status of the JNF in your state or country
• Break all ties with the JNF
• Educate others on the JNF
• Sign the Stop the JNF call-to-action (www.stopthejnf.org/call-to-action)
• Organize the Stop the JNF campaign in your city or region
For further information…
The Stop the JNF Campaign, established by a coalition of solidarity organizations around the world including Palestinian and Israeli groups, aims to expose the JNF’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law, promote civil and legal challenges to the JNF throughout Europe, the Americas and Australasia, seeking to annul the JNF’s charitable privileges and tax-exempt fundraising, and have JNF offices world-wide shut down.
Enduring Roots is a 40 minute documentary, produced by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, that chronicles stories of al-Nakba survivors, utilizing interviews with their descendants about the case of refugee return, as well as current and growing resistance to the ongoing colonization of Palestine by the JNF.
Since its inception in 2002 the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (or Stop the Wall) has been the main national grassroots body mobilizing and organizing the collective efforts against the Apartheid Wall. It is based on the efforts of popular committees in the villages affected by the Wall where people can meet, organize, strategize and mobilize.
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Adalah (“Justice” in Arabic) is an independent human rights organization and legal center that works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
Zochrot acts to promote Israeli Jewish society’s acknowledgement of and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of the Right of Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba and a chance for a better life for all the country’s inhabitants. Their website presents information about the Palestinian localities that Israel destroyed in 1948 and about the Nakba’s place in our lives today, using photographs, testimonies, maps, prose, and more.
The Palestine Poster Project Archives is web-based archive that displays the broadest possible range of Palestine posters in a searchable format with each poster translated and interpreted. The library and teaching resource allows educators, students, scholars, and other parties interested in using the curriculum to incorporate Palestine posters into classroom learning activities.
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada is a national human rights organization whose mandate is to promote a just resolution to the dispute in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties.
JNF E-book 1 (“Introducing The Jewish National Fund“)
JNF E-book 2 (“Preparing For Legal Action, Focus: Canada Park”)
JNF E-book 3 (“Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing: Judaizing The Naqab”)
JNF E-book 4 (“Greenwashing Apartheid: The Jewish National Fund’s Environmental Cover-Up”)
For more information about the campaign, visit us at www.stopthejnf.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join regional campaigns email the following:
Canada: email@example.com; Palestine: firstname.lastname@example.org;
United Kingdom: email@example.com; United States: firstname.lastname@example.org;