Amos Trust has recently endorsed this campaign from Stop the Wall about the Jewish National Fund and how it disguises itself as a hero of the environment and why we need to hold it accountable. Amos Director Chris Rose writes.
The JNF calls itself Israel’s largest green organisation and the oldest green organisation in the world for its afforestation projects of millions of trees to cover up Palestinian towns and villages that Israel destroyed when it was created in 1948.
Call For Action
Hold the Jewish National Fund accountable
The struggles for environmental, social, racial, economic and political justice are intertwined. Connecting these struggles is a necessary precondition for a sustainable world.
Israel’s policies of Occupation and colonisation are not only a violation of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. The system of oppression and discrimination that Israel imposes on Palestinians on all the territory under its control is a complex of human rights and environmental rights violations which are built on a vision of subjugation that targets the people, the land and its natural resources.
It operates through different institutions that support the Israeli government, including the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The JNF wears the garb of environmentalism but has a shameful past and a dreadful present.
According to Independent Jewish Voices Canada, “Since its inception 120 years ago, the Jewish National Fund Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL), has been one of the main engines for the colonisation of Palestinian lands. It owns 13% of the land in Israel, and has helped to entrench apartheid in the country through its policy to lease land exclusively to Jews.”
The JNF calls itself Israel’s largest green organisation and the oldest green organisation in the world for its afforestation projects of millions of trees to cover up Palestinian towns and villages that Israel destroyed when it was created in 1948. This aims to prevent displaced Palestinians from returning back to their homes. This is never an environmentally friendly act; rather, it is displacement and colonisation of someone else’s land.
The system of oppression and discrimination that Israel imposes on Palestinians on all the territory under its control is a complex of human rights and environmental rights violations which are built on a vision of subjugation that targets the people, the land and its natural resources.
Although it is applauded as a world-respected organisation in afforestation, sustainable development and water, the JNF has been responsible for draining the ecologically sensitive Hula Lake and surrounding marshes.
Currently, the JNF and other government-backed right-wing settler organisations are actively engaged in the looming expulsion of some 90 Palestinian houses from the neighbourhood of Silwan, and elsewhere in Jerusalem.
Despite its long-standing involvement in the continued denial of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the dispossession of Palestinians citizens of Israel and illegal settlement expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, the JNF has never been held accountable.
The exploitation of the climate justice struggle by the oppressive Israeli system and its institutions like the JNF only perpetuates social and environmental injustices.
It is time to act
As environmental organisations that uphold principles of anti-colonial and social justice struggles, we commit to:
- support Initiatives by Friends of the Earth Palestine and others to counter green washing promoted by the JNF and other Israeli institutions
- oppose the fact that in many of our countries the JNF holds charitable status, through which it funds its illegal and discriminatory activities inPalestine, and will support initiatives to revoke this status whenever possible
- oppose any attempts by the JNF and its allies to gain official recognition by the COP, the United Nations or other institutions
- demand that the JNF is held accountable for its violations of human rights and International Law and its role in Israel’s regime of apartheid, including through legal investigation and prosecution at the national and international levels.