Letter from European Jews for a Just Peace to Social Democratic Party of Germany
19 December 2012
Party Executive, SPD
Does the Social Democratic Party support the "Judaization" of the Negev Desert?
It was with great disappointment that the "Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East" learned of the SPD's decision to launch a fundraising campaign in favour of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) / "Keren Kajemet le Jisrael" (KKL), which is supposed to help plant a "forest of the SPD" in the Negev desert.
Cynically, the SPD still notes that donations to the KKL are recognized by the Federal Government as tax-deductible donations. According to this, the federal government subsidizes donations for the JNF – KKL and indirectly promotes the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Bedouin population of the Negev Desert.
However, while the involvement of the German government remains indirect, the SPD directly supports this criminal action.
The SPD is aware that the goal of the JNF-KKL is the "Judaization" of Israel, as well as that its projects for afforestation of the Negev Desert are part of the efforts to dissuade the resident Bedouin population from the previous use of the land as arable and pasture land.
What is also alarming is that the SPD considers it right to donate money as a "birthday gift" for Israel to an organization that actively expands one part of the population from the other. The SPD ignores the fact that the Negev (Arabic Naqab) is inhabited by Muslim Arabs, whom the Jewish National Fund actively seeks to oust from their country. These are equally citizens of Israel, but the SPD's "gift" is likely to taste very bitter.
As early as March this year, the "Jewish Voice" had warned against donations to the JNF-KKL, a criminal organization that is primarily involved in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem through its subsidiary "Himanuta".
In 2011/2012 alone, the Bedouin village of Al Arakib was destroyed more than thirty times by bulldozers of the JNF-KKL in the desert. The JNF-KKL asked donors in the USA to promote the afforestation of The Al Arakib land in order to prevent its inhabitants from rebuilding their homes and restoring their farmland.
Later this year, the "Jewish Voice" noted with interest that the world community is beginning to respond to the crimes of the JNF-KKL. In the UK, donations to the JNF-KKL have fallen by half, as many donors refuse to participate in "ethnic cleansing" projects.
Unfortunately, the SPD seems to be lagging behind here and is either unable or unwilling to address the contradiction between support for the JNF-KKL and the right of all Israeli citizens to be treated with dignity and respect.
Finally, as Jews, we would like to point out that the SPD mixes an old Jewish tradition with discrimination against Palestinians and Bedouins in Israel by combining a "gift for Israel" with a "gift for Hanukkah". We would therefore like to stress that we reject the methods of expropriation of the JNF-KKL and also its racist ideology of the "Judaization of the Negev" as Jews. The idea that a Jewish holiday like "Hanukkah" is a good reason to discriminate against and attack non-Jews is intolerable.
We are therefore eager to hear an explanation from the SPD as to why it thought it was right to make this link.
European Jews for a Just Peace
[Translated by Google from original letter here: https://www.juedische-stimme.de/2012/12/20/1015/]