Stop the JNF Greenwashing Ethnic Cleansing
Motion passed at Friends of the Earth Scotland AGM 2020. Proposed by Eurig Scandrett, seconded by Angus Maclean (June 2020).
The Jewish National Fund (JNF, or in Hebrew Karen Kayemeth LeIsrael: KKL) is an Israeli parastatal organisation which implements ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (sometimes through its subsidiary company Himnuta), under the guise of its claim to be an environmental organisation. It has branches in many countries, including Scotland (KKL Scotland), where it enjoys charitable status from the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator, for raising funds for ‘environmental improvements’ in Israel.
Friends of the Earth Scotland approved a motion at its 2011 AGM condemning the JNF for greenwashing ethnic cleansing.
The JNF’s website claims:
“KKL-JNF is Israel’s largest green organization and the oldest green organization in the world. KKL-JNF advances water economy, forestry, education, community development, tourism, and R&D in Israel.”
“KKL-JNF was established in 1901 to purchase and redeem lands in Zion [ie Palestine], and was appointed trustee and custodian of this land on behalf of the Jewish People, which they serve to this very day.”
What this means is that they exclude non-Jewish people from land in Palestine (and, since 1948, in Israel), and in particular they evict the indigenous Palestinian people from their land. The organisation is racist and exists for the purpose of ethnic cleansing Palestinians.
In the 1947-48 war which led to the formation of the State of Israel, the JNF provided essential information to Zionist militias (the ‘Village Files’) to destroy Palestinian villages and evict or massacre their populations, and became the custodian of lands following military occupation in order to prevent Palestinians returning. 750,000 Palestinians became refugees in what has become known as the Nakba, including the residents of Ajjar, on whose lands British Park was established with donations from the JNF in Britain.
In the 1967 six day war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza strip, the JNF became the custodian of the lands of the Palestinian villages of Emwas, Yula and Beit Nuba after the residents were expelled, and converted the area into JNF ‘Canada Park’ with donations from the JNF in Canada.
In 2010, Aberdeen company Wood Group won a contract to build the Dorad gas-fired power station on land confiscated by the JNF from the village of al-Jiyya, which was ethnically cleansed of Palestinians, some of whom now live as refugees under siege in Gaza, within sight of the power station.
Since 2010, the village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert in Southern Israel, has been destroyed over 100 times by the JNF. The Bedouin inhabitants continue to return to rebuild their village whilst the JNF, with Israeli military protection, continues to destroy it.
KKL Scotland has raised funds to build a reservoir for irrigating intensive agriculture in the kibbutz Gazit, in Galilee, which was built over the ruins of al-Tira, which was forcibly evacuated on the orders of the JNF in 1948.
On June 30th, 2020, the Israeli courts are scheduled to hear the final appeal of a case in which the JNF will seek to evict the 18 members of the Sumarin family from their home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in 1967.
Claiming environmental credentials, the JNF is registered as an official observer with the FCCC process, and regularly participates in COP summits. It is expected to participate in COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
Friends of the Earth Scotland:
· notes the role of the KKL/JNF in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and its attempts to greenwash these crimes.
· supports the campaign to keep the JNF out of COP26 in Glasgow.
· supports the campaign to challenge the charitable status of the KKL Scotland on the grounds that funds are being used for racist purposes.
· supports the campaign to prevent the eviction of the Sumarin family by the JNF, including asking all MPs representing Scottish constituencies to support EDM 529.
Seconded by: Angus Maclean
Friends of the Earth Scotland