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111111_Israel charity ‘on the retreat’ say Palestine campaigners

111111_Israel charity ‘on the retreat’ say Palestine campaigners

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Published by: BDS-Kampagne on Jan 22, 2014
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06/10/2014

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11. November 2011: Israel charity ‘on the retreat’ say Palestine campaigners
 
Activists campaigning for equal rights of all citizens inside Israel claim the Jewish National Fund (JNF
) is “on the retreat” since they are holding their 110th anniversary event at a secret
location in London this weekend for fear of protests. Tom Evans of the Stop the JNF
Campaign noted that “in previous years the
JNF were extremely confident of their brand and always announced high profile events months in
advance, with celebrity keynote speakers such as Bill Clinton”. Evans believes that, “the
secrecy enveloping this key anniversary event shows clearly they understand that support for Israel, and the continuing role of the JNF in the dispossession of Palestinians is making them
a toxic brand.”
 The JNF is now losing key political patronage. Whereas past leaders of all three main British  political parties invariably became JNF honorary patrons, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned his Honorary Patronage in May, a first for any British Prime Minister, while Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband also broke with the tradition of their own parties and both declined the invitation to become JNF honorary patrons. The JNF
claims to be “Israel’s leading humanitarian and environmental charity”, a claim rejected as ‘greenwash’ by environmental charities across the world. There is incr 
easing
uneasiness about the organisation’s role in the Israeli government policy of discrimination
against non-Jews, particularly in the destruction of Palestinian Bedouin villages in the Negev, the forced removal of the villagers to what campaigners refer to as a process of concentration and their replacement with Jewish-only settlements. Campaigners have called this process
‘ethnic cleansing’ and point to the effective subsidy of the JNF’s activities through its
charitable, tax-exempt status here in the UK. Only last month the Israeli cabinet approved plans for a large-
scale ‘transfer’ of 30,000
Palestinian Bedouin in the Naqab (Negev) desert from their lands. A further plan schedules the eviction of 27,000 Bedouin from their lands in the West Bank. An Early Day Motion to remove the charitable status of the JNF, tabled by MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Gerald Kaufman in March, continues to gain the support of MPs. So far 48 MPs
have signed to show their belief that there is “just cause to consider revocation of the JNF’s charitable status in the UK”.
 ENDS  Notes for editors:
1. The Stop the JNF Campaign
 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.

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