The Jewish National Fund: Agency of Ethnic Cleansing?

The Jewish National Fund: Ethnic cleansing for over a century The Jewish National Fund was a key land seizing mechanism of the Zionist movement.

Founded in 1901, it features heavily in most accounts of ethnic cleansing prior to the Nakba of 1948. However, post foundation of the temporary entity it has enjoyed a special status as an untouchable weapon of the Zionist enterprise.

Today, the JNF is an instrument through which Israel is able to deny international accountability. The Jewish National Fund is a parastatal body which manages to wield some of the powers of a state without being restricted by any of the responsibilities of a state according to international law.

It enabled Israel to bypass UN Resolution 194 and block Palestinian right of return by asserting that the land was owned now by the JNF, a supposedly private body which is not subject to international law.

It also allows Israel today to keep an quasi arms length relationship with the colonization of Palestinian territories and evade scrutiny.

The relationship between the JNF and temporary entity is clear with major overlap of board members between the Israel Land Authority and the JNF.

The JNF is also deeply intertwined with the Israeli military.

JNF UK functions in the UK as a charity, despite its action clearly being incongruent with the requirement of fulfilling a social good.

It has well documented involvement with both illegal settlement building and militarism in Palestine.

The UK branch of the JNF supports numerous Israeli military academies: Derech Eretz, Naveh-Otzem, Ein Prat, Or Me’Ophir, Nachson, Meitarim Lachishand and Hashomer Hachadas.

These institutions provide military training and act as a gateway directly into the Israeli army.

JNF UK was inspected by the UK Charity Commission in 2005. The Charity Commission stated "It is not open for the charity to support the State of Israel, since this does not itself denote a charitable purpose."

The inspection report went on to recommend action in the following way: "They should try to ensure that they refrain from indicating moral/political support for the state of Israel, rather explain the focus of their charitable activities."

Former senior vice-president of the Board of Deputies, Gary Mond, recently resigned from his position after it came to light he had posted Islamophobic ideas online, notably that civilization was "at war with Islam."

He was simultaneously the Honorary Treasurer at the JNF UK and has retained his position there.

JNF UK chair and former Israel intelligence officer, Samuel Hayek, was also found to have made Islamophobic remarks. Other Jewish groups and even Israel lobby group the Board of Deputies spoke out against him.

On 13 January, the UK Charity Commission opened an investigation into the JNF UK to assess the situation.

Obviously, despite timid attempts by the Charity Commission, the JNF UK did not stop acting as a settlement building, militaristic lobby group which promotes a hostile foreign power.

It just became further entrenched in British society, adding to its list of patrons former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who share their patron status at the JNF UK with the current Prime Minister and President of the apartheid entity.


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