Na’amod member speaks out against the JNF’s role in the occupation

My name is Mark and I’m a member of Na’amod: British Jews against Occupation My family’s involvement with the JNF goes back at least 100 years My grandfather planted citrus groves in mandatory Palestine in the 1920s Like all the other Jewish families we knew, we had a blue box for coins for the “redemption” of the land, and proudly hung KKL certificates on our walls to celebrate milestone events Including the 70th Birthday of Chaim Weizmann, who was a friend of my grandfather, and visited at his home in Glasgow Since 1967, JNF-KKL has been involved in funding the construction, infrastructure development and land expropriation for settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In Silwan, in East Jerusalem, the JNF funds and supports settlement activity through its subsidiary – Himnuta, using this alias to conceal involvement with hardline extremist settler activities. Using various legal proceedings, JNF/ Himnuta have evicted dozens of Palestinian families in Silwan and transferred their homes to Israeli settlers and since 1991, it has attempted to evict a Palestinian family, the Sumarins, from their home, claiming it owns that home through Israel’s Absentee Property law. They have tried time and time again to evict this family through the courts, losing many times. However, on 20 September 2019, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court finally accepted JNF’s claim against the family, and ruled that they be evicted within three months. Those of us who believed in – and fought for – a Jewish State based on equality, fairness and justice for all, now recognise JNF for what it is An instrument of cruelty, greed, deception, expropriation and injustice used against the Palestinians. So, this Tu B’Shvat, I am expressing my solidarity with the Sumarin family by returning my JNF certificate, which was given to me on my bar mitzvah in 1951. JNF has betrayed our trust, and, like many others, I want nothing more to do with them.

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