Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Please Sign the Petition Against the Knesset JNF Bill
Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam, Daniel Flesher of Realistic Dove , and I, have banded together to produce a petition to sign against the JNF Bill recently passed (on a preliminary reading; it is now in committee) by the Knesset. To sign the petition, please click here. Basically, the bill would formally prohibit the lease of lands owned by the Jewish National Fund to "non-Jews and non-Zionists," i.e., Palestinians. This follows the Israel High Court Decision that such discrimination violates one of Israel's Basic Laws. It cannot be stressed enough that most of the JNF land was not purchased by the Jewish people before 1948 for Jewish settlement, but expropriated from Palestinian owners following the 1948 war and managed by the Israel Land Authority. The bill was sponsored by ultra-right wing members of parliament, and it has been attacked as racist by an excellent Haaretz editorial. Even the highly-respected neoconservative law professor and former minister, Amnon Rubinstein, has urged the government to kill the bill, and to reclaim the Palestinian land it had transferred to the Jewish National Fund to keep it out of Palestinian hands. I am sorry that the Jewish National Fund's Ron Lauder (see post below) has embraced this bill without reservation. I assume that he was misinformed -- his statement had several factual errors in it.