Contact your MP: investigate the JNF UK.
Find your MP’s details here and send the letter electronically. Ask your MP to pressure the Attorney General to use her statutory powers to intervene with the Charity Commission; the JNF UK’s operations must be investigated.
Dear [Name of MP]
I am calling on you, my MP, to ask the Attorney General to use her Office’s statutory powers to intervene with the Charity Commission regarding the operations of the Jewish National Fund UK. JNF UK funds the Israeli military, supports Israel’s illegal settlements, and is a partner of JNF-KKL in Israel, an agent of Israel’s colonisation process.
The Attorney General’s intervention is urgently needed. The new Israeli government is accelerating its programme of illegal annexation of the West Bank. Recently, 143 UK politicians called for sanctions against Israel should it press ahead with these illegal actions. The expulsion of the Bedouin, from the Negev/Naqab in contravention of international law, forms part of a coordinated set of measures by the Israel government to concentrate Palestinians into fragmented and ever smaller, segregated enclaves. JNF UK is complicit in this process.
In relation to its activities in the Negev, the JNF UK website makes the claim that the area is “largely unpopulated” and is “a politically uncomplicated area.” However, JNF UK’s involvement in the Negev is part of an ongoing process, by the Israeli state, to forcibly displace the Bedouin population, one of the most neglected and poorest communities in the region. In line with this, JNF UK has financially supported the Jewish-only village of Hiran, which aims to replace the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm-al-Hiran, which has been subject to forcible evacuation. JNF-KKL’s own website states that “[F]riends of JNF UK have supported…. The Hiran Forest” which is part of the attempt to replace the Palestinian village. Such demolitions are against international law. The United Nations has stated on numerous occasions that Bedouin Palestinians must be allowed to remain on their land.
The Stop the JNF campaign has supplied cogent evidence to the Charity Commission regarding JNF UK’s role in the oppression of Palestinians. Despite this, the Charity Commission is yet to launch a full investigation into JNF UK’s operations, confining itself to the registration process of the charity only, as indicated here: “In simple terms the test for charitable status is a test of what an organisation was set up to do, not what it does in practice.” (John Thorndike, Case Manager/Regulatory Compliance June 2019). This failure to investigate the practices of a registered charity undermines the credibility of the Charity Commission as a regulatory authority, and charities in general.
On November 29th, 2019, over 4000 letters were handed in at the office of the Attorney General: there has been no reply, despite the letters’ detailing that JNF UK:
- operates in the illegal Israeli settlements
- supported Israel’s 2014 ground invasion and aerial bombardment of Gaza
- is complicit in ethnic cleansing of Bedouin people in the Naqab/Negev
- is environmentally damaging
- is misrepresenting itself in its fundraising materials.
JNF UK is in breach of charitable requirements, is racist in practice as well as in intention and is clearly not in accord with UK Equalities legislation.
I am therefore calling on you to make representations to the Attorney General to use her statutory authority to intervene with the Charity Commission and ensure that an investigation of these matters takes place.