Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in Ayn Al Zaytoun just before the massacre

JNF anti-racism-themed forests conceal racist massacre

The racist JNF planted a 10,000 tree forest supposedly in honour of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. within the Mount Turan Forest in the Upper Galilee region, near Nazareth. The JNF established the King Forest in 1976, eight years after his assassination.

The JNF’s Coretta Scott King Forest is also themed as a tribute to the Kings’ struggle against racism, claiming an Israeli “commitment to peace and justice” but it covers and conceals a notorious racist massacre:

“As a tribute to Coretta Scott King and her message of peace and equality, a section of the Biriya Forest…will be replanted as the Coretta Scott King Forest. King, who passed away in 2006, was a distinguished human rights activist and leader. She devoted her life to social justice, alongside her husband, The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Coretta Scott King Forest is in addition to a forest that was planted in Israel in memory of her husband.

King…spoke to us about his vision of the Promised Land, a land of justice and equality, brotherhood and peace…With your help, we can rebuild Israel’s northern forests and carry on Coretta Scott King’s commitment to peace and justice.”

The Coretta Scott King forest, sits inside one of Israel’s largest man-made forests, built over the ruins of six destroyed Palestinian villages located in the Safad region – Dayshym, Alma, Qaddita, Birrya, Amqa, Ain al-Zaytoun. All these villages were obliterated in the Nakba, and their inhabitants killed or expelled.

Ayn al-Zaytun formed the basis for the epic novel by Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun (Bab El Shams) and the film of the novel. See

Stop the JNF International is working with survivors of the Ayn Al Zaytoun massacre and their descendants currently in a refugee camp to

  1. promote their story – their lives before 1948, the Nakba in Ayn Al Zaytoun, and the situation of the refugees today
  2. challenge the JNF over their use of ethnically cleansed Palestinian land and property to promote an Israeli commitment to anti-racism and social justice. Demand the King Family names are removed from these horrific crimes scenes.
  3. press their right of return.

A working committee of international solidarity groups and Palestinians, together with Ain Al Zaytoun families, will drive forward this project of Stop the JNF.

Khalidi in All That Remains mentions the thirty seven young villagers chosen at random and reports Israeli historian Benny Morris’s conclusion that “they were probably among a group of seventy people later massacred in a gully between Ayn Al Zaytoun and Safad under orders from Moshe Kelman who, in anticipation of a Red Cross visit to the area, ordered their hands to be untied to conceal the fact that the killing had been done in cold blood”.

The Jewish National fund (JNF) in Israel is still actively involved in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, aided and abetted by more than 40 JNF national groups around the world.

We are looking for support from BLM and other anti-racist campaigners to extend solidarity with the Ayn Al Zaytoun villagers, their right of return, and the same right for all ethnically cleansed Palestinian families. For more information or with any queries, contact:  WhatsApp/Signal  +44 795 800 2591