Last week, a group of activists gathered outside the London headquarters of the Charity Commission to hand in a petition signed by 4000+ people, calling on the Commission to strip JNF UK of its charity status. They were joined for the hand-in by Tommy Sheppard MP.
The petition was circulated after the Commission opened a regulatory investigation into JNF UK because of the racist and Islamophobic remarks made by a number of members of their board.
The petition demanded that the Charity Commission’s investigation doesn’t end with these comments – because the foundations and ongoing activities of the organisation are rooted in anti-Palestinian racism.
While handing the petition in, statements were read out from several Palestinians, both in their homeland and in exile, speaking to the reality of the JNF’s role in ethnic cleansing, and the maintenance of Israel’s system of apartheid. They spoke of the JNF’s afforestation of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages and of the JNF’s contemporary role in dispossessing Palestinians in the Naqab and in Jerusalem.
The statements also spoke of the inspiring resistance to the JNF and Israel’s colonial project across Palestine. We will continue to stand in solidarity with Palestinians struggling for liberation, and demand that the JNF UK is stripped of its charitable status.