FoE Scotland’s 2023 motion at the AGM to support Palestinian land rights by engaging with the Plant a Tree passed unanimously. The motion noted that this campaign is “supporting indigenous, sustainable, farmer-led tree-planting in order to support Palestinians in areas under attack from settler and Israeli military violence, to remain, steadfast, on their lands and resist the settler colonisation of their lands.”
This move is timely. Israeli settlers, all of them living illegally on occupied Palestinian land, are habitually carrying out pogroms against Palestinian farmers and village communities: Plant a Tree offers practical support and political solidarity.
During these attacks, the Israeli Occupation Forces either stand back and support the outrages – or they protect the settlers. These settlers’ attacks are nothing new but are an intensification of established practices and policies of making life unbearable for Palestinians on the land – in reality the settlers are agents of the government’s drive to take Palestinian land by uprooting Palestinian people– an age-old Zionist tactic of erasure of the indigenous people.
Stop the JNF applauds Friends of the Earth Scotland for this decision and urges other FoE and environmental groups to follow suit by taking this practical step to show solidarity with the men and women of the land of Palestine.
Just as we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people resisting Zionist colonisation, so we extend solidarity to all peoples fighting for environmental justice as supported by our Friends of the Earth comrades. (The full text of the FoE Scotland motion is below).
Background: Friends of the Earth International and Friends of the Earth Scotland have a distinguished history of supporting Palestinian land rights:
In 2012, an International Friends of the Earth delegation led to the publication of “Environmental Nakba: Environmental injustice and violations of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” This report documents some of the environmental injustice, settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing that the delegation observed across historic Palestine.
In 2020, the AGM of FoE Scotland overwhelmingly supported a motion in advance of COP 26 which threw a spotlight on the glaring error of allowing the JNF/KKL to have observer status in this important environmental conference. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s resolution that year (“Stop the JNF Greenwashing Ethnic Cleansing”) recognised that the JNF played a major role in the colonisation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine from its inception in 1901 to this day.
As well as challenging JNF’s observer status at COP 26, FoE Scotland committed itself to offer support to the Sumarin family who face eviction at the hands of Himnuta, a JNF proxy, and to call on MPs to sign EDM 529 in support of the family. The organisation also agreed to support a future challenge to the charitable status of the KKL in Scotland.
Full text of the 2023 FoE Scotland Resolution:
Friends of the Earth Scotland notes that:
2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Palestine Nakba (catastrophe), when Zionist militia, empowered by the Balfour declaration and trained and supported by British mandate administration, drove 750,000 Palestinians from their lands in a project of ethnic cleansing in order to control the ecological resources of Palestine free of its indigenous population;
The Nakba (catastrophe) of ethnic cleansing has continued, not least through environmental degradation of Palestinian land and water by settler colonisation, which has been documented by Friends of the Earth Palestine and International;
The Jewish National Fund has played a key role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians for over 100 years, but today presents itself as an environmental organisation, including through its subsidiary branch JNF/KKL Scotland, registered as an environmental charity in Scotland;
The Stop the JNF Plant a Tree in Palestine campaign is supporting indigenous, sustainable, farmer-led tree-planting in order to support Palestinians in areas under attack from settler and Israeli military violence, to remain, steadfast, on their lands and resist the settler colonisation of their lands.
Therefore, FoES agrees to:
Support and promote the Stop the JNF Plant a Tree in Palestine campaign.