October 23, 2006

This is a betrayal: Arabs grabbing JNF land in Jerusalem

Generous Jews donated many millions of dollars to the Jewish National Fund/JNF for the purchase of land. What they may not know is that in Jerusalem, a portion of that land ends up in Arab hands. These are some of the very same Arabs that celebrate Israel's defeats and Arab suicide bombings, and refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Documented facts, supplied by Aryeh King, resident of eastern Jerusalem, were submitted to Avinoam Binder, Chief Israel Representative for Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the Hebrew version of JNF, at his New York office.

Mr. Binder confirmed that large scale give-away of JNF lands to Arabs has been occurring through government decisions, and the failure of JNF to oppose those decisions. Four plots, which make up 772 dunams (approximately 193 acres) near Bethlehem, which had been purchased by JNF, are now unavailable to Jews. Mr. Binder explains that the military status of the area makes this problematic.

In north Jerusalem, the JNF owns an area that is known as Shoafat. Arieh King tells us that the plots were registered as belonging to the State, but they really belong to JNF and were purchased by JNF.

Today, the area is the site of hundreds of buildings occupied by Arabs whose Orange ID's theoretically keep them from entering Jerusalem, however, they live inside Jerusalem. The JNF does nothing to remove the Arab squatters from the land. There is also a "refugee" camp on the site, housing about 10,000 persons. When asked why they are not removed, Avinoam Binder replied,"How could so many be removed and relocated?" I pointed out to him that the government had no problem removing 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif and setting them down wherever they might land. He smiled at the impossibility of the thought that Israel would try to do the same thing to Arabs. He agreed that scant attention is paid to the Jewish Gush Katif refugees.

In northern Jerusalem, near the Atarot airport, to which Jews dare not travel today, there are thousands of dunams (calculate approx. 4 per acre) that are owned by the JNF. This land exists between the airport, in the top of the finger of Jerusalem, and the borders of the Jerusalem municipality. Avinoam Binder shrugs his shoulders helplessly when questioned as to why this land is being sold to Arabs.

The ghastly wall that scars its way through Jerusalem is also leaving huge tracts of JNF land on the "Arab" side. Once again, JNF looks at this as a decision by the government of Israel, and one they refuse to appeal.

JNF donors, who were under the impression they were reclaiming holy Jewish land through their generosity, will be dismayed to learn that NO land was purchased by JNF in Jewish east Jerusalem in the past twenty years. And with the above information as evidence, land that was purchased for Jewish use has been released into Arab hands.

JNF donors should be outraged by this situation. Questions should be asked whether similar situations are occurring throughout Israel. Is JNF land in the Galilee and the Negev falling into Arab hands? If you are a donor operating on the premise that JNF money is going into Jewish projects protected by that organization, you should immediately request an accounting.

Write to register your protest:

Avinoam Binder at Jewish National Fund,
42 East 69th Street,
New York, NY 10021
abinder@jnf.org
http://www.jnf.org/


Resolve not to give any more money to JNF unless there can be a guarantee that Arabs will not profit from your gift. Send this information to your local newspapers and radio stations. Take part in alerting generous Jews to the deception perpetrated upon them.

Contact Arieh King in Jerusalem for more details - kingshir@bezeqint.net