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Back Activities Press Releases FORWARDED PRESS RELEASE: UK – Cameron drops Israel racist charity

FORWARDED PRESS RELEASE: UK – Cameron drops Israel racist charity

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David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron has quietly terminated his status as an Honorary Patron of the controversial Jewish National Fund (JNF).

His office confirmed he had “stepped down”.  For many years leaders of all three main political parties became Honorary Patrons of the JNF by convention.  According to Dick Pitt, a spokesperson for the Stop the JNF Campaign, “Cameron was the only leader of the three major parties remaining as a JNF Patron.  This decline in political support for the JNF at the highest levels of the political tree may be a sign of the increasing awareness in official quarters that a robust defence of the activities of the JNF may not be sustainable.”

The news of Cameron’s retreat has reached Palestinians in refugee camps, people whose land is under the control of the JNF.  Salah Ajarma in Bethlehem’s Aida Refugee Camp was “delighted to hear the news that the British Prime Minister has decided to withdraw his support for this sinister organisation involved in ethnic cleansing.
My village, Ajjur, was taken by force from my family and given to the JNF who used money from JNF UK to plant the British Park on its ruins.
For the Palestinians who were evicted from their villages and have been prevented from returning, Cameron's withdrawal is another victory on the road to achieving justice and freedom for the Palestinians".

The JNF chairman Samuel Hayek defends the work of the organisation saying,“for over 100 years we have had one mission: to settle and develop the Land of Israel” as pioneers of the “historic Zionist dream”.  The registered charity claims their work, especially in the Negev region of Israel, deals with “the rising demographic challenges faced by Israel”. In recent months the JNF’s activities in the Negev have received extensive international media coverage, linking them to the demolition of Palestinian Bedouin villages and confiscation of the land of the village.  Campaigners report that “even Israeli courts have criticised the JNF as an organisation that discriminates against non-Jews and there is mounting evidence of the JNF’s involvement in Israel’s programme to change the ethnic composition of areas inside 1948 Israel as well as in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories.  It is not acceptable that such an organisation is allowed to operate in the UK, much less to enjoy charity status”.

Michael Kalmanovitz, UK co-ordinator of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, said “Cameron’s patronage of the JNF lent parliamentary credibility to a criminal organisation backed by a highly-equipped occupying army and masquerading as a ‘humanitarian charity’.  Now parliamentarians who are ‘Friends of Israel’
must consider how much longer they can defend Israeli apartheid and worse.“

Pressure has been mounting on Cameron and the JNF.  An Early Day Motion in the Westminster Parliament highlighted the Prime Minister’s status as honorary patron and claimed that “there is just cause to consider revocation of the JNF's charitable status in the UK”.  UK and international JNF fund-raising events increasingly face protests due, campaigners argue, to “a shift in public opinion on Israel generally”. In 2007, the American JNF application for consultative status on a key UN committee was rejected because delegates were unable to distinguish between the activities of the US Branch and those of the JNF in Israel whose activities the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns about.

The Stop the JNF Campaign has workshops planned in London on 4 June
2011 and protests against JNF fundraising activities will be organised throughout the coming year.

ENDS

Notes for editors:

[1] The Stop the JNF Campaign is an international campaign aimed at ending the role of the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemet LeIsrael)
(JNF-KKL) in:

- the on-going displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their land
-  the theft of their property
-  the funding of historic and present day colonies,
and
-  the destruction of the natural environment.

The JNF continues to serve as a global fundraiser for Israeli ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid. Despite its role in a State institution of Israel (the Israel Land Authority) and in institutionalized racism and apartheid, the JNF and its affiliate organizations enjoy charitable status in over 50 countries.

For further information, contact  gb@stopthejnf.org, 07931200361

Website:  www.stopthejnf.org ( http://www.stopthejnf.org )

[2] Email from Prime Minister’s Press Office, Thu, 26 May 2011

Following the formation of the Coalition Government last year, a review was undertaken of all the organisations and charities the Prime Minister was associated with. As a result of this review, the Prime Minister stepped down from a number of charities - this included the JNF. A full list of all the charities and organisations the Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron are associated with is published on the Cabinet Office website.

Rachel Stanton
Prime Minister's Press Office
10 Downing Street
SW1A 2AA
020 7930 4433

 (http://www.totallyjewish.com/news/national/?content_id=2661 )

(http://www.stopthejnf.org/documents/JNFeBookVol1ed2x.pdf )

[5] Samuel Hayek in ‘Supporting Israel for Life’, JNF Charitable Trust, Annual Report & Accounts 2009 (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends10%5C0000225910_AC_20091231_E_C.PDF)

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/03/israel-negev )

(http://www.jnews.org.uk/news/cameron-backed-charity-accused-of-discriminating-against-non-jews)

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/01/israelis-demolish-bedouin-village)

(http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/stop-destruction-bedouin-village-and-its-inhabitants%E2%80%99-livelihoods-5)

(http://www.ijsn.net/home/ )

[8] Early day motion 1677, JEWISH NATIONAL FUND, Session: 2010-11

“That this House welcomes the Stop the Jewish National Fund (JNF)Campaign launched on 30 March 2011 by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others to inform the public about the JNF - Karen Kayemet L'Yisrael, its ongoing illegal expropriation of Palestinian land, concealing of destroyed Palestinian villages beneath parks and forests, and prevention of refugees from returning to their homes; notes that the JNF's constitution is explicitly discriminatory by stating that land and property will never be rented, leased or sold to non-Jews; further notes that the UN rejected the JNF USA's application for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council on the ground that it violates the principles of the UN Charter on Human Rights; regrets that the Prime Minister is a JNF honorary patron; and believes that there is just cause to consider revocation of the JNF's charitable status in the UK.”

(http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2010-11/1677 )

[9] UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) rejects JNF (US) application for consultative status (2007)

(http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/ecosoc6267.doc.htm )

 (http://www.badil.org/en/article74/item/429-the-jewish-national-fund-jnf)

 (http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/041AB84D2F05080C85257302004A9963)

(http://www.stopthejnf.org/greatbritain_takeaction_workshop4june2011.html)

 (http://www.stopthejnf.org/greatbritain_takeaction_protest21june2011.html)

Forwarded by IHRC solely for informational purposes, please contact source website for more information.[ENDS]

Source: http://www.stopthejnf.org/

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The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

IHRC is not the author of the above press release, which has been provided solely on an informational basis. IHRC does not necessarily support the views of the author.

IHRC is not responsible for the content of external websites, nor endorses them by providing their link.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Email: info@ihrc.org

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