A Progressive Jewish Response to the Discriminatory Policies of KKL-JNF

A Report by Maya Rosen and A. Daniel Roth

A brief introduction to the report:

Both in activist and in professional contexts, we have worked with communities for years that have been negatively impacted by the work of the Keren Kayemet LeYsrael – Jewish National Fund. Whether in the South Hebron Hills, East Jerusalem, or the Jordan Valley, we have seen the ways that KKL-JNF activities, ranging from forestation projects to land purchasing policies, further entrench the occupation. With a commitment to countering the pervasive and problematic work of KKL-JNF in mind, we spent this past spring and summer reading KKL-JNF reports and state documents, interviewing former board members and experts on the organization, and writing up our findings.

We see KKL-JNF as a key force upholding the unequal reality in Israel/Palestine, and our report focuses on how progressive Jews can strategize together in order to counter the discriminatory work of KKL-JNF. Especially in light of recent attempts by KKL-JNF to dispossess Bedouin communities of their land, we believe that understanding more deeply how KKL-JNF works is crucial to opposing their discriminatory practices.

The report begins with an executive summary, which is followed by three main sections. The first section provides an overview of the parts of KKL-JNF’s work that have displaced Palestinians and further entrenched the occupation. The second section offers a detailed explanation of the often opaque structures of the organization, including its relationship to the World Zionist Organization and the Israeli government, as well as its internal structure and budget. Although technical, we believe that better understanding how this massive organization operates is crucial if we are going to think about successfully opposing it. The final section of the report provides initial suggestions on how progressive Jews can begin to counter the work of KKL-JNF.

We intend this document to be a resource for individuals and organizations to more fully understand the work of KKL-JNF and hope that this research will help ignite increased broad coalitional work to counter KKL-JNF’s work.

The full report can be found here.

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