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UK charity dogged by 'monocultures and rights violations' claims
7th October, 2011
The Jewish National Fund UK has always denied a swirl of claims over its history and activities in the Middle East, including allegations of land grabbing Palestinian villages. But campaigners want the organisation stripped of its charitable status
When, earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was stepping down as patron of an environmental and humanitarian charity few people in Britian took notice. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) UK, an organisation that prides itself on making the desert bloom in Israel, does not have the coverage of Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth.
Yet for some it was highly significant: activists from the Stop the JNF campaign declared it a small victory in their bid to have the outfit's charity status revoked in the UK. It is the first time JNF UK has not had a British Prime Minister as patron since its inception more than one hundred years ago. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, however, are still listed as honorary patrons.
Stop the JNF had written an open letter to the Prime Minister in May asking him to reconsider his position as patron. They accused the charity, along with its Israeli counterpart KKL-JNF [Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – KKL – in Hebrew], of being historically complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians, particularly through the afforestation of land they allege was stolen from Arab villages during Israel's creation in 1948. However, the accusations contained in Stop...
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