Letter to SA Jewish Report (24-31 May) by StopTheJNF Spokesperson; Allan Horwitz
In the Jewish Report of May 10, Dennis Kahlberg asks us: What do we want to stop the JNF from doing?
In a nutshell, Mr Kahlberg, the answer is provided on page 13 of the very same Jewish Report issue: “A Knesset committee has advanced a plan to resettle 30 000 Bedouin… The Association of Civil Rights in Israel said it would “cause the displacement and forced eviction of dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Bedouin residents, dispossessing them of their property and historical rights to their lands, destroying the social fabric of their communities and sealing the fate of thousands of families into poverty and unemployment.
“All of this while the government simultaneously promotes the establishment of new Jewish communities, some of which are even planned to be built on the fresh ruins of Bedouin villages. “The JNF is integrally involved in this campaign which has already seen the
bulldozing of many such villages. The initiative is also known as “greening of the
Negev” to which, we as South African Jews have been invited by the JNF to contribute.
And in this we find a potted history of dozens of pre-1948 Palestinian villages.
With regard to your other comments, space will not allow a comprehensive response, but
let us reiterate that Stop the JNF does not call for the destruction of the State of Israel.
What we call for is a negotiated settlement with Palestinians that respects individual
and collective rights as enshrined in various UN Charters and the South African Bill of
As such we support the demand that Israel cease its armed occupation and annexation
of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its siege on Gaza, and cease its current
denial of basic human rights to those under occupation.
Moreover discrimination against non –Jewish citizens of Israel such as the Bedouin must come to an end. Because of these injustices, it is widely acknowledged that the Netanyahu government is leading Israel deeper and deeper into isolation and shaming Jews who advocate dialogue and responsible morally founded action. In general, non-violent protest against these Israeli policies is essential so as to show solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who share universal concerns for justice and peace and to confront the Zionist movement with the current reality.
Such acts of solidarity clearly do not include support for terrorism of any kind –
whether committed by Hamas, Hezbollah, the Israeli government or Jewish religious/
nationalist settlers on the West Bank.
Lastly, we do not believe that the Jewish community should be deprived of freedom of
association and assembly and do not support actions that imperil or deny that.