Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Jewish National Fund Accused of False Advertising

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Jewish National Fund Accused of False Advertising

Article excerpt

Right-wing American Jews who support Israeli annexation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have carried their battle against the Jewish National Fund (JNF) into the New York State Supreme Court. The "Ad-Hoc Committee for Jewish Survival in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan" accused the JNF of giving contributors the false impression that their money would be used not only in Israel proper but also in Gaza and the West Bank -- which the Committee calls by the biblical names Judea and Samaria.

The JNF was established in 1901 to purchase and reclaim land for Jews in Palestine. Since then it has planted nearly 2 million trees. JNF literature and the small blue boxes it uses to collect coins -- known by the Yiddish word "pushkes" -- do show a map of Israel and the territories. This certainly could lead one to believe that the JNF supports projects beyond the "Green Line" separating Israel from the occupied territories.

On Dec. 6, Judge Shirley Fingerhood of the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the JNF will have to publish a disclaimer on all its literature and on the "pushkes," saying "Funds contributed to the Jewish National Fund of America are used only for projects within the Green Line." The JNF says that is no problem since it never wanted people to think it funded programs beyond the Green Line anyway. …

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