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Greenwashing by the Jewish National Fund, Israel

The Jewish National Fund has been for years operating under the status of "charity" while it enforces and conceals war crimes by planting exotic trees as a means to further dispossess Palestinians from their lands and traditions.


"When pine needles fall, they acidify the ground and make it inhabitable by any plant to grow there.” – Jonathan Cook. The Jewish National Fund has designated Sunday 5th February as ‘Green Sunday,’ when it encourages people to donate money to ‘plant trees in Israel.’

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Greenwashing by the Jewish National Fund, Israel
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Deforestation
Military installations
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Jewish National Fund functions as a quasi-governmental charity fund. It functions in many countries around the world where you donate to helping the country of Israel. Its role in Israel is an alleged environmental NGO where it grows trees, and it has been accused of aiding in war crime by growing trees over destroyed Palestinian villages.

Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:01/01/1901
Company names or state enterprises:Jewish National Fund from Israel
Relevant government actors:Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Israeli Ministry of Interior
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Pressured by human rights activists and a Palestinian refugee, the Canada Revenue Agency has begun an investigation into the Jewish National Fund of Canada over its use of charitable donations to build projects for the Israeli military and illegal settlements. In addition to the formal complaint, activists have initiated a petition through parliament calling for JNF Canada’s charitable status to be revoked. Yet the JNF enjoys charitable status in over 50 countries.
The issue is that by planting these trees, the Palestinian villages are then deemed nature parks and nature reserves, and the original inhabitants are denied access and return. If the refugees return, by doing so, then there wouldn’t be a need to have trees acting as occupation soldiers.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The petition will be presented to parliament and the government will have to respond. Yet that might only revoke JNF Canada's status and not the whole association. It doesn't seem it will change anytime soon.
JNF retains its tax-exempt in the US.
Furthermore, and most critically, the expropriation of Palestinian lands continues and the denial of the enshrined right of return of the refugees continues.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[9]Greenwashing Apartheid:

The Jewish National Fund's Environmental Cover Up

JNF eBook (Volume 4, May 15, 2011)
[click to view]

[10]War, peace and land seizure in Palestine's border area
[click to view]

[11]Architecture of Erasure
[click to view]

[click to view]

[1]Stop the “Jewish National Fund” from stealing Palestinian land
[click to view]

[2]Stop the Jewish National Fund Greenwashing
[click to view]

[3]Canada investigates Jewish National Fund for funding Israel’s crimes
[click to view]

[4]Jewish National Fund’s War Crimes Mission
[click to view]

[5]Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa
[click to view]

[13]Declassified: Israel Made Sure Arabs Couldn't Return to Their Villages
[click to view]

The JNF-KKL and the politics of planting

By Ruth Edmonds.
[click to view]

Canada Park, a popular picnicking spot for Israelis, created upon the rubble of Palestinian homes
[click to view]

Israel’s Environmental Colonialism and Ecoapartheid
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Palestinian Villages Hidden Under Israeli Forests
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Bahaa Zaatiti and Rania Masri
Last update30/05/2019
Conflict ID:4001
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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