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Letter on JNF and Canada Park PDF Print E-mail
Nov 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM
The following letter is going out to all MPs, Senators, Ontario MPPs and Toronto city councillors.

15 November 2007.

Re: JNF “Negev Dinner” - Event promoting racism and ethnic cleansing

The “Jewish National Fund” (JNF) Negev Dinner is scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Centre on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 5:30 pm to raise funds for “Canada Park”. You may not be aware of the significance of this event, the nature of the JNF, or the history of Canada Park. We would like to provide you with some information related to the JNF and the history of Canada Park and ask that you give some thought as to why Canadian taxpayers are subsidizing the JNF.

If you have been invited to attend this dinner/fundraiser, we ask that you consider not attending.

“Canada Park” Canada Park is not within the territory of the State of Israel. It is across the “Green Line” (Israel’s borders) in the occupied West Bank. Until June 1967, there were 3 villages in that area: Yalu, Beit Nuba, and Imwas. Israeli forces occupied the villages in June 1967 during the “1967 Day War.” Israeli soldiers forced the villagers to flee to the Ramallah area, also in the occupied West Bank. Israeli bulldozers then destroyed the homes of the villagers. They also demolished mosques and desecrated cemeteries. Many villagers died. Many others continued across the Jordan River, and now live as refugees in the Kingdom of Jordan, or abroad. According to international law, and according to the most basic notions of justice to which Canada is committed, the displaced refugees of the villages of Yalu, Beit Nuba, and Imwas have the right to return and rebuild their communities and their lives.

The demand to end the Israeli occupation, and to recognize the rights of the Palestinian refugees, will certainly be raised in any Middle East peace talks. Canada Park, illegally established on the ruins of the 3 villages, stands as an obstacle to future peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is a monument to what, in other contexts, has been referred to as “ethnic cleansing”, where the perpetrators of such actions were brought to justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

JNF: “Jews only; no Arabs allowed”

In addition to its activities in the occupied West Bank, the JNF is the registered owner of 13% of lands within the State of Israel (most of these lands actually belongs to Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948, and seized according to Israeli legislation, in breach of international law). These lands are administered by the State as state-owned land, except for one difference: The JNF Charter bans the use of land by non-Jewish people. According to this policy, JNF refuses to lease land to Arab citizens of the State of Israel. JNF-owned real estate amounts to 2.5 million dunams (approximately 625,000 acres) all of which is subject to the restrictive covenant “for Jews only; no Arabs allowed.” Even the Attorney-General of Israel has described this JNF practice as “illegal”. It is a racist policy that cannot be upheld in a democracy.

The JNF Negev Dinner will support JNF racism in Israel, prolong the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and maintain the ethnic cleansing perpetrated at Canada Park. The JNF is not an innocuous “environmental protection” agency. It is an organization that benefits from war crimes, and that promotes racism and ethnic cleansing.

We are reaching out to Palestinian and Jewish residents of Toronto, and to all who oppose racism, to join our campaign. We aim to mobilize all who are concerned for human rights. We appeal to all environmental activists who recognize that trees and parks should not be used to whitewash war crimes.

We urge you, our elected representatives, to learn more and oppose the charity status and operation of an organization within Canada with questionable ethics and human rights practices.

A copy of the CBC 5th Estate’s “A Park With No Peace” is enclosed. We urge you to view this program and use it’s content as a starting point in understanding what the JNF is. Is this really an organization whose activities the taxpayers of Canada should be subsidizing?

Signed by:

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA)
Jewish Womens Committee to End the Occupation (JWCEO)
Not in Our Name – Jewish Voices Against Israel's Wars (NION)
on behalf of: December 2 Committee - dec.2.committee@gmail.com

References
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