In response to the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF-KKL) Executive Board decision to purchase land in the West Bank for the purpose of expanding Jewish settlements beyond the Green Line, nine organizations from the Progressive Israel Network released the following statement:
Members of the Progressive Israel Network join the broad chorus of American Jews dismayed by the recommendation of Israel’s JNF-KKL’s Executive Board to bring the organization into lock step with Israel’s expansionist settler right.
By buying West Bank land for settlements, JNF-KKL in Israel turns Palestinian dispossession into its policy. Members of the Progressive Israel Network have highlighted how, in recent years, JNF dollars collected globally in Jewish synagogues, schools, and homes have been used to undermine the values on which the State of Israel was founded. There have been verified reports of JNF-KKL undertaking shady land deals through secretive shell companies. This latest decision, which brings those practices out of the shadows and makes facilitating permanent occupation of the West Bank official JNF-KKL policy, demands unequivocal condemnation.
The vast majority of American Jews who we represent want to be part of building and supporting an Israel that respects its neighbors, upholds democracy and seeks peace. Buying land to expand West Bank settlements is antithetical to Israel’s future as a democracy, entrenches occupation, and makes all who live there — Israelis and Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — far less safe. We call on the full JNF-KKL board in Israel to reject this move unequivocally and commit to the values of democracy and equality.
The Progressive Israel Network is a coalition of leading organizations representing Americans committed to pursuing democracy, equality in Israel and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The network members signed on to this statement are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair USA, Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, and T’ruah.
Our full statement of principles can be found here.