KKL-JNF workers protest government actions outside Prime Minister’s office

November 13, 2017 Agencies
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Employees of the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) protested outside Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem against the government’s intention to legislate a law in the Knesset that will significantly damage the independence and functioning of the KKL-JNF.

KKL-JNF workers protest

A statement released KKL said: “The workers called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman and all government ministers not to fulfill the dream of the Joint Arab List and Zionism’s enemies, and not execute a fatal blow to the most important Zionist organisation.”

The KKL-JNF workers also protested the risk that this decision would raise for the livelihood of hundreds of families, and the jeopardy these employees’ futures and pensions will be put in.

During the protest, Saer Ismael, a KKL-JNF employee, said, We are here to protest the foolish decision to hurt the absolute, most significant body for the state of Israel, the most Zionistic, the one that established Israel by acquiring lands. This is the only body that invests in the periphery, both in the north and in the south, in all disciplines – in land development, in building reservoirs. This is the most socially-minded organization there ever was, that operates today with no political considerations, for the general public – both Jewish and non-Jewish, investing immensely in reducing social gaps.

I am a member of the Likud party from 1993. I find it very unfortunate that today I must stand in front of the Prime Minister’s office, which is headed by a man from my political party, and I am ashamed that today a hand is reaching into KKL-JNF to cause significant damage, in a way that will prevent its existence and continued operation.”

There has been collective outrage at the bill approved by the Finance Committee and the actions being taken by the government to significantly damage the independence and functioning of the Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF).

Peter Smaller
Photo: Giselle Haber

The new legislation to be dealt with today will force KKL to fund government infrastructure plans to the tune of NIS2 billion.

In addition to the protest in which about 800 KKL-JNF workers from across the state of Israel, and from all sectors, stood outside the Prime Minister’s office to protest the actions being taken by the government against the KKL-JNF, leaders of KKL/JNF offices around the world have made an appeal to the PM. These Jewish leaders have called on PM Netanyahu not to continue on this path and hurt the future of the KKL-JNF and the Jewish people.

President of JNF Australia, Mr. Peter Smaller, stated that, For 116 years JNF/KKL has been supporting critical environmental projects in Israel. We believe that any action to expropriate funds from the organization could cause serious damage to it.

“We fervently request that you do not, in any way, pass laws that change the status of KKL/JNF.”

President of KKL Belgium, Mr. Jacky Benzennou, wrote, “We regret that such a decision would be taken without consulting all the JNF KKL offices of the Jewish Diaspora, considering that the JNF KKL has been created by the Jewish Diaspora in 1901.

“The government’s proposal… ignores the will of the Jewish people and its long-standing investment from around the world who understood the importance of redeeming land in the State of Israel.

“We appeal to you not to take this decision and prevent this destructive step that will harm the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people, and will cause great damage to the connection with the Jewish communities around the world.”



3 Responses to “KKL-JNF workers protest government actions outside Prime Minister’s office”
  1. Philip Levy says:

    If this legislation goes through, my action as a committed Zionist is simple – I will stop donating to the annual JNF appeal. I wonder how many other Diaspora Jews will do the same?
    There are plenty of other ways I can support Israel without the government getting its hands on my donation.

  2. Henry Herzog says:

    Slowly, slowly the current Israeli government is moving in the direction of being a fascist state and is snuffing out the Zionist dream.

  3. Adrian Jackson says:

    The government of Israel has got it wrong on this issues. It is anti democratic.

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