"Over a period of 2000 years, Jews were dispersed and devoid of rights to land and a secure home as well as exposed to anti-Semitism, pogroms, deprivation and discrimination. The establishment of the Jewish State came to remedy this historical injustice that was brought upon the Jewish People. Every nation deserves a state of its own. So does the Jewish People. 57 years following Israel’s establishment, the process of evolving into a state has not yet been completed. That secure reality is still clouded by the potential end to Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and being relegated to a fading historical episode. The recent court appeals seek to expropriate KKL-JNF’s land from the Jewish People and render their status as that of all other State lands.
If a Zionist entity in a Jewish state would not be allowed to be the owner of land to be designated for developing Jewish communities, what unique value does that state have?
All of KKL-JNF’s lands were purchased entirely with funds from Jews from all over the world. KKL owns some 2.5 million dunams (about 625,000 acres). Approximately 1,000,000 dunams (250,000 acres) were purchased by KKL-JNF with funds provided by world Jewry prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. Some 1,250,000 dunams (about 315,000 acres) were purchased by KKL-JNF in the early years of the State. Again, this was a purchase effected through contributions of Jews across the world. It was a financial transaction for all intents and purposes, which transferred full ownership of the pertinent lands over to KKL-JNF. The State of Israel has no part in that ownership. State-owned-lands need to be available for all of Israel’s citizens. KKL-JNF lands are assets that belong to the Jewish People for the purpose of achieving its objectives: securing the viability Israel as a Jewish state, strengthening and developing it and retaining its Jewish character.
Unfortunately, we have not yet reached the conclusion of the struggle to ensure having the State of Israel as a Jewish state in the Middle East living in peace with its neighbors and gaining recognition of its Jewish essence. KKL-JNF and its lands are an essential cornerstone in this struggle.
Today, KKL-JNF afforests Israel, prepares land to consolidate agricultural and urban settlement principally in peripheral areas, builds water reservoirs, rehabilitates rivers, preserves open spaces and carries out tens of hundreds of other activities to enhance the environment for the benefit of all Israel’s residents, Jews and non-Jews alike.
Given this, KKL-JNF views the appeals submitted by “Adela” – the Arab Center for Alternate Planning and other organizations, as an attempt to undermine the essential concept of land underpinning the Zionist enterprise and foundation of the State of Israel as a home for Jewish People. KKL-JNF is not on trial here but Zionism and the whole Zionist idea."
KKL-JNF is asking for comments: "According to a recent survey, more than 85 per cent of polled Israeli Jews said that the Jewish People is entitled to hold lands in Israel for the benefit of the Jewish People. Do you have an opinion? Please write to us stating your personal details and whether you identify with our cause and are willing to participate, when the time comes, in a forceful public pro-advocacy campaign to be launched soon around these issues."
Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org