Monday, December 13, 2010

The JNF - from white to black

There is a term for pro-Israel propaganda, hasbara, that is being used more and more as "the story of Israel" is coming out from the kind of storytelling known in the movie "Exodus" to the truth of a relentless quest for land regardless of those living on it.

With the truth of the story of Israel becoming more generally known, it's interesting to see the truth about the Jewish National Fund (JNF) come to light. What could be more benign than a group with the intention of planting trees in an arid place? Surely beautification and the creation of forests cannot be bad. If you look on their website they are highlighting the recent Carmel forest fires, that forest is an interesting case.

The Carmel forest didn't exist early in the 20th century, but Palestinian villages in that area did. With the coming of Israel these villages were erased and the JNF planted the trees in order to completely obliterate any trace of them, making it impossible for the evicted residents to return. Max Blumenthal has written an account of it, The Carmel Fires are Burning All Illusions in Israel.

The JNF has an annual meeting in the U.S. and this last summer it was disrupted for the first time, I believe, by protesters one of whom has written an account and explanation for the demonstration.

The tree-planting effort by the JNF in order to extinguish the past continues to this very moment in the Negev desert where Bedouin Israelis have had their town, Al-Araqib, demolished by their own government six times (and counting). In this case, the JNF has teamed up with another fervid group, GOD-TV to create the GOD-TV Forest complete with a sign announcing the fact.

Notice the sign says nothing about anyone or anything that was present before the creation of the forest. That would be an inconvenient detail, just as it would be for the other projects of the JNF.

UPDATE: January 1, 2012 - the following video gives a short overview of how the JNF operates, starting with mention of El-Araqib, where Palestinian citizens of Israel have been evicted 30 times to date.

No comments:

Post a Comment