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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
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Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem. He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981.
Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History. He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes. He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.
Tishrei 12, 5768, 9/24/2007
I thinks there's been an error in the thinking of those whose knees I hear knocking in the corridors of the JNF offices.
I have just been provided with the original Certificate of Amendment of the Certificate of Incorporation of the JNF in the USA from 1939 wherein it states quite plainly that the funds collected are:
"to be devoted to and expended in the purchase of land in Palestine and in promoting...general welfare of Jewish settlers...and to aid, encourage and promote the development of Jewish life in Palestine". (*)
Now, as far as I can recall, America was and still is a democracy. It was clear then as it should be now that Israel was to be the Jewish national homeland. If I buy a piece of real estate and bequeath it to my children as part of the family inheritance, no Arab can go to court and claim he wants to buy it and if I don't sell it to him then I am a discriminatory racist. In a further court case that Dassie Marcus of the Central Israel Fund was involved in - and it was Dassie that provided me with the documents above and more - it is clear from the court decisions that not using funds raised by the JNF for the explicit purposes for which the corporation was established is illegal and criminal.
The JNF land was similarly purchased with the same "family" intention. I do realize that there is a claim that portions of the lands currently held by the JNF were not bought with Jewish money but came into its possession by a grant of the Israel government but that still shouldn't force the JNF to cave in entirely. Perhaps a separate status for those lands could be arranged.
In any case, in the name of liberalism, Israel is approaching a threshhold it cannot afford to cross.
(*) I use the terms "settlers" and "Palestine" only in their historical context and as part of a quotation. This doesn't break my rules about my semantic practices.