JNF Call for Realism on Problems Amid Questionable Track Record
At the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Annual Conference, Chairman of the Board Ronald Lauder decried global anti-Semitism and called for realism in confronting threats to Israel. However, concerns have been raised about JNF's commitment to confronting threats to Jewish land ownership in Israel.
Lauder, international businessman, philanthropist, and son of Estee Lauder of the cosmetics company bearing her name, addressed several points in his speech, foremost among them anti-Zionism which he called today's fashionable anti-Semitism.
The conference, held this year in Denver, Colorado from October 25 to 28, attracted the attention of anti-Israel protesters who shouted "long live the Intifada" in support of the Arab terror war against Israel.
Lauder emphasized the importance of being realists in confronting the dangers of a nuclear Iran threatening to wipe out Israel, as well as resurgent neo-Nazi parties in Europe.
In his words, "History will judge us as history judged another generation of Jews before World War II."
However, JNF resolve in fulfilling its charter mission of purchasing the land of Israel for the Jewish people has been questioned lately.
Following pressure from Bedouin land thieves, the JNF stopped a forestation project in the Negev in early 2012, in opposition to its stated mission of redeeming the land of Israel.
Furthermore, rampant illegal Arab building on JNF-owned land has been documented by the Israel Land Fund (ILF). The JNF has not taken action to defend the land that contributions have allowed it to purchase, and furthermore rejected ILF offers to purchase the land and deal with the issue of reclaiming it.
Hakol Hayehudi reported in May 2012 the ILF's findings that on JNF owned land in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot have been built illegal Arab apartments, a mosque, a UN school and a memorial to a terrorist, all without JNF counter action.