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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

Discriminatory Jewish National Fund denied ECOSOC consultative status

Supporters of the Palestinian cause world-wide were pleased to hear that the United Nations’ Committee on NGOs has rejected the application of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) USA for consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The final decision that confirmed the inherently racist nature of the organization was taken on 21st and 22nd May 2007 at the ECOSOC meetings ECOSEC/6267 NGO/618.



Consultative status would have allowed the Zionist organization to circulate statements and participate in relevant conferences convened by the UN and its associated bodies. The JNF USA is part of a worldwide network aimed to support the JNF-Keren Kayameth LeIsrael. The JNF network has financed theft and colonization of Palestinian land and the systematic expulsion of the Palestinian people from their land since the early days of the Zionist movement. The Palestine Observatory Mission, along with other country representatives, thus claimed that the JNF’s work violated the principles of the UN Charter which emphasizes respect for human rights and equality.



Despite some intense lobbying by the JNF USA and its allies, including Hillary Clinton, they were rejected by a vote of eight to seven, with three abstentions (India, Pakistan and Angola). Country representatives who voted against (Burundi, Cuba, China, Egypt, Guinea, Russian Federation, Qatar and Sudan) said they could not distinguish between the activities of the JNF USA and those of the JNF KKL, an openly discriminatory para-statal institution of Israel. The JNF controls 13% of the land in Palestine ‘48 exclusively for the Jewish population and its representatives dominate the governing council of the Israeli Lands Administration (ILA), which administers JNF lands and all those lands stolen from Palestinian land owners since 1948. ILA administered lands make up 93% per cent of the territory that came under Israeli control in 1948 and Palestinians are systematically discriminated against and almost completely denied any access to these lands.



Campaigners were disappointed however, that although the arguments against consultative status with ECOSOC centered around activity in the Palestinian lands occupied in 1967, the committee failed to take into account the JNF’s long-standing role in the expiration of Palestinian lands and discrimination against Palestinian land rights since 1948 and even before. This indicates that the vote against the JNF did not really reflect a full understanding and support of Palestinian rights.





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