Thursday, April 7, 2011

Call JNF today and tell them: Stop planting forests on confiscated Bedouin land!

New JNF bulldozer camp near Givot Bar, 1 mile from Bedouin village of Al-Arakib

(Photo Credit: Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality)

Scroll down to find the Jewish National Fund office near you as well as the national headquarters, and call to give them the message: Stop planting forests on confiscated Bedouin land.

Sample call script: My name is ______ , [I'm an American Jew] and I care deeply about Israel and its fragile democracy. I’m calling today to tell you that I'm opposed to JNF continuing to plant and build on land that the state has stolen from the Bedouin - even while they're fighting the theft of their land in Israeli courts.

I urge JNF to refrain from sending its bulldozers from its new work camp at Givot Bar onto the nearby land of the Abu-Freih family, or onto any other Bedouin land in the Negev.

I call on JNF to announce a freeze on all home demolitions, development and forestation on all Bedouin land, until a just solution is agreed upon with the Negev Bedouin community.

Please pass on my message to Russell Robinson and Ronald Lauder:

Stop planting JNF forests on confiscated Bedouin land.

Stop sowing conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Negev!

It’s time for JNF to change course and issue a public commitment that JNF will end these wrongful acts. JNF must no longer hide behind unjust laws to justify its own irresponsible acts, which are harmful to Israel and to JNF itself.

Response to Objections: If the JNF person starts changing the subject and talking about some other JNF project, tell them that whatever good the JNF may do elsewhere is far outweighed by its its willingness to plant forests on confiscated Bedouin land - and previously on the land of demolished Bedouin villages which it helped destroy.

Let us know how it went! Then email us at and let us know how your call went. Your feedback will be most valuable in planning the next steps in our campaign to persuade the JNF to do the right thing. Please copy and paste the following into your email and provide us with your responses:

First Name:
Last Name:
Zip/Postal Code:
Date of Call:
Which offices did you call?
Tell us about how your call went.
What was the response?

JNF Phone numbers:
National Office 212-879-9300 (For international callers to the US, please add 001 before the number)

Jerusalem Office: 972-2-563-5638

Regional Offices:
Florida West Coast, Central, and Northern Florida: (727) 536-5263 or (813) 960-5263 Tampa: (407) 804-5568 South Florida (561) 447-9733 Miami/Dade (800) 211-1502 or (561) 447-9733
Greater New York (212) 879-9300
Greater Los Angeles (323)964-1400
MidAtlantic Baltimore/ Delaware: (410) 486-3317 Washington, DC (301) 589-8565
Midwest Chicagoland (847) 656-8880 Michigan (248)324-3080 Midwest States (Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) (888) 563-0099 Northern Ohio (216) 464-3888 Southern Ohio (513) 794-1300 or (888) 563-0099 Western Pennsylvania (412) 521-3200 Wisconsin (414) 963-8733
Northeast New England (617) 423-0999 Eastern Pennsylvania (215) 832-0690 New Jersey (973) 593-0095
West Arizona (602) 277-4800 Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming & Utah (303) 573-7095 Northern California and Pacific Northwest (415) 677-9600 or (888) JNF-0099 Orange County, CA (949)-260-0400 San Diego (858) 824-9178 Palm Springs (760)864-6208 Las Vegas (702) 434-6505
South (404) 236-8990

Los Angeles Event: Civil Rights and Wrongs in the Negev, with Devorah Brous, April 23, 2011 12 noon

When: Saturday, April 23, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Where: IKAR, 5870 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 (map)

Description: Join us after Shabbat lunch for a special discussion. For some Jews, Israel's Negev Desert is the "last Zionist frontier," a "barren wasteland" in need of development. For Israel's Bedouin citizens, it is an ancestral homeland, rich with tradition and sustenance. Arabs and Jews live side by side in the Negev, but their access to basic necessities such as water, energy, and medicine varies widely. With a rapidly expanding population on a small land mass with dwindling resources, the age-old Zionist question to develop or to preserve continues to arise. The development of the Negev for a new wave of Jewish settlements is increasingly undermining Israel's commitment to democracy and civil rights. Must we support development at the expense of democracy in the Negev?

About the Speaker: Devorah Brous lived in Israel and worked with Bedouin for 15 years. She is the founder of BUSTAN, a Jewish/Bedouin civil rights and environmental justice NGO in the Negev, where she served as Executive Director for 9 years. She currently serves as co-director of the Campaign for Bedouin-Jewish Justice in Israel, a Project of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and the Jewish Alliance for Change. She holds two Masters degrees in Israel Studies and Development Studies.