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SPECIAL REPORT:

The Jewish National Fund



Challenging the discriminatory land policies of the Jewish National Fund (JNF)

Latest Developments |  JNF Bill |  ILA Policy of Marketing Tenders Only to Jews for JNF Land |  Gadish Committee |  Background Papers on the JNF

Latest Developments

  Supreme Court Approves JNF and AG’s Suggestion that JNF-Controlled Land will be Sold to Arabs for Three Months and State Will Compensate JNF with Alternative Land 27 September 2007

  Haaretz Editorial, "Who needs the JNF?" 23 September 2007

  Adalah News Update, “Land Controlled by Jewish National Fund for Jews Only,” 29 July 2007

  Adalah News Update, “UN Rejects Jewish National Fund’s Application for Consultative Status”,
23 May 2007


The JNF Bill
ILA Policy of Marketing Tenders Only to Jews for JNF Land
Gadish Committee
Background Papers on the JNF

JNF Bill

On 18 July 2007, a racist bill entitled the “Jewish National Fund Law”, submitted by MK Uri Ariel (National Unity/National Religious Party), passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum. The bill stipulates that land in the possession of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) is to be allocated exclusively to Jewish people. The majority of the land under the control of the JNF (13% of the land in Israel) was transferred to it by state and was originally in the ownership of Arab refugees or internally displaced persons. The bill was passed by a large majority of 64-16 MKs, with one abstention. In accordance with the bill, a new provision will be added to the Israel Land Administration Law, 1960, entitled “Management of the Jewish National Fund’s Lands.” Under the additional provision, “Despite whatever is stated in any law, leasing of Jewish National Fund’s lands for the purpose of the settlement of Jews on these lands will not be seen as improper discrimination.” Further, “For the purpose of every law, the association documents of the Jewish National Fund will be interpreted according to the judgment of the Jewish National Fund’s founders and from a nationalist-Zionist standpoint”.

The Bill
Further Information

ILA Policy of Marketing Tenders Only to Jews for JNF Land

Adalah’s Petition
H.C. 9205/04, Adalah v. The Israel Land Administration, et. al. (case pending).
A petition filed in 10/04 demanding the cancellation of an Israel Land Administration (ILA) policy and a Finance Ministry regulation which effectively permits the marketing and allocation of lands open only to Jewish individuals. Adalah argued that the policy is incompatible with the principle of equality, discriminates against the Palestinian minority on the basis of nationality, and would lead to the further creation of racially-segregated, Jewish-only areas. In its response to the petition and another petition filed against the ILA's policy by ACRI, the JNF declared that its loyalty is only to the Jewish people and not the general public in Israel, and that it operates only for the benefit of Jewish citizens. In October 2004, the JNF committed before the Supreme Court to freeze all current and upcoming tenders for lands in the north of Israel and the Galilee, which remains in place.

Further Information

  Adalah News Update, “AG Concurs with Adalah that Distribution of JNF Lands Only to Jews Constitutes Discrimination; However, Adalah Opposes AG's Suggested Compensatory Transfer of State Land to JNF,”
28 January 2005

  Adalah News Update, “Jewish National Fund in Response to Adalah Petition: We Act for the Benefit of the Jewish People Only and Not for the General Public in Israel,”
23 December 2004

  Adalah News Update, “In Response to Adalah's Demand for Injunction, Jewish National Fund Committed before Supreme Court to Freeze All Tenders for Lands in North of Israel and the Galilee,”
25 October 2004

Gadish Committee

The Gadish Committee was established by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor in May 2004 to investigate reform in the Israel Land Administration. The committee proposed an exchange of state-held land in the Galilee and the Naqab for land of equal value held by the JNF in the center of the state, which would exacerbate the discrimination faced by Arab citizens in accessing land and violate their basic rights. Since the Arab minority of Israel lives primarily in the Galilee and the Naqab regions, if implemented, the recommendations of the Gadish Committee would be particularly harmful to them. In June 2005, the government accepted the committee’s recommendations, although no agreement has been signed between the state and the JNF to date.
Further Information

  Adalah News Update, “Adalah to the Israeli Government: The Proposed Exchange of Land Between the State and the JNF will Exacerbate Discrimination against Arab Citizens of Israel and Violate their Basic Rights,” 28 June 2005

Background Papers on the Jewish National Fund