Please see below for email addresses and sample letter
Rabbi Arik Ascherman writes:
Dear Friends and Supporters,
This time I am asking you to put aside whatever you have planned for tomorrow morning, in order to prevent bloodshed and tragedy. Below you can find the email that went out to our supporters around the world just before Shabbat. WE asked that they do their part to prevent a tragedy tomorrow.-To implore the KKL/JNF to stick by their commitment not to work on lands whose ownership is still before the courts. (The KKL-JNF is now saying they are only committed not to working on areas on a map shown to me in February.)
Now it is our turn. The police have informed the residents of El-Arakib that tomorrow they KKL-JNF will resume work. We will work all night to prevent this, and perhaps we will find out that the KKL-JNF does not intend to work in plot 24, where they began working last week until residents surrounded the equipment. But, if we do not succeed, there must be a massive number of people there tomorrow standing for justice and shoulder to shoulder with our fellow citizens asking that they have their day in court to prove the truth of their ownership claims. Otherwise we fear that the police will use unnecessary force and mass arrests. Everybody passes the buck. The donors say they just give the money, and the KKL-JNF decides what to do with it. The KKL-JNF says they are just a forestry service, doing the bidding of the state and the Israel Lands Authority. As we read in Pirkei Avot, “Where nobody is acting with basic human decency, you be that person.” With hopes for a Shavua Tov, Arik Urgent Action: Stop JNF from Foresting over Bedouin Lands-Prevent Injustice and Possible Bloodshed THIS SUNDAY! Act now: Tell the Jewish National Fund to honor its pledge not to plant on Bedouin land under legal dispute! Dear Friends and Supporters I write hurriedly, as Shabbat begins here. We waited to the last minute to check beyond a shadow of a doubt that work took place in lands still under legal review, and as of a few minutes ago, the results of the surveyor are in. You who are receiving this still have time before Shabbat to prevent a tragedy on Sunday. Please take a few minutes and do so With Your Help, We Can Have A Shabbat Shalom, Arik: Earlier this week, police informed the Bedouin residents of Al-Arakib that the Jewish National Fund in Israel (KKL-JNF), at the request of the Israel Lands Authority, plans to commence planting on the lands in their village. THE OWNERSHIP OF THESE LANDS ARE STILL UNDER LEGAL REVIEW. The residents of El-Arakib prevented the work from beginning last Sunday, and will resist again this Sunday, with the support of Israeli activists. However, this time there will be a massive police presence. Says Haia Noach of the Coexistence Forum For Civil Equality, “I fear police violence and massive arrests.” YOUR LETTER TO THE JNF BEFORE SHABBAT (SEE ADDRESSES AND SAMPLE LETTER BELOW) COULD PRENT THIS SCENARIO. The Bedouin village of Al-Arakib, located just a few miles northeast of Be’er Sheva, has documents and other evidence of their traditional rights to their land dating to the times of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. Yet the Israeli government refuses to recognize their land claims. The State has demolished the village dozens of times in the last year and a half, leveling homes, livestock pens, and hundreds of fruit and olive trees, all to make way for Jewish National Fund forests. The government remains embroiled in protracted legal disputes with the residents about their ownership of the land. Earlier this year, the leadership of KKL-JNF told the press that they would not work in any location where there is a legal dispute. In a meeting with Rabbi Arik Ascherman, JNF Chairprson Efi Stenzler repeated this pledge. There was some question as to the extent of his commitment, but he made it absolutely clear that the JNF-KKL would not work on four specific plots claimed by El-Arakib and under legal review. However, the KKL-JNF now says they only are committed to not working on the lands on a map shown to Rabbi Ascherman at the meeting, but which we currently are not able to see. We suspect that it contains only 3 of the 4 plots being disputed. The KKL has been working for several weeks on other plots for which there will be a High Court discussion in December. This past Sunday, KKL-JNF equipment arrived in Al-Arakib and began preparing one of the disputed plots of land for planting[U1] . The KKL-JNF has spent the last three weeks working on other plots of land in Al-Arakib that are due to be adjudicated in Israel’s High Court in December 2012. Write today to Efi Stenzler, JNF’s World Chairman, and Russell Robinson, CEO of JNF-USA, to ask them to stop the current planting in Al-Arakib and, once and for all, end the Jewish National Fund’s involvement in forestation on the remains of demolished Bedouin villages and disputed Bedouin land. Take action now, to prevent a tragedy on Sunday
To: § World President of the JNF-KKL in Israel, Efi Stenzler: Email: EfiS@kkl.org.il § President of JNF-Canada: Frank A Wilson. Email: email@example.com § President of the JNF in the US, Russell Robinson: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org § Chairman of the JNF in the UK, Samuel Hayek: Email: email@example.com § Office in Paris, France. Nadine: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org § Office in Berlin, Germany: e-mail: email@example.com § Office in Sydney, Australia: email: federalO@jnfaustralia.com.au § Office in Johannesberg, South Africa: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org § Office in Zurich, Switzerland: e-mail: email@example.com
If you are from a country not listed above, you can find the contact information for the JNF if your country on the following website . Subject: End JNF’s involvement in the demolition and foresting over of Bedouin villages
Dear Mr. Stenzler and ___________: I write to you as a Jew who is deeply committed to Israel’s safety and survival, and who believes that Israel must live up to the Jewish and democratic imperative to protect the human rights of every person. I am aware of your deep personal commitments to improving the welfare of Israel’s Bedouin population. I therefore urge you to exert your influence to stop the KKL-JNF’s participation in razing Bedouin villages and foresting over the remains of demolished Bedouin villages and disputed Bedouin land. At the 2012 Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security, you, Mr. Stenzler, proclaimed, “KKL-JNF works for the benefit of all citizens of the country…We shall never plant a single tree on land that does not belong to the State or to KKL-JNF. The Negev Bedouin are part of the State, and it’s important that they should feel this.”
At the end of April 2012, KKL-JNF equipment arrived in Al-Arakib and began preparing a plot of land for planting that is currently under legal disputes in the Israeli courts. This is after KKL-JNF already began work earlier this spring on another plot of land in Al-Arakib that is due to be adjudicated in Israel’s High Court in December 2012. Mr. Stenzler, you previously promised that you would not forest on specific plots of land involved in legal disputes, and now it seems as though KKL-JNF is going back on its word. Even if your commitment was only to the map you showed Rabbi Ascherman in your February meeting, you can still do the right thing. Don’t work on lands still under legal dispube.
The Bedouin people are being entrenched within cyclical poverty against their will. As they are expelled from land that their families have lived on for generations, they are being forced into urban slums where there are few economic opportunities. In El-Arakib, Bedouin who supported themselves now are incapable of doing so. This treatment of the Bedouin population runs contrary to Jewish values. The book of Micah makes the following comment about abusing power to seize property: “And they covet fields, and seize them; and [they covet] houses, and take them away; thus they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” As a nation that knows all too well what it means to be an oppressed minority, Israel has a moral obligation to protect the most vulnerable within its midst. I call on you to exert your influence to see that KKL-JNF does not to plant on disputed land in Al-Arakib before the cases have been adjudicated in Israeli courts. [U2] As you, Mr. Stenzler, affirmed in your speech at the Herzliya Conference, help the Negev Bedouin to feel that they are part of the State – not victims of its strategic policy.