A brief explainer on the Jewish National Fund and how Israel uses it to legalize the colonization of Palestinian land.
Lauren Banko: The systematic exclusion of Arab migration from Israel/Palestine did not begin with the 1948 Nakba. Instead, it is rooted in specific understandings of race and nationality enshrined in the international legal agreements that laid the framework for the colonial state of the British Mandate of Palestine, the state inherited by the Zionist movement.
Suhad Bishara: Israeli authorities continue to deliberate over the fate of some 40 Israeli Jewish families living in the Amona settlement outpost in the West Bank, which is located on private Palestinian property. One “solution” under consideration is to relocate the settlers to adjacent plots of land that the state considers to be “absentees’ property.” Under the proposed arrangement, the state would “rent” out the land to the settlers on behalf of its unknown Palestinian owners using renewable three-year contracts. In other words, under Israeli law the state can remedy the theft of Palestinian land by compensating the thieves with other stolen Palestinian lands instead.
A new regulation effectively shuts West Bank Palestinians out of Israeli labor courts. It also reveals how Israel uses laws and regulations to seize Palestinian land while denying Palestinians rights.
Nasser Rego: Palestinians are breaking the mold in their engagement with the Nakba in so many diverse and beautiful ways. In doing so, they reinscribe themselves in the very soil from which they have been forcibly separated for generations. In these acts, they are actively remembering. In these performances, they are not only surviving, but thriving, creating trajectories of possibility for independence and self-sustainability. Palestinians are exercising their right of return without seeking permission to do so. Palestinians are returning to destroyed villages as in Iqrit and elsewhere, organizing summer camps there, and ‘settling’ the West Bank as they did when they set up the Bab al-Shams encampment in 2013. And they are working the land.
The state of Israel has demolished the “unrecognized” Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib 101 times in order to allow the Jewish National Fund to plant forests. The Nakba Files spoke to 19-year-old Hala Abu Medeghem, who refuses to leave her land.