By: George Kurzom
The Jewish National Fund is one of the most prominent systematic supporters of settlement expansion in the West Bank
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons (Afaq magazine):
Some Palestinian and Arab “environmental” activists are fascinated by the so-called Israeli environmental organizations and movements and their “achievements” and “activities.” A few Palestinians even participate in the activities of the extremist Zionist settlers who market themselves as “environmental protectors.” Many of the alleged "environmental protectors" are directly and systematically engaged in preventing any Palestinian action to develop appropriate infrastructure to address the environmental destruction caused mainly by the occupation and the settlers.
Israeli environmental organizations and movements are a structural component of the occupation and its military machine.
Among those organizations are the Society for the “Protection of Nature in Israel”, “the Israel Energy Forum”, “Green” and “Life and the Environment”, which serves as the organizational umbrella under which environmental organizations in Israel belong.
The Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature is one of the most prominent organizations that is active in the occupied Palestinian territories of 1967, in addition to its activities in the occupied territories in 1948; For your information, it is the oldest and largest environmental organization in "Israel".
This organization has a high level of "environmental and social awareness", as long as this awareness is not involved with the Palestinians, especially the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967; As that organization adapts with the occupation and its economical vision.
Recently, the Israeli Government Procurement Administration announced a partnership agreement, under which the Society for the Protection of Nature will be the sole provider of accommodation services to the Israel Border Police and its facilities and armory. In addition to the services of a Temple mount on Mount Gilo in Bethlehem district, a dining room and a kitchen in the buildings of a field school on this mountain.
After the 1967 war, the members of the Society took advantage of the comfortable conditions provided by the occupation, to seize Jabal al-Ras "Gilo", part of which was a military base abandoned by the Jordanian army, so the Zionist Society established a settlement and a field school there.
Of course, the neighboring Palestinian towns, such as Beit Jala, were prevented from using that area since it was under military control of Israel, under the pretext of security. The members of the Society for the Conservation of Nature were empowered to manage it, and some of them even took advantage and built their settlement homes there.
How do the objectives of an environmental organization merge with providing services to an aggressive military unit? A question that must be accompanied by the indication that the infrastructure served by that organization is part of a colonial settlement project that contradicts international law and severely violates the rights of Palestinians living in the same mountainous region, where Palestinian farmers have consistently been cultivating the lands of that area for many years, and through a military order that was confiscated by the Israeli occupation and plundered from its rightful owners.
Also, the so-called "Jewish National Fund”, which is marketed by Israel as a green institution, acts as an executive arm for the establishment and expansion of settlements.
This colonial institution is considered one of the most important tools of the Zionist institution to seize and Judaize Palestinian lands in the occupied territories in 1948.
Continuing its long-standing colonial policy, it finally changed its bylaws so that it could seize Palestinian land in the West Bank and use it to expand settlements.
The Jewish National Fund and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel are implicated in the growing settlement expansion, including the forcible control of settlers over water springs and the expulsion of Palestinians from them, the systematic control of large areas of Palestinian land as “nature reserves” and the uprooting of Palestinian shepherds of it.
The occupation, represented by the Civil Administration and Israeli environmental organizations, exploits formal environmental projects, such as the establishment of wastewater treatment plants, to become a tool for political normalization between the Palestinians and the occupiers and to legitimize the colonial settlement presence, thus establishing “coexistence” between the occupier and those under occupation, and the consolidation of settlements and the looting of Palestinian lands and resources, under the guise of "solving common environmental problems and preventing pollution".
The nuclear arsenal...the sacred cow of the Israeli environmental organizations
In the military nuclear field, "Israel" possesses a nuclear arsenal estimated by foreign experts to be no less than two hundred nuclear warheads and long-range nuclear missiles.
The so-called environmental movements in Israel practice their political and ideological environmental hypocrisy, claiming their concern about the horrible environmental consequences of the Israeli government's nuclear approach to establishing a nuclear power plant to produce electricity. At the same time, it does not show the same "concern" over the horrific Israeli military nuclear reality that is practically present on the ground.
Translated by: Rasha Abu Dayyeh