Jewish homes have some recognizable items: Menorahs, mezuzos, a Chumash or two, and a seder plate. Over the last century, another item has joined that venerable list: the little Blue Box that comes from the Keren Kayemet, the Jewish National Fund.
The JNF doesn't need me to introduce it. Active for what seems like forever, its mandate has always been to collect money from Jews around the world and use it to buy and develop land for Jews in our Israel.
For as long as I can remember, there has been a JNF box in my house. It usually sat up on the fridge when I was a child and when I first moved out on my own I made sure to take a spare one from home to put my change into at the end of the day. Even now I have two, sitting up there on my fridge and my children have all learned the value of putting coins into them when they can. This is real tzedakah, enabling Jews to buy land and build it up in Israel.
Or it is?
Ynet ran a story on September 24, 2007 about how the JNF, after being challenged by Arabs who want to buy land they own, has decided to change its policies. It will now sell land to Israeli citizens irregardless of ethnic origin as long as it is compensated by the Israeli government for doing so.
A few days ago at a Simchas Torah dinner at my shul I approached the local JNF rep to tell her what I thought about this change in policy: NOT WITH MY MONEY!!!
Have we so soon forgotten that the Arabs have countless hectares of land under their control from Iraq to Morocco? That they have billions in petro-dollars at their disposal to purchase land anywhere in the world? JNF land is bought by money donated by Jews for Jews to be given to Jews. The Arabs do not need our land. They have enough of their own.
Fortunately, I am not alone in this thinking. Ynet posted a follow-up to this story showing the results of a poll that reveals most Israelis (except the idiot Meretz-niks) are in favour of keeping JNF's policy the way it is.
May I be so bold: Call your JNF rep and tell them you put money in the box for one purpose and if they are going to change that purpose, you will stop donating. You have a right to support our people and you have a right to decide where your money goes. Demand your right!