A group called Direct Action Berlin disrupted a fundraising event for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in the German capital Berlin on 4 October, leading to scuffles with some of the attendees in the hall.
A video posted on YouTube shows the activists entering the hall where the fundraiser was taking place, shouting slogans, throwing leaflets and carrying banners condemning JNF complicity in “ethnic cleansing.”
One banner read “Stand with al-Araqib,” a reference to the Bedouin village whose land is being taken with the complicity of the JNF.
The video shows some attendees scuffling with protestors and knocking at least one to the ground.
A statement accompanying the video, posted on the group’s Facebook page says in part:
On the 4th of October a fundraising event in favor of the JNF (KKL) took place in Berlin. The JNF is one of the oldest and most effective instruments of Zionist apartheid and oppression in Palestine. Through the founding and funding of illegal settlements, the removal and displacement of non-jewish population and exploitative buying or taking away of land from its habitants, the JNF is implementing the zionistic ideals of discrimination and segregation “on the ground.” The JNF is not “just” an official israeli organization, it is one of the main executors of the racist policies of Israel against non-jewish people living in its territory.
Perhaps mindful of the still strong taboos against criticizing Israel in Germany, the statement added:
Our act of resistance was symbolic and non-violent. In turn, we were brutally charged by the spectators, a violent reaction which was uncalled for. The exaggerated response of the crowd and the Berlin police, which responded with our activists being followed by undercover police officers, detained and treated as criminals showed once again that the Israeli state and its german partner-in-crime are not capable to deal with non-violent resistance. Once again, the cries of antisemitism rose to the air. Resisting apartheid is not antisemitism. Resisting war crimes is not antisemitism. Critic against Israel is not antisemitism.
JNF: Israel’s tool for colonizing Palestinian land
The Jewish National Fund, a Zionist entity that predates the establishment of Israel, remains one of Israel’s main tools for colonizing and “judaizing” Palestinian land.
For example, the JNF currently uses “tree planting” initiatives as a cover for uprooting Palestinians from their land.
The JNF has faced increasing opposition to its fundraising efforts in several countries, especially in the United Kingdom where it has suffered a number of recent setbacks.
Earlier this year, the Green Party in England, following the lead of its counterpart in Scotland, called for the JNF’s charitable status to be revoked and condemned it “for its activities in excluding non-Jews from Israeli land and denounce[d] the organization for claiming to be an ecological agency.”
In September, Direct Action Berlin activists unfurled a banner in front of the booth of Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael at the biennial air show in Berlin.
Last year, activists crashed a JNF fundraiser in New York.