Planned protests force cancellation of JNF and Friends of the IDF fundraiser in St Andrews

An event to be held at a St Andrews hotel, aimed at raising funds for the Friends of the IDF and the JNF, has been cancelled on police advice in the face of serious mobilisations for planned protests.  Palestine activists, human rights campaigners and students joined forces to speak out against the inclusion of Friends of the IDF and the JNF in the list of organisations that will benefit from the fundraiser.

The Friends of the IDF fundraise for projects benefiting the Israeli Army and soldiers, an occupation force that brutalises, humiliates, kills and maims Palestinians, commits widespread human rights abuses to maintain the illegal occupation and settlements, and flouts international law.  The cancellation is a further blow to supporters of such human rights abuses; in late 2012 Stevie Wonder pulled out of an FIDF fundraiser after realising the nature of the organisation.

The Jewish National Fund, experts in racist land administration, have long-faced the opposition of Palestine solidarity campaigners in Scotland.  The JNF is responsible for dispossessing tens of thousands of Palestinians of their lands, for example building the “British Park” over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.  Last week the Scottish TUC reinforced its commitment to opposing the activities of the JNF in enforcing an apartheid system in Israel and Palestine.

Earlier in the week a statement from Scottish Jews for a Just Peace stated:“We are deeply saddened and concerned that St Andrews Jewish society has been persuaded to use its charity ball to raise money for the Jewish National Fund and Friends of the Israel Defence Forces. The JNF takes over Palestinian land – including homes of Palestinian refugees and land in the occupied territories – and will not lease or sell land to non-Jews. And FIDF gives solidarity to an army whose attacks on Palestinian civilians have become increasingly persistent, violent and brazen. We urge everyone of conscience, Jew and non-Jew, not to go to this event. St Andrews Jewish Society claims to be friendly, welcoming and non-political. We ask it to live up to that description.”

Dr Hajo G Meyer, a long-time friend of the Palestine solidarity movement in Scotland spent ten months in Auschwitz as a Jew and member of the Dutch Resistance, sent a message of support to the protest saying, “I strongly urge the Golf Hotel to cancel this atrocious event on Friday since it is a provocation to all who support human rights. If I could, I would be with you to join your protest in support of universal values of freedom and justice and freedom from racist occupation”.

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