Dear Friends and Comrades,

Over the weekend, nationwide "StopTheJNF" pickets were held across South Africa at Reggies Toy Stores (a local toy retailer) in protest against Reggies support, funding and endorsement of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) - an Israeli parastatal that is directly involved in Israeli human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. As a result of the protests, Reggies Toy Stores were forced to close their doors at some malls, including the one at Cresta Shopping Centre in Johannesburg.
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Stop The Jewish National Fund (StopTheJNF) is an international BDS campaign (see below this email for some StopTheJNF campaign actions and victories from around the world). The local South African chapter of the StopTheJNF was initiated by a group of concerned Jewish South Africans, representing a growing number of Jews who are increasingly opposed to Israel's discriminatory policies and the JNF’s complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. See this recent Mail&Guardian Newspaper article that exposes the JNF and its complicity in Israeli human rights abuses:

Alan Horwitz, national spokesperson of StopTheJNF (South Africa), said over the weekend: “We feel it our moral duty as Jews, who have known anti-Semitism and oppression, to oppose the oppression of others. We feel that there is something fundamentally abhorrent that a toy store, meant to be a joyous space for children, is complicit in [Israel's] ethnic cleansing...despite the connection to the JNF that some of our fellow Jews may hold, we hope that our words and actions will encourage them to critically confront the role the JNF is playing in Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians."

The South African chapter of the StopTheJNF campaign, the main organizer of the nationwide protests, has on several occasions informed Reggies Toy Stores CEO, Mr Issy Zimmerman (who is also a senior executive of the international toy company, "Toys R Us"), of the gross human rights violations being carried out by the JNF against the Palestinian people. However, Zimmerman not only refused to end his involvement with the JNF (a recipient of Reggies’ financial support) but threatened to intensify it!

What would South Africa’s children say if they knew that their toys are funding the demolition of Palestinian children’s homes? For more information or to join the StopTheJNF campaign visit:

Office 915 | 9th Floor | Khotso House | 62 Marshall Street | Johannesburg
PO Box 2318 | Houghton | 2041 | Johannesburg
T: +27 (0) 11 492 2414 | F: +27 (0) 86 650 4836
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BDS South Africa is a registered Non-Profit Organization. NPO NUMBER: 084 306 NPO
BDS South Africa is a registered Public Benefit Organisation with Section 18A status. PBO NUMBER: 930 037 446

- Human Rights workers in the United States have launched an application with the US Internal Revenue Services to investigate and revoke the JNF's charity status. They contest: “the JNF funds activities that are both contrary to the public policy of the United States and inconsistent with activities of a charitable or environmental organization.”
- Early in 2011
The legendary folksinger, Pete Seeger, publicly distanced himself from the JNF

- In February 2011
Amnesty International released a call to action against the JNF stating: "The JNF must not take actions that could permanently violate their [Palestinian Bedouin] rights to housing, land and livelihood."

- In June 2011
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, withdrew his patron status from the JNF

- In November 2011
Canadian students protest against the JNF at Carleton University

- On the 07th of December 2011
Authorities in the Swiss town of Geneva disassociated the city from the JNF. In a press release the City Council said that the JNF did not meet the criteria for receiving city support and that the legal basis considered for the exclusion of the JNF was the "exhibiting" of political propaganda, military propaganda and sectarian practices.

- On the 13th of December 2011
Seth Morrison, a JNF Board Member, resigned from the JNF in protest of the JNF's planned house demolition and eviction of a Palestinian family living in Jerusalem. Morrison also accused the JNF of supporting right-wing Israeli settlers in “Judaizing” Palestinian neighborhoods.

- In February 2012
The Green Party of England and Wales resolved to officially back the StopTheJNF campaign.  Deborah Fink, who moved the motion, said that “the Green Party stands for environmental and social justice, the upholding of human rights and is against racism…[however] the JNF is a major impediment to realisation of Green Party policy…therefore the JNF should be condemned."

- In April 2012
The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) unanimously endorsed the international call for action against the JNF
- In October 2012
European-based StopTheJNF activists successfully disrupted a JNF cultural event. The JNF disruption reminds South Africans of how Apartheid rugby teams, cricket matches and other sport and cultural activities were disrupted by international anti-apartheid activists during the 1980s.

- On the 22nd of October
The JNF in the UK reported a sharp drop in its usual income. A senior communal figure said: “This collapse is the clearest possible signal that the community no longer sees the a credible receptacle for its charitable support...its long-term sustainability looks uncertain.”