MEMO hosted the book launch of JNF/KKL: A Charity Complicit With Ethnic Cleansing, written by Dr Uri Davis, an Israeli academic and independent researcher who is noted to be a defender of Palestinian human rights, in London last night.
Held in London's P21 Gallery, the event started off with an introduction by MEMO's Nasim Ahmed, who highlighted that the book reveals one of the pillars of Israel's ethnic cleansing, and presented a video produced by Kholoud Al-Ajarma which exposes the Jewish National Fund's (JNF) key role in that crime.
Dr Davis then shed light on the ongoing apartheid that Israel, its government and its forces are imposing on the Palestinian population. He called on people to show him any other member state of the UN which gives its constitutional rights to only one part of its population. "Show me just one more state. And [so far] there hasn't been any answer."
Stating that Israel is a racist endeavour, Davis expressed his belief that Jews do not have a specific right to self-determination. His main argument for that is that "there is no Jewish people other than in the framework of Zionist interpretation", attempting to tackle mainstream Zionist arguments.
Instead, he said, "Zionism politicises Jewish religion", and the "right of self-determination is the right of the indigenous people of Palestine." He also submitted the idea that Israel should be constitutionally like Switzerland, which identifies citizens by their respective languages and does not discriminate.
Praising the book, Professor Nur Masalha recalled his travels throughout Palestine and the evidence of ethnic and cultural cleansing he witnessed. The JNF, he said, told Israel that if it doesn't bulldoze historic Palestinian houses quickly, then Palestinian refugees would return and try to take them back.
The event ended with a lively question and answer session, in which the audience had the chance to discover more about the JNF and the Palestinian history it has erased.
The audience and visitors also had the chance to buy copies of Uri Davis' book, which Ilan Pappe – professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter – described as "an exposure of what really lies behind the past, present and future actions of the JNF. But more than anything else, it is an incisive exploration of the crimes Israel committed against the Palestinians and which still today are at best misrepresented and at worst denied outside the state of Israel. This book will be one of the best tools for those wishing to confront these misrepresentation and denial for the sake of peace and justice in the land of Palestine."
To purchase the book click here.