Orthodox group favors JNF bill


The National Council of Young Israel is supporting a Knesset bill that has generated significant opposition from many American Jewish groups.

In a letter dated July 30, the executive director and president of the council defended a proposal that permits the Israel Lands Authority to maintain its longstanding policy of refusing to lease to non-Jews Israeli land owned by the Jewish National Fund.

“Yes, Israel is a democracy; a bastion of freedom,” wrote President Shlomo Mostofsky and Executive Director Rabbi Pesach Lerner. “But a democracy doesn’t have to prove itself by forfeiting its right to its national purpose.”

Among those speaking out against the measure are the Union for Reform Judaism, the Anti-Defamation League and Ameinu, the American affiliate of the World Labor Zionist Movement. JNF’s American fund-raising arm and the Zionist Organization of America both support it.

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