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JNF on why blue box has no green line: ‘This doesn’t say this is a map of Israel’

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The Jewish National Fund blue box

The Jewish National Fund blue box

Forward writer Josh Nathan-Kazis follows up on our post from last week on the fact that the iconic Jewish National Fund blue box fails to show the green line on its map of Israel:

Asked about this, a spokeswoman for JNF denied in an interview with the Forward that the maps on the boxes are maps of Israel. “This doesn’t say this is a map of Israel,” said Neta Yoffe, JNF’s director of communications. “This is a blue box… Nowhere do we talk about it being a map of Israel. We just focus on the wonderful work that we do for the country.”

Yoffe said that the map was a representation of where the JNF’s projects were located. “It kind of shows the area we focus on,” Yoffe said. “Our projects are not in the United States. You’re not going to see a region in the U.S. You’re going to see where our projects are based.”

The JNF does work on both sides of the Green Line, according to Yoffe. Yoffe said that JNF projects in the West Bank were limited to areas of what the JNF calls “national consensus.” The JNF has planted a forest near the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim in cooperation with the right-wing Zionist Organization of America.

Yoffe would not say whether the lack of a Green Line on the blue boxes signified opposition on the part of the JNF to a two-state solution. “I’m not going to get into a political discussion with you,” Yoffe said.

Oh, so it’s not a map of Israel. That explains it. It just “kind of” shows the area they focus on.

Moving on, here’s another interesting tidbit:

The JNF’s blue boxes have long been used as a propaganda tool. In a 2003 article in the academic journal “Israel Studies,” Haifa University professor Yoram Bar-Gal reported that the first blue boxes to include maps in their design, produced in 1934, depicted a borderless area that reached from the Mediterranean into Lebanon and Jordan.

Bar-Gal wrote that the map’s expansive claim was presented on the box in order to “transmit a political message, to which not only adults were exposed, but also the millions of children in the Hebrew educational system, who contributed their coins at special fundraising ceremonies.”

I guess that “borderless area that reached from the Mediterranean into Lebanon and Jordan” just kind of showed the area they hoped to focus on.

You can read the full article here.

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26 Responses

  1. Blownaway
    Blownaway on January 2, 2014, 1:54 pm

    It’s kind of hard to ignore the facts. But these people have been relying on denial of truth working for so long that it’s the reflex position. That’s not a map on the can. It certainly is not a map of Israel. It’s just a random assemblage of lines and the text on the can…direct link to the land of Israel doesn’t relate to the non map lines on the can….see?

  2. pabelmont
    pabelmont on January 2, 2014, 2:00 pm

    Well, since it is not a map of anything — certainly not of Israel, nor yet of land that Israel claims as its own — this quasi-map (or mere picture) cannot reassure JORDAN and SYRIA and LEBANON that the Zionist Entity does not (any longer) claim their land (or oparts thereof) as part of Israel (or part of a someday-Israel, a greater-Israel, or any other-Israel).

    No. No reassurance here. It is not a map, just a picture. And not an official Israeli picture, either, but merely a picture on a BlueBox from an organization without official ties to the State of Israel (or mumble, mumble — something, whatever).

  3. eljay
    eljay on January 2, 2014, 2:08 pm

    >> Oh, so it’s not a map of Israel. That explains it.

    It’s not a map of Israel, it’s a map of the “Land of Israel” – which is to say, the geographic region of the Levant coveted by Zio-supremacist Jews.

  4. Cliff
    Cliff on January 2, 2014, 2:10 pm

    “I’m not going to get into a political discussion with you.” – Yoffe

    Yea because this isn’t political right? LOL

    The Holy Land Fund is shutdown and people thrown in jail, yet these Jewish nationalists continue to support Israeli apartheid, colonialism, Jewish supremacy, etc.

    It just goes to show how terrorism is acceptable when it is ‘our’ terrorism. The Zionist terrorist enterprise is mainstream and benign.

  5. Xpat
    Xpat on January 2, 2014, 3:31 pm

    True story.
    A few years ago, I as debating this point with an Israeli friend in the U.S. I said: the JNF plants trees on both sides of the Green Line. He said: no. His wife was in the next room on the phone with her brother. Her brother lives on (an extreme rightwing) settlement on the West Bank. She called out to us: hold on, let me ask my brother. Her settler brother’s answer: I’m in my living room and I’m looking through the window at a JNF sign in front of a bunch of trees right now.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on January 2, 2014, 4:25 pm

      Interesting, Elliot. Good on you for having the discussion.

      What was the outcome of your discussion given the evidence? Did your friend change his mind? Reevaluate anything? Or did it just become “complicated?”

      Thanks for sharing.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS on January 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

        Rhetorical question eh Ritzl. Of course arguing with Zionist goes no where. Once one of line of defense is demolished, then they, as good soldiers do, abandon the breached line, and establish another further back.

        I remember my first arguments with Zionists — I brought up the Nakba and they responded that all of the Arabs simply fled. Total Nakba denial well into the 1990s. Today that argument is dead. Instead we have Shavit’s admission that well it did happen, but it happened to be a historical necessity. They always have a defense line waiting behind them. I think they knowingly lie.

        Right now their line of defense is that anything we might say is simply evidence of antisemitism. End of argument. Either you are with them or you with the terrorists. Bush basically gave them their final defensive position.

      • Xpat
        Xpat on January 2, 2014, 9:04 pm

        @Ritzl – no, no change was forthcoming. My friend had asked me to call the local JNF rep who, I was told, was eager to answer my questions. I said that I didn’t have any questions. I had an opinion based on facts. If the rep wanted to engage in conversation with me, I’d be happy to take his call. So, that didn’t go anywhere.
        Also, unfortunately, ToivoS, you are are right. My Israeli friend and I were once close, meeting on a weekly basis for dinner and so on but our circumstances have changed and the friendship has not withstood those changes. The unpleasantness over Israel has not helped. We’ve each tried many times to stay in touch and be close. But the Israel stuff kept on rearing its ugly head. On both sides. The thing that was our strongest connection, “Israeliness”, became the bone of contention. He eventually grew bitter. I suppose I was combative (as in the JNF conversation). His wife is a former leftie, hence her eagerness to put the JNF argument to the test. But I think she has buried that history to make the marriage work. Also, ultimately, you have to give up a lot to be Israeli and honestly pro-justice. I understand that due to her history and current circumstances, her pull to stay connected is stronger than my own. I don’t have any facts on the Israeli diaspora this but I expect like all diasporas, it’s harder to be flexible when you don’t live there. Just look at the (fictional) diaspora of American Jews.

      • ritzl
        ritzl on January 3, 2014, 12:09 am

        @ToivoS and Elliot – Actually, it wasn’t rhetorical, mostly. I was genuinely curious, and riffing off of the general feeling here lately that change is in the air. Perhaps some newfound receptiveness. Sad that there wasn’t any immediate noticeable change, but who knows how conversations like Elliot’s will pan out over the next year or so.

        I put off watching “The Promise” for the longest time, dreading the “balanced” (i.e. mostly the Israeli PoV) nature of the reviews. It turned out to be an absolutely a candid look at the Nakba, told by a Jewish filmmaker. That echos the Foreign Policy Mag book excerpt post today.

        There are too many facts, and evolving, greater or lesser realizations in play for most people to remain unmoved on matters of justice on this issue.

        One example from “The Promise,” there was a situation in it where a family member was injured by a Palestinian suicide bombing. The rest of the family was upset that the main character was hanging out with Palestinians who generically had just tried to kill their son. Fast forward a little and it turned out that the patriarch of the family was one of the Jewish terrorists who bombed the King David where the grandfather of the main character was working. A fictional contrivance, but the movie set up the opening for a retort that this Jewish family was deeply involved with terrorism and tried to kill the main character’s family, so what’s the difference? The movie did not actually give voice to that question. It just left it hanging, but the point was made.

        I guess where I’m going with this is that Elliot’s conversation could have also had that dangling effect. If not his, then others where again, the facts are stark and overwhelming when presented, the resistance to them ingrained, but realizations will be forthcoming to people that are not stones (most people) as they get increasing numbers of data points that they have to reconcile. I was just curious about how ingrained that resistance was, at a personal level, and without an immediately apparent/available “off-ramp.”

  6. seafoid
    seafoid on January 2, 2014, 4:03 pm

    Not going to get into a political discussion…as if the JNF is not political…

  7. puppies
    puppies on January 2, 2014, 4:21 pm

    “planting on both sides…” OK, so JNF declares itself an official, absolutely Kosher target for all resistance operations. Good to have it confirmed.

  8. Citizen
    Citizen on January 2, 2014, 4:23 pm

    This is indirectly related: What’s the deal on the Jordan Valley? Check this out and you tell me:

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on January 2, 2014, 4:32 pm

    RE: “Haifa University professor Yoram Bar-Gal reported that the first blue boxes to include maps in their design, produced in 1934, depicted a borderless area that reached from the Mediterranean into Lebanon and Jordan.” ~ Josh Nathan-Kazis

    MY COMMENT: Not so great minds apparently think alike!

    FOR ONE SUCH ‘NOT SO GREAT MIND’, SEE: “A Serial Obstructionist”, By Rachel Tabachnick, ZEEK – Forward, 3/15/10

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were the headliners at Pastor John Hagee’s two-hour Christians United for Israel (CUFI) extravaganza at the Jerusalem Convention Center. . .
    . . . Monday’s CUFI production was based on the concept of “biblical Zionism,” or the belief that God mandates nonnegotiable borders of Israel, and any leader or nation who thwarts this divine plan will be cursed. Before introducing Netanyahu, Hagee stated, “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and can not do in Jerusalem.” He added, “Israel does not exist because of a decree of the United Nations in 1948. Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . The settlements are not the problem.”
    In his books and sermons Hagee has promoted a “greater Israel,” that will reclaim all of Israel’s former biblical territory, stating “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.”
    At the Jerusalem CUFI event Hagee described Ahmadinejad as the Hitler of the Middle East who could turn the world upside down in 24 hours, words similar to those he made when lobbying for the attack on Iraq. . .
    . . . During a performance by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meeting held in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . .


  10. ritzl
    ritzl on January 2, 2014, 4:54 pm

    It’s amazing that JNF felt compelled enough by the/your original report to respond, however squirrely.

    More signs of change.

    Great work.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on January 2, 2014, 5:05 pm

    RE: “Forward writer Josh Nathan-Kazis follows up on our post from last week on the fact that the iconic Jewish National Fund blue box fails to show the green line on its map of Israel . . .” ~ Adam Horowitz

    MY COMMENT: I certainly don’t want to start any trouble, but the “Blue Box Bob” (Birthday Club) shown at the Forward seems strikingly similar to the allegedly gay (at least, according to the Fundies) ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’. Is the Jewish National Fund (JNF) paying royalties to the creator(s) of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’?
    Enquiring minds mimes want to know!™

  12. Citizen
    Citizen on January 2, 2014, 5:24 pm

    Some of the blue box images you can see over the years (just google the image subject) say “Redeem The Land Of Israel”–guess the maps on them depict some other land. Actually the guy was being honest, because the map on the blue box apparently never was accompanied by text on the box saying the map described the land or state of Israel per se, just all the (Zionist claimed) land of Israel that JNF would buy back (redeem). As Yoffe said, the map, ” … kind of shows the area we focus on.” IOW, the map has always depicted all the land Zionists wanted to “redeem,” in any given year. It has always depicted Zionist ambition, goal. Thus, there’d be no green line on it since all those spare pennies of Jewish school kids was to be used for more lebensraum.

    As early as the 1920’s the Propaganda Dept of the JNF gave out prizes locally to which kid had the most cash in his or her box. It was a competition, with the winner getting, e.g., a car trip to one of the latest settlements redeemed for Israel, complete with all expenses paid:'s+changed+over+the+years&source=bl&ots=tA3HDv-lZ9&sig=nnL2OZG6roc8EwAqw7N7igZvy9c&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YNvFUvXMCeS02AWQwoHQBA&ved=0CGUQ6AEwCg#v=onepage&q=Jewish%20national%20fund%20blue%20box%20and%20how%20it's%20changed%20over%20the%20years&f=false (P. 106 Propaganda and Zionist Education, The Blue Box in the Individual Domain)

    The little box were not the key reason Israel’s land expanded, most of the land was not purchased (redeemed) but was acquired by terrorist acts instigating the natives to run away, and military conquest from ’47-48 on:

    And we all know that the Israeli OT today is the result of conquest by war; and in modern times, must be given back under international law since Nuremberg and its Geneva progeny.

  13. tree
    tree on January 2, 2014, 5:45 pm

    If its not a map of Israel then what is the blue dotted line doing on it?

  14. Sumud
    Sumud on January 2, 2014, 8:12 pm

    “Since 1901 Your Direct Link to the Land of Israel”

    …and we all know ‘Land of Israel’ means Eretz Israel. It’s not ambiguous.

    Canada Park is a JNF project in occupied Palestinian territory:

    CBC exposes racist JNF Canada tax fraud

    • annie
      annie on January 2, 2014, 8:37 pm

      such a devastating film

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak on January 2, 2014, 10:18 pm

        Annie Robbins :

        such a devastating film

        Yes, indeed. All the more so since it was made some 23 years ago.

        CBC: If there is ever to be peace here, many believe Israel will have to trade land for it.

        Yitzhak Rabin: I don’t see any Israeli leader who will give it up.

      • Sumud
        Sumud on January 3, 2014, 10:35 am

        All the more so since it was made some 23 years ago.

        Really give you some perspective on how and why hasbara is failing.

        Note how casually and easily the JNF official lies – today anyone can easily fact check and find detailed information as long as you know how to use a search engine – or read Mondoweiss :-)

      • Sumud
        Sumud on January 3, 2014, 10:31 am

        I didn’t have time to watch it this morning but when looking up the link for the CBC piece I came across a newer documentary from 2008 about the 3 Latrun villages and their ethnic cleansing in 1967.

        Memory of the Cactus, part 1
        Memory of the Cactus, part 2
        Memory of the Cactus, part 3

        Heartbreaking testimony from a mother who was 6 months pregnant when forced out of the village, lost her mother and husband and the baby died at less than a year old.

        The sheer brutality if the IDF, expelling the villagers at gunpoint and not even letting them take a suitcase, then shooting people who returned.

  15. German Lefty
    German Lefty on January 3, 2014, 7:08 am

    It doesn’t bother me at all that the JNF blue box has no Green Line. The Green Line is not an official border. Also, the text on the box says “Land of Israel”, not “State of Israel”.
    So, what if the map on the box had a Green Line? Would that help the Palestinians in any way? Would it undo the Nakba?
    Your complaint about the missing Green Line sounds as if the JNF’s theft of Palestinian land within the Green Line were okay.

    • Theo
      Theo on January 4, 2014, 1:04 pm


      Ein gutes neues jahr wünsche ich!
      Yes, it is mindbogging how often in MW the discussion turns into hair splitting on rather unimportant subjects. It is a very good way to confuse the subject until people forget the real purpose of the discussion, you can observe it on major international debates, like the war in Syria or the Iran blockade.

  16. Talkback
    Talkback on January 3, 2014, 8:24 am

    It’s a map of the area the fascist Apartheid Junta exercises its antigentile policies.

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