Israeli Supreme Court rejects petition against JNF membership in ILA land council

JNF, which openly discriminates against non-Jews and sees itself as entity that serves only Israeli Jews, will become a decisive partner in public land management.

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition on 21 June 2018 against a clause in the Israel Land Authority (ILA) Act that determines that six out of 14 members of the Israel Land Council (ILC) be representatives of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).


The petition had been filed on 18 August 2016 by The National Committee of Arab Local Authorities, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Arab Center for Alternative Planning (ACAP), and Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights.


The organizations claimed in the petition that JNF representation in the ILC is illegal and that the moment 43 percent of the ILC members are JNF representatives, “the JNF, which openly discriminates against non-Jews and sees itself as an entity that serves only one population, will become a complete and decisive partner in the decision-making process by a government body – which is charged with managing public land resources and determining national policies regarding the distribution and development of these lands.”


The Supreme Court dismissed the petition based on the assertion that there is no violation of the basic right to equality and dignity.


The court ruled that even if the JNF is acting, per se, for Jewish people only, the representatives of JNF in the ILC are expected – like the other representatives – to adhere to the principle of equality. There would not, according to this ruling, therefore be a violation of the right to equality or the right to dignity.


Nevertheless, the Supreme Court did not address the issue of the high percentage of JNF membership in the ILA council.


The court also maintained that the petition was filed in delay, although the law we challenged was had been frozen for years; only once it was activated did the organizations file the petition.

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Supreme Court decision [Hebrew]