Jewish National Fund's Iconic Blue Box Sends One-State Israel Message

Map Includes Occupied West Bank in Jewish State


By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 02, 2014, issue of January 10, 2014.
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For over 100 years, the Jewish National Fund’s iconic little blue donation boxes presented on their tin sides a dream of a Jewish state that spanned, uninterrupted, from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli government officially dropped that dream in 2009, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The little blue boxes didn’t get the memo.

Today, the JNF’s coin collection boxes, which sit on tables in Hebrew school classrooms throughout the Jewish Diaspora, are still decorated with a map that depicts Israel without the Green Line that, on most maps, distinguishes Israel from the Palestinian-populated West Bank, which it has occupied since wresting it from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. The lack of a Green Line was noted in a December 24 blog post on the anti-Zionist website Mondoweiss.

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.


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