Yesh Atid Chairman and former Finance Minister Yair Lapid presented his plan for the nationalization of the Jewish National Fund – Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (JNF-KKL) Tuesday, while standing in front of the JNF offices in Tel Aviv.
Lapid assured that Yesh Atid would introduce a bill during the 20th Knesset to "nationalize the JNF, put a billion shekels from the Jewish National Fund into public coffers and will forward to the public more than two million acres of land to settle."
''The JNF will become a government organization and its fund money, which is the public's money, will return to it," Lapid explained, and elaborated that the move will allow the subjugation of the Jewish National Fund to national transparency laws.
"The JNF was founded before we established the State of Israel. It was supposed to be a temporary body, which aims to acquire land in Israel on behalf of the Jewish people and for it," Lapid said. "But in the meantime we established a state, which is supposed to conduct its own public affairs regarding its land and its money. And like a lot of things that were ruined for us this way, the JNF also lubricates the wheels of the corruption machine. And we will put an end to it."
Lapid referred to the many activities that can be done with funds taken from the JNF. "This money we need to give our kids a longer school day and smaller classes, to provide medical care for those patients who need it, to implement faster and more efficient emergency room protocols, to help 190,000 elderly leave the cycle of poverty."
"We need to use the land to build and build and build, and increase the supply of housing to solve the housing crisis that threatens to bury a whole generation under it," Lapid added.
Lapid then heavily criticized the JNF as it stands currently.
"Today, the symbols of the Jewish National Fund are corruption, and money passing around in darkness without informing anyone, and the odd appointments of tens of board members and delegates around the world," he accused. "Today, the JNF transfers tens of millions of shekels to all sorts of political organizations and bodies, and to all sorts of political satellite organizations – except for Yesh Atid."