An Alternative Tu Bishvat

Tu Bishvat, the New Year of the trees, is a time to celebrate nature, growth, divine spirit and to welcome the earth back to life. The festival is marked by planting trees and eating fruits, and in kabbalist tradition a seder – a dinner, preceded by the retelling of stories handed down through generations.

Since the establishment of the state of Israel, many diaspora Jewish communities celebrate Tu bishvat with a focus on that land in particular – by eating Israeli fruits and donating money to the Jewish National Fund.

As the Jewish National Fund planted trees over the ruins of Palestinian homes, new memories were also planted – a new narrative to cover up the stories of the Nakba. Many diaspora Jews have donated money to the JNF for years, not knowing the displacement and suffering we were contributing to.

While the Jewish National Fund continue to celebrate their false narrative with a Tu bishvat picnic, Jewdas and Jews for Justice for Palestinians are hosting an alternative – a seder at which we will tell the stories that have been covered up by their trees.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1113024128708302/

tickets available on the door or in advance here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tu-bishvat-seder-tickets-20889601360

Sara Moon will present her trip ‘Cycle 48 – remapping the naqba’ in which she cycled the JNF path in Israel-Palestine searching for these stories. https://cycle48.wordpress.com/ Come along to hear them, and for an honest discussion about the Palestine, the effect of JNF activities on the environment and the people who live there, and how diaspora Jewish communities can support those displaced by the JNF to re-grow.

We will be raising money for Al – Araqeeb – a bedouin village that has been demolished 90 times to make way for a JNF forest and Um El Hiran, currently facing demolition and incurring massive legal fees.

If you want to support these causes but can’t make the event, please donate to the Human Rights Defenders Fund. http://www.hrd.org.il/#!donate/c1nff

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