The Reform Movement in Israel has threatened to file a petition with the High Court of Justice if Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund moves ahead with plans to purchase private Palestinian property for settlement construction.KKL-JNF’s executive committee approved a proposal on Sunday for such a program after a vote in the body was tied six votes to six.Due to a clause in the coalition agreement in October’s World Zionist Congress which discounts the vote of a KKL-JNF executive committee member from the center-left, liberal bloc in case of an even vote, the proposal to buy the land was approved. KKL-JNF’s directorate now needs to vote to approve the decision, although the organization’s chairman Avraham Duvdevani and deputy Shlomo Deri promised during Sunday’s meeting that no vote would be scheduled before the upcoming national elections on March 23.Director of the Reform Movement in Israel and currently fourth-placed candidate on the Labor Party electoral list Rabbi Gilad Kariv said the proposals threatened the very existence of the so-called National Institutions as well as KKL-JNF itself.“The far right’s attempt to takeover KKL-JNF is only at its beginning and we are determined to block it via public, political and judicial means,” said Kariv, adding that any decision by the KKL-JNF board to approve the plans would be challenged in the High Court.Merkaz Olami, the political arm of the Masorti-Conservative movement in the National Institutions, also spoke out against the plans to buy land in the West Bank, saying similarly it would damage the KKL’s legitimacy amongst Jews in the Diaspora who do not support the settlements but are part of KKL’s activities and financially support the institution. “We believe that, as it has done in the past, KKL must act according to the principle of Zionist consensus – recognizing and respecting different approaches to the actualization of Zionism,” the organization said.“The current action attempts to impose a structure that reflects and favors the settlement policy of Israel’s extreme right, an act which is inconsistent with what has been a basic tenet of KKL throughout its history.”Emily Levy-Shochat, a member of the KKL-JNF executive committee for Mercaz Olami said that the list of properties presented for possible purchase in the West Bank included sites beyond the major settlement blocs and in further flung settlements deep into the territory.She said any decision approving the purchase of property in such areas would damage support for KKL-JNF among many Jews in North America who support a two-state solution with the Palestinians which, Levy-Shochat asserted, would be damaged by the proposed property purchases.“Increasing settlements means there is less space for the Palestinians and that endangers the two-state solution, and to buy this kind of property could without doubt impact and decrease support for KKL-JNF in North America,” she said.Mercaz Olami in its statement also raised concerns that the move may harm relations between Israel and US President Joe Biden’s new administration and Israel’s foreign relations more broadly.The Eretz Hakodesh ultra-Orthodox faction in the World Zionist Organization and a member of its right-wing alliance said however that it supports the move to buy private Palestinian property in the West Bank, saying it was “excited to be part of an historic decision,” and “congratulated” Duvdevani on the decision.“Our goal was to highlight the fact that Diaspora Jewry supports The State of Israel and wants to strengthen the settlement movement and assist in maintaining its security. I am proud of this amazing achievement and congratulate our partners for it,” said Eretz Hakodesh head Rabbi Pesach Lerner. He also criticized the response of the Reform and Masorti movements to the decision, accusing them of involving “current American government officials in an attempt to condemn Israel and prevent the approval of the resolution.”Lerner said the progressive Jewish groups should “respect the majority decision” and “refrain from cooperating with foreign parties in order to create a false representation of crisis and diplomatic pressure.”Some of those Jews are entitled to their opinion and are entitled to send their donation dollars to wherever they want, but one group is not entitled to speak for the Jewish people,” said Lerner.“They have right to their opinion but they don’t have a right to force on it everyone else. When JNF didn’t fund buying property in Judea and Samaria we didn’t go to the High Court to demand that it did.”Some of those Jews are entitled to their opinion and are entitled to send their donation dollars to wherever they want, but one group is not entitled to speak for the Jewish people,” said Lerner.“They have right to their opinion but they don’t have a right to force on it everyone else. When JNF didn’t fund buying property in Judea and Samaria we didn’t go to the High Court to demand that it did.”The rabbi also expressed satisfaction that amongst the proposed property purchases were plots of land in or adjacent to the ultra-Orthodox cities in the West Bank, namely Modi’in Illit, Betar Illit, and Emmanuel.He said land close to those cities was initially not included in the list of properties presented for possible purchase but that the Eretz Hakodesh faction had “worked tirelessly” to add such land to the list.