Jewish National Fund UK reports rise in donations after anti-Israel activists target Facebook page

Rosh Hashana appeal raising funds for Kiryat Gat drew fire from anti-Israel posters, but has encouraged support for campaign.

Kiryat Gat 370 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Kiryat Gat 370
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
LONDON – Jewish National Fund UK has reported a surge in donations for its Rosh Hashana appeal after its Facebook page was targeted by anti-Israel activists.
Last month, the charity launched its annual appeal – which focuses this year on raising funds to help improve the lives of underprivileged young people in the southern city of Kiryat Gat. After the launch, a steady flow of remarks attacking the charity were posted to the JNF UK’s Facebook page, including many demonizing Israel using language used by extremist anti-Israel activists. Expletives and racist comments were also posted.
JNF UK said the remarks were removed immediately and reported, and it called on people to support the campaign in response to the attack.
This week, the charity said in the weeks following Rosh Hashana it saw a huge rise in donations, with many people citing the attack as the reason for their donations.
“It is extremely unfortunate that a small group of anti-Israel activists used our campaign, which supports the children of Kiryat Gat, as a platform to further their political agendas and extremist views,” said Matan Toledano, chief executive of JNF UK. “We thank all our supporters for their generosity, in the end bigotry and intolerance lost and young people in Kiryat Gat benefited.”
The appeal is raising funds to transform an old sports facility in Kiryat Gat into a center for the town’s youth, whose opportunities are limited by their social circumstances and by a lack of facilities.
The youth club will be a place where they can socialize after school and enjoy an array of activities including sports, art, music and martial arts. They will also receive a nutritious meal and be able to get help and encouragement with their school work.