JNF bosses have reacted to a popular Jewish comedian, who called the Israeli charity “racist”.
Ivor Dembina, the founder and resident host of the Hampstead Comedy Club, said JNF (Jewish National Fund) should be seen in the same light as the British National Party (BNP) or the English Defence League (EDL).
The comic, whose past shows have included ‘SadoJudaism,’ barred comedians who had performed at JNF comedy nights from appearing at his traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show.
“Dembina’s comments ironically are his most comical yet,” said JNF Charitable Trust chairman Samuel Hayek. “To put [us] in the same category as the BNP and EDL by calling us racist is extremely ill informed.”
He continued: “We exist to enrich and transform the lives of people living in the Negev region of Israel, regardless of their ethnicity or faith; where there is desperate need.
“Nobody finds that funny, least of all the Bedouins in the city of Rahat where [we] recently provided mobile shelters to protect them against missile attacks from Gaza.”
Dembina is known for his critical view of Israel, and previously performed in the House of Commons after an invite from an MP who had visited Gaza.
In a 2011 interview he said: “It was an opportunity for his fellow Parliamentarians to see that not all Jewish people slavishly follow the propaganda they’re fed by their own community’s establishment.”