The head of the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) national labor union has called on employees to join and vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party ahead of the upcoming elections.
In a letter to KKL-JNF staff, Yisrael Goldstein said it was “time to put our influence where decisions about KKL are being made, which can have direct and devastating consequences for us, the workers,” according a Tuesday Channel 13 report.
Goldstein said the future of KKL was currently being debated by politicians, and the 118-year-old organization needed to align itself with whatever party or faction would preserve it.
“Your joining the Likud will allow the union to influence decisions that will have direct consequences on workers… and will give [the union] the ability to protect KKL regardless of what government is elected,” wrote Goldstein.
He called his request “urgent,” saying the deadline to sign up as a Likud member was Wednesday.
Goldstein did not divulge what issues were up for discussion, or how the ruling party intended to protect KKL.
KKL was established in 1901 to buy and develop land for Jewish settlement in Palestine and is best known for the hundreds of millions of trees it has planted across the country. KKL is officially registered as an NGO, and serves as the custodian for 13 percent of land in Israel under the authority of the Land Authority.
KKL-JNF is embroiled in a dispute with the Finance Ministry, and could face widespread layoffs if it is not resolved.
Earlier this year, the Calcalist business daily reported that special Justice Ministry report found widespread cronyism and financial irregularities at KKL-JNF under turned CEO Daniel Atar.