JNF Will Not Fund Clinton Speech

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Jewish National Fund will not help finance former U.S. President Bill Clinton's address honoring President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday.

Initially, JNF agreed to sponsor Clinton's appearance at the celebration, thinking it would benefit its fund-raising efforts for Israel.

The JNF is best known for helping to reforest the country, but it also helps with other projects such as establishing national parks, finding new ways to recycle waste water and a variety of other projects.

One Israeli commentator said the Jewish National Fund has evolved to "a huge real estate business that sits on eight billion shekels that belong to us."

"But it [JNF] has money to spend on Peres' birthday because Clinton will be discussing environmental issues," Yigal Sarna wrote in an opinion piece posted on YNet.

However, when it learned that Clinton would receive a $500,000 "honorarium" for a 45-minute address at the Peres Academic College in Rehovot, JNF announced it would not contribute to it.

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