Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Action Alerts


The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
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Did you know?



Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
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Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
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Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
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30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
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* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
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* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013
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Posts

Military Man is the only hero in Israel

Israel was created, expanded and is sustained by military force. It is not democracy Israelis admire but the IDF. It is the one firm and protective father for whom Israelis yearn – and whose cruelties and errors they pretend not to notice. Yossi Sarid on Israel’s cult of the soldier-hero.

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No part of Palestine off-limits to settlers

Settlement-Expansion-East-Jerusalem

The most recent report from the Foundation for Middle East Peace is devoted to the question of Israeli settlements. As it has become clear that there is going to be no effective international action to prevent – let alone reduce – settlement building Israelis have become more aggressively confident while Palestinians consider how best to protect themselves.

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Pro-Israel? – don’t go there

hebron protest

The British Jewish group Yachad (Hebrew for ‘together’) was founded in 2011 as a pro-Israel pro-peace group. Taking people on visits to Israel has been made more difficult by the places that have to avoided, or somehow explained. Hebron’s devastated Shuhada Street is one such place – but it’s not so different from the rest of the West Bank writes Yachad founder Hannah Weisfeld.

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Plan for Israeli tourist centre in E. Jerusalem slammed for ‘lethal potential’

temple mount from south

The plan to build a 7-storey visitors’ centre in Silwan just below the Temple Mount, first passed 2 years ago, has been formally approved by Jerusalem city council. It has been pushed ahead by groups bent on getting Jewish control of the area and angrily condemned by Israeli archaeologists and those opposed to Judaisation of E. Jerusalem.

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Secret police hold Palestinian journalist in secret

Palestinian activist-journalist Majd Kayyal

As Richard Silverstein notes, ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ has been holding a young Israeli journalist since April 12, initially in secret – a gagging order was imposed on the press and denied access to lawyers. The gagging order is lifted but he is still confined in a cell with no bed or window. His supposed crime? He travelled to Lebanon, and he’s an Arab/Palestinian citizen.

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In the spotlight – Palestinian political prisoners

al-mezan

If Israeli security forces hoped that imprisoning Palestinian political activists would ‘disappear’ them from public life they were wrong. The more there are, the longer they languish inside, the more who die from their treatment in prison the louder the demand that they be freed. Today, April 17th, is Palestinian Political Prisoners Day when public voices say freedom will pave the way for peace.

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Freeing Marwan Barghouti test of Israeli seriousness

Marwan Barghouti, informal leader of two intifadas, was abducted by Israeli security men in 2002, and imprisoned in 2004 on charges of terrorism. Since then his popularity has grown and he has become the outstanding symbol of Palestinian political prisoners and of potential Palestinian unity founded on resistance. An international campaign for his release was launched last October and on this anniversary of his arrest many voices say that releasing him would be the most potent sign Israel could make of its serious intent in peace talks.

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Outrage when notorious price-taggers attack IDF

arrest yitzhar yeshiva student april 2014

The settlers of Yitzhar in the Nablus district of the West Bank are a stereotype of the worst sort; violent, racist, convinced they are kings of the mountain where the writ of the police does not run. On April 8th, Israeli police set out to assert their authority by demolishing some of their illegal structures. Obviously, the settlers – who believe they are directed by God from their ‘sacred’ yeshiva – fought back and demolished an IDF outpost. The reaction in Israel ranges from shock through outrage to hysteria.

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Jew versus Jew on Israeli slavery

Palestinians are not commodities to be bought and sold on the market, whose bodies and labour power are the possession of the owners. But, like slaves, they are born in dishonour, do not possess the civil rights through which they can defend themselves and have no free movement; like the Americans, the ‘white’ population of Jews is itself bitterly split on the issue of the freedom of the oppressed people. A powerful essay from Eva Illouz which, like Faysal Mikdadi, responds to the film 12 Years a Slave.

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Dreams of exile

In his dreams Faysal Mikdadi, exiled from his Palestinian homeland since 1948, remembers running freely beside the Mediterranean sea. Cruelly awake, he marvels at how politicians – Miliband, Netanyahu, Arab and Palestinian leaders – can carry on as though a whole people has not been displaced and lost all they had. Will we weep for them one day as now we weep for the slaves of yesteryear?

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Gaza’s volatile neighbour

The life of people in Gaza is bound up with the politics of Egypt. They have been enthused by talk of pan-Arab nationalism throwing off colonial oppressors, and stunned and impoverished by the policies of Field Marshal al-Sisi. In between they have looked to Egypt for sanctuary and supplies – but Egyptians have long centred their energy on themselves. Two articles on Egypt’s leaderships cults and shifting politics.

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Jewish atheist may be next UK PM

ed mili in west bank april 2014

Labour leader Ed Miliband will have completed a three day visit to Israel and Palestine by the time of posting this. Coverage has been more on the nature of his Jewish background, identity and connections to Israel than his policies on a Palestinian state. His statements on the illegality of Jewish settlements and their block to peace were reported as was his opposition to boycott.

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Israel imposes sanctions because ‘the slave lifted its head’

Here are a lot of words spent on what many in the PA and Israeli government see as essentially symbolic acts – the PA’s signing up to 15 UN protocols and Israel’s ruling that it must take punitive retaliation: a ban on (minor) officials of both governments talking to each other and the withholding of tax transfers. Even if the punishment is largely symbolic it does not help Israel’s image.

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Follow the money – foreign donors to Palestine – and Israel

B

Billions of dollars are sent to Israel every year by Jewish philanthropists which equals a lot of trees in the Negev (and displacement of Bedouin). Younger Jews are more inclined to send money to NGOs which promote a 2-state solution. Few give money to the underlying issue of Palestinian rights. Three articles from an Open Democracy discussion on funding.

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Hezbollah losing its role as leader of ‘resistance’

The people of Lebanon are in a hard place. They are having to accommodate thousands of refugees from Syria; the effective power is Hezbollah which had proclaimed itself their principal protector through its ‘resistance’ to Israeli and American power in the region. But its military support for the Assad regime has damaged its reputation, as has its manipulation of Shi’ite/Sunni differences into a harmful sectarianism. (See Rachel Shabi below)

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With one ‘poof’ the US leaves the stage. What’s the next scene?

In their view, the Obama administration had no choice but to believe that hard work and good will would produce observable change in Palestine/Israel relations. They were wrong. Kerry saw Israeli intransigence and ‘poof’, hope went. Israeli hardliners crow at the failure of this ‘Arab lapdog’. With the US no longer a player, who, if anyone, will make the first move to break the status-quo?

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Drop the label ‘sectarianism’

Sectarianism – ethnic, religious, tribal – has been manipulated by political or military elites since “the intersection of 19th century European colonialism and Ottoman modernisation.” Differences that were once personal or familial have been made into bloody public conflicts while ‘minorities’ have been made marginal by Muslim majorities. Rachel Shabi deplores these labels.

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The mills of Israel grind exceeding small

For the third year, a Freedom bus set off in March to tour Palestine, carrying actors, writers, musicians. Organised by the Jenin Freedom Theatre, artists and activists helped rebuild demolished homes, offered protection to farmers and helped build cultural resistance through workshops and performances. The steady decimation of economic life and tangle of petty rules shocked Mark LeVine, who was on the bus.

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Passing over a celebration of freedom to the bitter trap of victimhood

seder huntley hotel

Passover this year is sundown April 14 – sundown April 22. Its origin is a celebration of God’s help in freeing Jews from Egyptian slavery – a founding myth of Judaism and of Jews as being ‘chosen’. Robert Cohen questions the Jewish attachment to a myth of powerlessness while exercising considerable power over Palestinians. JfJfP adds “Pesach is about liberation, both physical liberation and mental liberation, including from outdated ideas and ways of thinking. It is also not possible to be free while other people are enslaved.”

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Jews wrest their identity back from Israel

montreal demo 2013 insignia

We’ve come a long way from the Holocaust, world war 2 and the founding of Israel. Millions of Jews have been born since then and more of them live outside Israel than inside it. By choice. Many of these value the identity and traditions that have developed over 2,600 years in which, obviously, the state of Israel played no part; report of a debate in Canada on how to create open discussion among Jews about Israel and Zionism.

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