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 Alert – URGENT

Posts

Wish for a happy new year

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Rosh Hashanah, the celebration for the Jewish new year, begins at sundown on Thursday September 24th and concludes at sundown on Saturday September 26th. As this statement from JfJfP executive says, it is a time for reflection especially on what might pressure we might bring to lessen the turmoil in the Middle East and on Israel’s role in that.

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Open letter to Board of Deputies

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, JfJfP’s executive has written a letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews proposing that it engages more openly and constructively with the issue of dispossessed Palestinians, the Israeli occupation and the widespread opposition to it in Britain.

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Official – no-one called Mohammed here

Popular racism is one thing. Official racism another. Haaretz reveals that, although Mohammed was the most popular name for boys in Israel in 2013 the official list of the 10 most popular boys’ names does not include it. What does such censorship serve? Note: Mohammed was also the most popular name for boys in England and Wales – which is omitted from some lists.

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Women told to keep to one side of the street in London Haredi district

Hackney Council has removed posters pasted up round Stamford Hill, centre of a large Haredi community in North London, which instructed women to walk down one side of the street. It did not specify this order was only for Haredi women, and only for the duration of a Torah parade. Even if it had, publicity for this group’s belief that women exercise an evil sexual power over hapless men might not have added to their reputation.

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Nationalism, not Islamism, is the threat in Europe

Nationalism can begin as a left- or right-wing movement, or neither; it is almost invariably populist- defined by finding an ‘other’ to be against. So whatever their potential for advancing democracy, nationalist movements carry the danger of harnessing racism. Anshel Pfeffer thinks nationalist movements are more of a threat to Europe than crazed jihadis.

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Scottish independence: what does it mean for the Jews?

To which the answer is ‘Not for us’ according to various articles all published, interestingly, from the right-wing Jewish press. There is a long history of Jewish fear of nationalist movements (see posting above) which are associated with ethnic purity (see modern Israel) , xenophobia and parochialism. Perhaps it is this history of antisemitism, or of Scottish support for Palestinians, which sparked the interest of the right.

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Debating the nature of Muslim antisemitism

This is a long, serious exchange between Steven Beller and Doron Rabinovici, hosted and posted by Antony Lerman, on whether or not Muslim antisemitism is contingent on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians or whether in radical Islam antisemitism gives the movement its character, definition and trajectory.

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Sealed separatism

In 2011, the Knesset passed an Admissions Committees Law allowing such local groups to be set up with the authority to decide on who should not be allowed to live in their community. This week, the Supreme Court ruled this lawful, thus making apartheid neighbourhoods and towns official. Excluding Palestinians is the main aim, but the religious could exclude the secular, ashkenazi the sephardi etc thus making concrete the many rifts in Israeli society.

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Israel kept out of coalition against IS

Having created its role as the US’s first partner in the Middle East and the leading warrior against fanatical Islamic terrorism (i.e. Hamas) Bibi can’t hide his distress at not being allowed to take part in the gang. Obama’s reasoning is that the coalition would break down if it did. The US now has more useful friends in the region. So what did all the ‘strategic edge’ money buy for the US?

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Mountains of rubble block any rebuilding

The latest estimate for the weight of the rubble into which Gaza’s buildings have been rendered is four million (American) tons. Before anything can be rebuilt these massive heaps have to be cleared and mov ed – by whom, to where? The UN has brokered an agreement in which it will monitor the use of building materials.

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Support for Abbas dwindles due to lack of fight – and elections

At first, Mahmoud Abbas’ priority of reaching a peace deal with Israel was impressive. Everything was sacrificed to that aim including a referral to the ICC and even elections that would have brought in more belligerent politicians. Israel shunned this opportunity- and now support for the PA president is too low for him to effect anything.

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Pressure rises for outside investigation of Israeli war crimes

The UN Human Right Commission, Yesh Din, B’Tselem, Amnesty, Human rights Watch are some of the organisations pressing for a proper investigation into the IDF’s lethal assault on Gaza, and judging them against Israel’s own laws as well as international laws. Jonathan Cook adds a new point: the effectiveness of Iron Dome makes indiscriminate attacks on Gaza indefensible.

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The occupation corrupts say the refuseniks. This is true.

The 43 members of elite Unit 8200 who have refused to continue intrusive and malicious spying on Palestinians are telling the truth writes Ynet’s Nahum Barnea. Their information ‘contributes to the occupation’s maliciousness, arbitrariness and foolishness, or provides a decent cover to the government’s false policy.’

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This time, Israelis reject false victory claim

Netanyahu made his success by defining Israel’s primary need as ‘security’ and its primary threat as ‘Palestinian terrorists’ says Ramzy Baroud. Hence a war which no Israelis believe Israel ‘won’, but was not ‘won’, in a conventional sense, by Palestinians in Gaza either. They celebrated not victory but their ability to survive and resist.

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Michael Kustow, on the edge

Michael Kustow, who has died aged 71, led a life steeped in the arts and politics, both influencing the other. He was adventurous in television, film, theatre and the visual and other performing arts; he was a thoughtful and ‘dissident’ Jew, exploring his Jewishness and also becoming an early signatory of JfJfP. We honour his work and courage.

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Freedom to offend

Steven Salaita is an American academic, a specialist in American and Arab literature and an activist in academic politics. Last October he was offered a job at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, subject to trustees’ approval. Then came Israel’s war on Gaza which prompted some furious tweets from Salaita. The job offer was then withdrawn on the grounds of ‘incivility’. As tweeting is not known for its polite elegance the trustees’ decision is seen as a political rejection of Salaita’s pro-Palestinian views.

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Outspoken words protected for Israeli-Americans

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The response to offensive speech should be to ask the offender to explain his or her position says Jerry Haber, not to dismiss the offender as rudely as Steven Salaita was. In two short posts he argues Salaita’s crude tweets should be judged in proportion to the enormity of Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza.

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For stability – abandon Palestine

It’s worth knowing how the Israeli exceptionalism argument runs and Elliot Abrams sets it out; little Israel is surrounded by Arab states and Iran bent on its extermination but has survived by maintaining the status quo. It could crush Hamas but doesn’t; its one virtue is survival against a hostile world – although Palestinians no longer enjoy the support of Arab states. The hostility is pure antisemitism.

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Let’s all shoot the messenger

The letter from 43 reservists (see post below) refusing to serve again in anti-Palestinian actions has inevitably created a storm of in Israel, mostly of abuse. Rather than considering whether they might be telling a vital truth to Israelis about what their special ops involve, most Israelis have accused them of cowardice, treachery and being the tools of leftwing extremism.

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Reservists of elite intel unit refuse to collect information on Palestinians

‘We learned that gathering information is part of the system of military control over Palestinians, that assassinations kill more than the target person, that we get private information for the purposes of blackmail’. Such intelligence is gained by elite unit 8200. Its use has so disturbed many soldiers that 43 have written a public letter saying they will not do reserve duty – and that many more agree with them in private.

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