In this week’s Signatories’ Blog, Ben Samuel, one of our youngest signatories, writes about how his interest in politics grew and what attracted him to JfJfP. He is standing as the Green candidate for Hendon in the coming election. Obviously, JfJfP does not endorse any political party.
In a submission last month to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, JfJfP’s executive committee carefully distinguishes between antisemitism – which has deep roots in Europe and is rising – and criticism of Israeli policies. which is necessary and commonplace in Israel itself.
The executive committee of JfJfP has issued this statement in which it condemns the killings of five men in a Jerusalem synagogue. It also points to its cause in the brutality and violence of of the occupation. It calls for the due process of law to be honoured.
A debate will take place in the House of Commons on Monday October 13th, 2014 to debate the motion put by Gerald Kaufman MP and Grahame Morris MP. The PSC and JfJfP are urging supporters to lobby their MPs in favour of the motion, plus there is a 38 degrees petition. The right-wing ‘JMA’ is trying to organise a counter-lobby.
Rosh Hashanah, the celebration for the Jewish new year, begins at sundown on Wednesday September 24th and concludes at sundown on Friday 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.
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.
JfJfP’s executive committee has issued a statement on antisemitism to clarify the distinction between antisemitism, which exists and is always abhorrent, between the state of Israel and Jewish people round the world, and criticisms of the Israeli state. Jewish leaders who equate Jews with Israel do not help.
The ‘stonking’ speech of JfJfP signatory 19-year-old Barnaby Raine at the huge march and rally against the Israeli war on Gaza in London on Saturday, August 9th, 2014.
As JfJfP’s social media strategist Aaron Dover has said before on this website, traffic to the site and to our new Facebook page has increased enormously during the attack on Gaza. The number of JfJFP signatories has jumped by107 to 1874 in the 6 weeks since the beginning of July. Haaretz looks at the phenomenon – which also sees an increase of interest in the Zionist Federation which has redefined itself as ‘centrist’ rather than right-wing.
As the text makes clear, this statement was published in today’s Guardian because of the refusal of the Jewish Chronicle to allow our views to be expressed in its pages.
Between Thursday 17th and Saturday 19th July, hundreds of thousands of people round the world went out on to the streets to protests against Israel’s killing of people and destruction of homes in Gaza. BBC reports from London and Glasgow, photos of the demonstrations round the world.
In a new statement, JfJfP’s executive committee condemns the horrific bombardment of Gaza and says it must be ended “immediately and unconditionally” in line with Jewish values and international law. The British government should use all possible means to hold Israel to account.
JfJfP Exec has issued a statement deploring “all use of children and young people as political pawns and bargaining chips in international disputes. We condemn the kidnapping of the Israeli Jewish teenagers Gilad Shaarh, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah. But we also condemn the Israeli government’s exploitation of their disappearance in order to impose an illegal collective punishment on the Palestinian people and to attack Hamas and attempt to wreck the new Palestinian unity government.” Israel’s use of ‘administrative detention’ also amounts to the routine kidnapping of hundreds of Palestinians, adults and children.
This is a posting about, and reflecting, the serious concern in JfJfP for arguments in books about human relationships with the idea and reality of Israel. Details of the London launch of Norman Finkelstein’s new book and/or reviews of this and of Ari Shavit, the book he is attacking, by signatories Deborah Maccoby and Avi Shlaim.
On April 9th, Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee announced it was holding an enquiry into the human rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It invited submissions and, on behalf of JfJfP Arthur Goodman submitted a report, It emphasises the human rights which Israel abrogates, argues that the ‘even-handed’ approach of the FCO covers up the reality of Israel’s occupation and power (including its use of violence) and proposes stronger measures to be taken.
As we know, so shocked was the Israeli government at the EC guidelines forbidding EU funds and financial instruments being given to Israeli entities in the oPt that it demanded an inquiry. These Guidelines are the single most important step the EU has taken against the economic and political viability of the Occupation. We post four letters sent by JfJFP’s campaigning diplomat Arthur Goodman and by the EJJP to EC and American diplomats urging them to understand, take seriously and enforce those Guidelines.
The programme ‘Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story’ made by Israeli director Ilan Ziv, was pulled from the schedule at the last minute last April. The BBC said it did not fit editorially with its archaeology season. Although it is true that archaeology is a politically loaded subject in Israel/Palestine, the BBC knew this before it commissioned the film. Presumably someone higher-up had a fit of panic on actually seeing it. PSC leads the charge against the BBC. JfJfP signs the letter asking the BBC to explain its decision.
The subject of prisoners’ rights has a whole different meaning in the oPt beginning with how a Palestinian becomes a prisoner in the first place. The use of administrative detention to arrest and hold them, the illegal transfer of prisoners to Israeli jails, the slur of ‘terrorism’ to cover any form of (elsewhere) legal protest, the denial of medical care until the health of a protesting hunger striker is wrecked. Addameer (Arabic for conscience) is the main prisoners’ rights NGO and its head, Sahar Francis, is touring the UK. Sponsored by JfJfP, PSC, LPHR.
Jewish Voice for Peace has initiated a public letter to President Obama asking him to act on an obvious principle: Israel should not receive state money from the US (or any country) if it does not comply with national and international laws. This follows a letter from 15 Christian leaders saying ‘unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel has contributed to this deterioration (of peace prospects)’. JfJfP endorses the public letter to Obama. To sign, click on link in posting. The letter will be delivered on Inauguration Day, January 21.
As we said last week, it is expected that Israel’s Supreme Court will overturn the election committee’s ban on Ms Zoabi standing in the January Knesset election. The CEC’s decision, and the support it has received inside Israel, reveals racist, misogynist and deeply parochial attitudes towards political democracy. JfJfP condemns this latest act of discrimination.