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JfJfP comments


06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics


23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo


15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014


29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011



UN declares 2014 ‘Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People’.

2014 has been declared by the UN to be ‘the year of the Palestinians’. This is a great rhetorical victory for Palestinians. The UN declaration – meaning especial attention and funds will be applied to their plight – marks another painful step from the idea that Jews are the victims to the acceptance that Jews – in this little part of the world – are the oppressors.The move from Israel as a desperate people in UN resolutions to Israel as an oppressor state has been short, shocking, brutal.

Why Brandeis university cut off links to Al Quds university

A phalanx of men in black, faces concealed by helmets is definitely sinister. The straight-arm, palm-down gesture seems horribly familiar – it’s the Nazi salute. Although it’s a fairly common gesture amongst militias – who eschew the deferential cap-salute – and predates the Nazis – it seems the Jihadists who used it on this occasion intended to offend. For Brandeis university to suspend its links with Al Quds university on the basis of this sect seems very feeble. Richard Silverstein comments.

When Jews use force it ends in catastrophe

‘The combination of being a bully and a victim at the same time has become Israel’s trademark’. One-time zionist and loyalist Zeev Smilansky mourns the perversion of Jewish values by the – his – Israeli state for which ‘people and human kindness are not part of the Jewish toolbox’. Thus for him, the zionist project has become another fleeting – and sad – episode in the gloomy history of the Jewish people.

Ilan Pappé on the duty to ask questions

Ilan Pappe’s next book is on the history of production of knowledge in Israel, and in this interview/conversation the question of why people know what they think they know often comes up. The beliefs that mask lack of knowledge, or curiosity, become the myths that keep things as they are in Israel – as elsewhere. Interview conducted by Frank and Florent Barat.

BDS is working and hurting

In contrast to the article below by Larry Derfner, here Ramzy Baroud and Barak Ravid both write upbeat articles about the impact the BDS campaign in Europe and the US is having – especially on companies which are fearful of losing their reputation. Israeli propagandists call this ‘delegitimisation’ and smear active campaigner Roger Waters as ‘an antisemite’ – usually signs of desperation.

Israel not picked on but let off the hook

The outcry against the American Studies Association for deciding to cut off contact with Israeli academic institutions was predictable – why was little Israel being picked on when worse transgressors were ignored? Such a response mangles reality argues Larry Derfner for it is those other transgressors which are the subject of powerful sanctions imposed by the US, the UN and EU. Israel alone is not held to account for its breaches of international law and alone is the recipient of great US largesse.

Anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish racisms have become a global common sense

The idea that global events can be explained by prejudice against Jews or Muslims is alarming. Antisemitism is an accepted term, Islamophobia isn’t (that too can seem ‘common sense’). But how far these prejudices are alive in Britain is disputed. Participants in a conference on anti-Muslim/ anti-Jewish racisms raise the issues. One is the extent to which ‘western values’ of democracy, individual choice and rights can be used authentically to defend Muslim customs.

O little town of Bethlehem behind the ghetto wall

Perhaps the strangest ‘celebration’ of the Christmas season is the exhibition and event Bethlehem Unwrapped, running at St James’s Church, Piccadilly until January 5th. Organised by the Amos Trust and the Holy Land Trust, artists have created an 8 foot wall – like the one that encloses Bethlehem today and a wide array of poets, writers, cooks, comedians, singers are all performing their take on Bethlehem today.See Events, right-hand column.

Attack on ASA boycott misses the point

The decision endorsed by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli academic institutions was not wrong because of ‘double standards’ argues Peter Beinart. As others have said before, the focus of the West’s Left has long been on the wrong-doing of the agencies within the west’s capitalist network, because this is ours. Israel is part of it too. The problem he says lies in the implied denial of Israel’s right to decide its own immigration policy and thus preserve its nature as a state for Jews.

The ceaseless drive to Judaise the whole land

Oren Yiftachel takes issue with the argument of Eva Illouz – that state-enforced religion has corrupted Israel. Rather he says it is Jewish colonialism, in which settlers and state are ceaselessly acting to Judaise the whole land, from the Jordan to the sea. Judaisation primarily damages Palestinians but it also shunts those who are not Jewish, or not Jewish-enough to the margins – Ethiopians, Russians, Mizrahim and Sephardim.

Damn politics, just kick out the weak

To make their mark, racist people need leaders and spokespersons. David Sheen gives his 2013 list of those who have played this role in Israel. Uri Avnery names someone who gives a beautiful face to this ugliest – and now international – phenomenon when it is linked with a traditional set of far-right policies.

Oh Christmas tree!

The pine tree. or facsimile, has been widely adopted in Palestine as an affirmation of one of the two main holy days of Europe and the Americas, of Palestinian Christian communities and a form of defiance against Judaic dominance. The tree – flamboyantly displayed along with coloured lights and fireworks – connects Palestinians with a world beyond their tight borders. This posting is a stocking filler of seasonal pieces with a big gift from Jonathan Freedland on the appeal of Christmas.

‘Our role is to amplify Palestinian voices not replace them’

But solidarity workers have to decide which voices to amplify, and create space for. Ben White discusses the difficulties and traps of such work. It is clear from his indictment of Pres. Abbas and the Fatah leadership and his praise for the democratic and effective nature of BDS what choice he thinks should be made. And more, well-sourced information from Palestinians, with good translation into European languages would help.

Israel, boycott, apartheid – the argument

Four writers on Ha’aretz – Amira Hass, Chemi Shalev, Anshel Pfeffer and Henry Siegman – give their opinions on whether Israel is an ‘apartheid state’ and on whether the tactic of boycotting Israeli goods is politically justified or effective. The backdrop to the discussion is the death of Mandela and the ASA decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions which have, if nothing else, brought the argument alive in Israel.

Divided and ruled

The weather crisis has led to Hamas and Fatah leaders talking, by phone. That they can do. Amira Hass doubts whether there can be more long-term agreements which would put at risk the power bases of both parties. Victor Kotsev thinks there is evidence of Hamas losing popular support and power, although this has been predicted before.

ASA votes to boycott Israeli academic institutions by more than 2:1

After the national council of the American Studies Association voted to adopt a boycott of Israeli universities, it put their decision out to a vote of all members. In the largest response they have ever had, members voted 66:30 to endorse the decision. Their statement includes endorsements by many academics who have worked in the fields of American racism and indigenous people’s rights and it answers a number of basic questions.

Mandela went from leading armed struggle to finding a partner for peace

Lev Ginsburg cuts through the syrupy eulogies to Nelson Mandela to remind us that he gained his authority by initiating and leading an armed struggle: “terrorism”. There are a few candidates to be Palestinian leader- but would he find a partner for peace equivalent to FW de Klerk who could persuade his ‘own’ people to let go of their privileges?

It’s not giving money but withholding it that makes a difference

For the last few years the US and EU have been throwing money at various agencies in Palestine/Israel in the hope that this will somehow ‘do something’ to change the stalemate. With clear anger, Sam Bahour explains that the occupation crushes all efforts to escape the poverty, humiliation and dependence enforced on Palestinians. Gideon Levy argues that as sanctions worked against Iran, so they will against Israel.

Refugees in Israel have worst treatment in western world UPDATE

The story of a long protest march by African asylum seekers from a detention centre in the Negev to the Supreme Court in Jerusalem has got extensive news coverage – a bit of it here. Perhaps this is because it marks out Israel more sharply than any other issue from the world to which it longs to belong. By claiming its special ‘Jewish state’ status Israel exonerates itself from the normal humanitarian concerns that govern western nations on asylum seekers, despite the political problems these may cause.

State-building measures will achieve nothing while Palestine is a colony

International energy for a just Palestinian-Israeli peace is expended on everything but the one thing that matters – ending the occupation. The PA, under then-PM Salaam Fayyad’s direction, worked hard to produce the state institutions demanded by the West. So what? As the World Bank report, and this FMEP report, both make clear the Palestinian economy cannot grow while it is squeezed within an inch of its life by Israel’s restrictions, regulations, checkpoints, barriers on movement, and so on. The claim that all these are imposed in the name of security is laughable.