Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. 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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BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
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JfJfP comments


2016:

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

2015:

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

2014:

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

2013:

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

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Posts

Holocaust loses its Jew-hatred meaning

Haaretz’s Bradley Burston uses Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27) to attack Catherine Ashton for failing to specify any of the groups who were the primary victims. The same seems true of Britain’s Holocaust Memorial Day organisation, although its Life Stories contradicts that. Either way, it is clear that in western Europe and the US Jews are no longer evocative victims and gays are gaining rights and acceptance. Only gypsies/Roma remain persecuted.

Duty of all states not to recognise as lawful Israel’s illegal acts

This is a very clear and useful publication from the law faculty at Birzeit university specifying the laws which Israel is (and is not) breaking in maintaining its rule over Palestinians. It argues that ‘occupation’ is the wrong term for Israeli rule (there are circumstances in which occupation may be, at least, not unlawful). More accurate is ‘settler colonialism’ which was outlawed in 1960 when the UN adopted the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Too late for the indigenous Australians and Americans.

One-time friends say Bibi is coward, childish, irresponsible

Here are two opinion pieces from Ynet, Israel’s biggest selling newspaper and not known as a critic of their prime minster: both offer withering critiques of Bibi’s response to John Kerry’s diplomacy – contrasting it with the former bete noir, now new peace-maker, Avigdor Lieberman. While the PM authorises, or tolerates, splenetic attacks on the US’s secretary of state, Lieberman has come up with a new catchphrase: “The unity of the people is more important than the unity of the land.”

A Conflict of Faith: Judaism vs Israel today

A moving and thoughtful article about five American Jews whose religious beliefs are at odds with their communities’ support for Israel.

“I love being Jewish. I just don’t love the state of Israel,” says Corey Robin, a Conservative Jew from Brooklyn who supports the BDS movement. Prof Charles Manekin (the Magnes Zionist) believes that his Orthodox faith calls him to take stands against Israel. Professor Stefan Krieger, who also supports BDS, will not rise in synagogue for the traditional prayer for the state of Israel. Alissa Wise, a Reconstructionist rabbi, works for Jewish Voice for Peace. Prof Daniel Boyarin is still observant, but he has dropped out of synagogue life: “I have been so disturbed by the political discourse,” he said, “that I felt that I couldn’t participate.”

Spain gives Jews the right of return

Spain has given the descendants of Sephardi Jews the right of return, half a millenium after their expulsion. In so doing it is causing Israel considerable embarrassment because of how the Rabbinate deal with the issue of allowing descendants of “conversos” into Israel. And Khaled Diab points out that it was not just Jews who were expelled from Spain. Muslims, too, were given the option of converting or leaving. But even the converts – Moriscos – were forced out a century later. Spain has yet to address this historic wrong.

Uri Avnery’s Valentine’s Day

Uri Avnery declares his love for three Israeli women: Achinoam Nini, Anat Kamm and Daphni Leef. Who are they? What do they have in common? They are young people who obey their conscience, ready to stand up for democracy, peace and justice, take risks and make personal sacrifices

The Palestinian water problem

A discussion of water discrimination in Israel-Palestine. Both the New York Times and Ha’aretz carried reports on the Palestinian water problem. Guess which one was impartial? And in case of doubt, we also reproduce B’tselem’s latest factsheet which asks: Is there discrimination in terms of the quantity of water available to Israelis and Palestinians? The answer is yes. Are there gaps in water consumption between Israelis and Palestinians? Absolutely.

Palestinian football association to demand FIFA expel Israel

With quite extraordinary cruelty Israeli soldiers beat up two football-loving teenagers last month and then shot both of them in the feet. Doctors have said they will not be able to play again. For unknown reasons, the Arab Pop Idol winner Mohammed Assaf has had his invitation to sing at the opening ceremony of the FIFA world cup rescinded. The chairman of the Palestinian Football Association is demanding Israel be expelled from FIFA for flouting its conventions and trying to destroy Palestinian sport.

BDS movement is manipulative, antisemitic and anti-peace says top Israeli minister

Seriously alarmed by the growing strength of the European BDS movement, Israeli politicians and their American supporters are pulling out every argument to ‘delegitimise’ the movement. Here Yosef Kuperwasser is on a tour to insist the movement is not only antisemitic and trying to delegitimise Israel but, by depending on popular ignorance about Israel’s occupation, is deliberately misleading the public.

Take away the mask – the face is rude, stupid and very ugly

Two articles from Haaretz begin with the ugly display of the Knesset walk-out, led by Naftali Bennett last Wednesday. Carlo Strenger sees Bennet’s petulant rudeness as a evidence of his (and the right’s) total loss of contact with reality. Avraham Burg jumps over the politician’s impotence to an important new set of principles based on acceptance that neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinians have a surplus of rights or exclusive sovereignty over any part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Culture of euphemism has corrupted Jewish America for decades

Peter Beinart brings us a chilliing/comical glimpse into how right-wing American Jews manage to reconcile their quasi-religious belief in Democracy with their religious belief in the innate superiority and right to rule of Israel’s IDF. They say Israel is a democracy therefore everything it does is democratic, simple. It’s not that they don’t know about the security chiefs (who govern Israel) – for what they are securing of course is Democracy.

Asking Palestinian refugees what they actually want

Palestinian refugees are always on the list of matters to be resolved with Israel – for whose leaders they are a faceless, threatening mass. But what are the various options for refugees – scattered through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza? Paula Schmitt sets off to find out. Their degree of unhappiness and deprivation depends on where they are. The tired view that they have no home and no-one represents them is universal.

MKs who can’t bear to hear the truth

Israelis are not well-known for good manners, but to invite the President of the European parliament to address you, and then storm out shouting and yelling when he comments on an accepted truth – the hugely disparate levels of fresh water consumed by Israelis and Palestinians – seems to shift from rudeness to hysteria. Schulz’s point was not the exact ratio of litres used by Israelis and Palestinians – it was the large difference. Which is not in dispute.

We are here to restore life

A year after the first peace and protest ‘village’ was closed down at Bab al Shams in January 2013 two more have been set up in the Jordan valley. These events attract photographers and writers because they exude a spirit of creativity, hard work, and a determination for self-liberation. The camps palpably lay claim to the land and the will to use it well. They are invariably closed down by police or army on some pretext or other.

The fallacy of Jewish-Palestinian symmetry

PM Netanyahu has made a seemingly even-handed offer – Palestine can ‘recognise’ the ‘Jewish state’ and incorporate the West Bank settlers in a Palestinian state. Where to start with what’s wrong with this? Uri Avnery begins with the absurdity of a demand that the self-proclaimed myth of a state be formally recognised and follows up with the idea that fanatical and racist settlers can be converted into loyal citizens of Palestine.

‘The guidelines are you can have sex with Israel but use a condom’

There is a huge gap here between the sharp, pertinent questions Ben White puts to officials of the EU’s EEAS and the almost entirely metaphorical answers he receives – such as the one in this headline. Implementing the EC guidelines appears to have been put, metaphorically, on the back burner while all hope is vested in Kerry’s negotiations and the EC’s offer of a Special Privileged Partnership. If Kerry fails, there is no Plan B.

News! Americans put more trust in their president than in Israel

There’s nothing like war or the threat of war to engage the public in otherwise remote policy issues. The clear public decision in the UK and the USA that most people do not want to launch a war against either Syria or Iran has put a spoke in AIPAC’s normally smoothly rotating wheel. Finally, congresspersons and Obama have recognised that AIPAC is willing to harm American interests in the name of Israel.

Truman opposed creation of ‘a Jewish state’

The support of the United States, under the leadership of President Truman, for the creation of Israel is often cited as the decisive factor in what was a very contentious issue. What is less well-known is that Truman was adamantly opposed to the creation of ‘a Jewish state’ as being fundamentally unAmerican. He also complained about the intensive lobbying by Jewish organisations he was subject to – but, as author John Judis says – the lobbying was successful and set a precedent that has continued ever since.

Palestinians take the moral lead

Various forms of nonviolent resistance, which respect international law, universal values and principles and the requirements of a just peace, are gaining momentum in the international arena writes Hanan Ashrawi. In contrast, Israel claims exemption from international law and perpetuates its exceptional colonisation through destruction, imprisonment and contempt.

Patriotic pride makes bad history

Historian Avi Shlaim rebukes Michel Gove for attacking unpatriotic accounts of World War 1. Gove is presumably happy with the patriotic myth we still live inside of Britain alone standing against, and defeating, the Nazi terror. Israel’s patriotic myth of standing alone against an organised mass of Arabs trying to destroy it is the foundation of the delusion that Israeli leaders always want to make peace but Arab leaders have always refused.