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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

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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



The Jewish Agency for Israel, Aliyah and the JC: legal, decent, honest and truthful?

you tubeThe Advertising Standards Authority motto is “legal, decent, honest & truthful.” It’s an unusual self-regulatory body because, unlike the Press Complaints Commission, it is generally respected and effective. Returning visitors here may recall a recent encounter with the ASA when JfJfP and many others complained about this “Experience Israel” ad – with complete success and wide media attention around the world.

Aliyah (going up) or immigration to Israel is clearly more than tourism and the latest edition of the Jewish Chronicle contained a glossy pamphlet from the Jewish Agency for Israel, encouraging UK Jews to emigrate there. It included a section where eight cities offered welcome messages to new residents from their mayors. Slight problem: Only three of these cities are actually within Israel. The five others being illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory (East Jerusalem, Maale Adumim, Ariel, Efrat, the entire Etzion Bloc. JfJfP has complained to the ASA and we await their adjudication. We did seek clarification from Stephen Pollard, the editor of the JC first. He was… unhelpful, writing that he was “proud” that the Jewish Agency used the JC to distribute their material. Think that one might come back and bite him on the bum, folks?

Meanwhile… the Jewish Agency for Israel has been pushing its message across a variety of media, including this offering posted on You Tube:

You Tube videos are not covered by the ASA and the JfJfP signatory trying to find out how to object to what you have just watched found himself going round in circles navigating the eye-poppingly complex complaints procedure. So in the end he gave up and simply posted a comment on the You Tube page. It contrasted the welcome show to new Jewish immigrants with the expulsion of Filipino workers from Israel – because, in the charming words of Shas’ Eli Yishai – Deputy Prime Minister –  they might “damage [Israel’s] Jewish identity” and “constitute a demographic threat” (sound familiar?) and “increase the danger of assimilation”.

Somehow, this – fair comment, surely? – was quickly deleted. (You Tube allows those who post videos to choose which comments appear.) It’s their You Tube page, they can do what they like. But here at JfJfP we think people should be allowed – as long as it is legal, decent, honest and truthful, to borrow a phrase – to offer their opinions on publicly available material. So we posted it. And for this post, we turned on the comments facility. The deleted comments – and it is not just a glitch, the comments have been made and deleted more than once now – are the first in the list, just to start you all off.

Moderation is off for the moment, but anything gratuitously offensive (racist, sexist, homophobic, incitement to hatred, blatantly untrue) will be deleted. Fair comment stays, whatever end of the political spectrum from which it emanates.

Update: 0830 3March2010: It may be too early to tell, but a certain degree of victory relating to free speech seems to have been won. Several comments on the You Tube site have remained in place for up to 48 hours. Weirdly, some others have been removed, though there was no difference in tone between the ones that went and the ones that stayed. We can’t tell how long this will last, of course and it may just be that the video owner/poster has not got round to removing them yet. Either way, it’s good to see debate happening at last.

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5 comments to The Jewish Agency for Israel, Aliyah and the JC: legal, decent, honest and truthful?

  • This is the comment that was deleted from the YouTube site. I’ve heard from the ASA – they’re going to investigate the brochure that came with the JC.

    Shameful kitsch & implicitly racist. Not one Palestinian pictured, no checkpoints, no reference to the so-called security wall, and indeed no explanation how these British expats suddenly manage to have a home with garden, flat screen TV &c, while displaced Palestinians struggle to scrape a living and in several thousand cases have had their own homes demolished by Israeli buldozers.

    Because Israel’s economy is strained under the global downturn, it plans to deport “unwanted immigrants”, including Philippino workers & families, including Hebrew-speaking children born in Israel who have never even seen the Philippines.

    So we have an advertising campaign in the UK for a foreign country wanting to welcome British Jews as immigrants whilst forcibly deporting Asians (and this to say nothing of the discriminatory treatment meted out to Palestinians within Israel itself).

    — Brian

  • danjudelson

    Thanks for noticing that Brian. (To be fair, the YouTube video was posted 9 months ago – we have to pay more attention to this sort of thing.)

  • Actually this is getting bizarre, not to say surreal. richetal (someone I actually know) posted a comment a few days ago at the youtube site (after mine were deleted). I posted a short comment agreeing with richetal (whose original and one or two more are, I think, still there). But the one I posted agreeing with richetal and complimenting the sentiments – has now been removed!! Not that I’m paranoid or anything …

  • Deborah Fink

    Well that corny video worked for me- it completely put me off going to Israel, even for a holiday! And if they are all going to be like that irritating family from Edgware or whereever…. Yuck!

    I’m not surprised Stephen Pollard was uncooperative- he usually is. And actually, I’ve only just noticed that the JC a few weeks ago, promoted Ahava products which are made in the illegal West Bank Settlements.

    I do hope my comment does not incite hatred towards the JC……I mean, I don’t want to be blamed if people feel moved to picket it….

  • danjudelson

    Just in case the interesting and good natured debate somehow disappears again, here are the last couple of day’s conversations on the You Tube site (with some minor edits for spelling/ease of reading) The timing can be a bit confusing: generally speaking the most recent comment comes first, but if a sub thread appears (I’ve indented them to show when that happens) the time order gets reversed:

    richetal65 (15 minutes ago)
    I appreciate your kind and interesting questioning, and yes, I agree I wonder why people cannot understand why the Palestinians ‘keep attacking Israel’ (which they don’t). I think one only needs to look at Israeli Government behaviour. I refer you back to the other points I have made – illegal settlements, apartheid, physical and psychological torment. Oppression often causes conflict.

    richetal65 (1 hour ago)
    If the point of the wall is not to grab more land – then why is more land being grabbed? Yes, the illegal settlements are inhuman, I agree, and they are a type of terrorism. All the other acts I have described, which happen (FACT), are acts of ‘psychological’ terrorism. If violence occurs towards Israel, it maybe worth asking the simple question ‘why’? There are a lot of Israeli people,and many who who live in Israel who are disgusted by the actions of their government.

    kidi1232 (23 minutes ago)
    the question “why” was asked long time ago. but guess what? the wall & the checkpoints are just poor excuses. because the Palestinians attacked us before them, in fact, the wall and the checkpoints decreased the number of terror attacks. the Palestinians are not attacking us because of the checkpoint not the wall.
    i wonder why the world keep asking “why the Palestinians attack the Israelis” and don’t even care “why the Israelis put checkpoints everywhere and built a wall?”

    bbmarble (8 hours ago)
    kidi1232, if the wall was necessary, why did it have to be built on land of a putative Palestinian state, gathering in several large Israeli settlements – such as Ariel. It’s more of a land grab than a security measure, with the route in parts being altered to take account of property prices and not of security or justice.

    richetal65 (2 days ago) Show Hide
    A gigantic wall separating two groups of people … sounds like some kind of apartheid … ethnic separation. Sounds like South Africa a few years ago, Berlin maybe or even another regime which tried some ‘ethnic’ cleansing. Where do the Palestinians come in all this? Is their land not being illegally settled upon?

    kidi1232 (10 hours ago)
    you are wrong. the wall is not separating 2 groups of people. there are Palestinians in both sides of the wall, and there are Jews in both sides of the wall. the wall (which is more a fence than a wall, only 1/8 of it is a wall) is a security wall. since it was built, the terror attacks in Israel have been dramatically decreased.

    i hope once the aggression will calm, the Palestinians will have a state and they will accept Israel, that wall will not be necessary.

    richetal65 (2 hours ago)
    There are no Jews (Jews or Israelis? Are we talking religion, ethnicity or citizenship?) on the Palestine side of the wall except in illegal settlements in occupied territory. The only Palestinians on the Israeli side have (hard to get) permits. The wall doesn’t follow the ’67 greenline or the ’48 UN border. It’s 10m high in populated places and is in the faces of Palestinians. Checkpoints are inhumane -documented by Machsom Watch. Read ‘Breaking the Silence’… I’ve seen it all myself.

    kidi1232 (1 hour ago)
    the checkpoint are inhuman? the terror attacks are inhuman! if it takes a security check to everyone crossing into Israel to make sure Israel is safe than it should be it.
    the fence is a wall when there snipers risks.
    the point of the wall is not to grab any more land, it is to make sure that whatever comes out of Palestinian areas goes through a security check.

    kidi1232 (1 hour ago)
    about the settlements – you are right, they are illegal, but there are also many Palestinian illegal buildings in Israel.
    the wall is (hopefully) not there for ever, it will be either moved or destroyed according to the security situation, right now, the wall is surrounding the A, B areas according to Oslo agreement Israel have both military and governmental control on area C.
    macksom watch is a ridicules organization, the security blocks and checks are vital to the security of Israel.

    bbmarble (48 minutes ago)
    You cant get away with that kidi. Though I do appreciate your point that you hope the wall will one day be unnecessary, the wall/fence (yes it is both) separates villages form their farmlands, children from their schools and families from one another. That in itself indicates it is built in the wrong place – had it been on the Green Line, none of that would be the case. and the majority of checkpoints are WITHIN the West Bank, not on the Green Line or the route of the wall.

    kidi1232 (28 minutes ago)
    the wall is built according to Oslo agreements, which are more correct than the green line (which was made in 1948, while Oslo agreements were signed in the 90’s by both Israel and the PLO.

    the checkpoints are in the borders between areas A & B, and A & C. since the IDF have control on both areas B & C according to Oslo.

    about separating framers from their fields etc., the wall was built in 2002, yet the PLO have done nothing to suit the Infrastructures to the situation.

    bbmarble (1 minute ago)
    More recent = more correct? The 1948 line – actually I think it is the 1949 armstice line – has some relevance and diplomatic acceptance, while the Barrier is as illegal as the settlements themselves. The wall was begun in 2002 and is continuing to be built today. If the IDF ignores the rulings of the Israeli Supreme Court for 2-3 years before it begins to re route parts already built, what hope can the PA have to “suit the infrastructures”?

    richetal65 (2 days ago) Show Hide
    That is interesting .. some of the comments that were here last night have gone. I wonder why. Are the Israeli’s not open and honest enough to leave the truthful facts about the Palestinians here for others to read. Remember all people want is for people to be kind nice and tolerant of each other. It should be easy.

    richetal65 (2 days ago) Show Hide
    This looks idyllic, a bit like a white person arriving in South Africa 25 years ago. Let’s not forget the Palestinians who have been removed from their houses, olive trees cut down, grape vines poisoned, and there land settled on illegally by Isreali’s who are reaching their destination.

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