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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



Michael Mansfield on the Russell Tribunal on Palestine


Why is the EU failing to comply with its international law obligations over Israel?

Michael Mansfield, QC, 11 March 2010

If you lived on a street where a neighbour frequently and flagrantly broke the law, you would want something done about it, especially if that neighbour took part of your garden, replaced the fence with a 30ft wall, cut down your trees and redirected your water supply.

Suppose the authorities to whom you complained merely denounced the illegalities and took no action? You might think that this situation is inconceivable. But that is precisely what has been happening to the Palestinians for the best part of 60 years.

On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) produced a strong advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied territories.

Fourteen of 15 judges agreed the core findings: that the construction was contrary to international law, both human rights and humanitarian; that it should be dismantled with reparations being made for all damage caused. This was adopted by a UN General Assembly resolution on July 20, 2004.

This resolution, like so many before it concerning violations perpetrated by Israel, was fundamentally ignored. The ICJ had not only specified the obligations owed by Israel under international law but also spelt out very clearly the obligations incumbent on third-party states to ensure that the core values or peremptory norms — such as the right to self-determination — are upheld by those states that break them. This is a matter of common sense and ordinary reason; for, were it to be otherwise, the rule of law and the authority of international justice would be completely undermined.

It was in this context that the Russell Tribunal was reconvened in Barcelona on March 1 to 3 to examine the legal responsibility for violations in the Palestinian Territories. Four more international sessions are planned.

The tribunal has an illustrious history with its origins in the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation launched in 1963. The first tribunal concerned the war in Vietnam, and led to citizens’ commissions of inquiry held in several American cities. A second tribunal was established to investigate human rights violations in South America in 1974-75.

These are tribunals of conscience, created in response to the demands of citizens in many countries who feel that perpetrators must be held to account and that states cannot be allowed to act with impunity; which is often the result of inaction and complicity by others.

The first session examined the responsibility of the European Union and its member states. The hearings dealt with six topics: self-determination; the annexation of East Jerusalem; settlements and the plundering of natural resources; the EU Israel Association agreement; the Gaza blockade/Operation Cast Lead; and the wall.

Proceedings were opened by Stéphane Hessel, a co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, followed by 27 witnesses with a range of expertise and experience (lawyers, academics, aid workers, human rights advisers, members of the European and British parliaments and a military adviser).

Israel’s violations are well known and well documented through to the Goldstone report on the invasion of Gaza in early 2009 and were summarised in the tribunal’s report under ten separate headings. The Palestinian Territories determined that a form of apartheid is being practised. The EU and its member states were found to have transgressed the EU Treaty itself as well as international obligations under the UN Charter and the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The real question, however, is not just inaction but positive action undertaken by Europe that supports the illegality. This can be exemplified by the export of weapons and components; the trade in produce from settlements in the occupied territories and above all the multibillion EU Israel Association agreement that confers benefits on Israel. The EU is the third most important trading partner for Israel and the EU Parliament has passed a resolution requiring the suspension of the association agreement, but like so much else this has not been implemented.

It was obvious to the tribunal, therefore, that the EU may not be prepared to comply with international law. In these circumstances it is necessary for concerned citizens to examine ways in which accountability may be effected. There are a number of legal avenues that can be pursued against individual European governments and their agencies, and individual private companies that maintain the regime of illegality. Additionally Israeli perpetrators of war crimes are susceptible to universal jurisdiction and are liable to be arrested should they travel to Europe.

So far the exercise of this power has not been overwhelmingly embraced by European states; instead it has been left to the endeavours of committed individuals on behalf of the victims and their families in the Palestinian Territories.

The author, a QC, was one of the eight member international jury panel of the RTP. See their full report at

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