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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



Universal jurisdiction


On 10 March the Board of Deputies of British Jews together with the Jewish Leadership Council  issued a guardedly cautious criticism of the government’s failure to move faster to deal with what the Board calls ‘the current abuse of the principles of Universal Jurisdiction’ (see below.)

The Jewish Chronicle was not to be outdone. It carried an article the next day by Martin Bright Analysis: You’ve betrayed the Jewish community, Jack Straw. The tone is outraged: “The time has now come to tell the full story of how the government betrayed the Jewish community over “universal jurisdiction”. In more than a decade of covering UK politics, I have never known a story quite like this…”

Who is this Jewish community that is so outraged and betrayed? Who is so concerned to conflate the interests of the Israeli state with those of the Jewish community in Britain? This community is clearly defined to exclude from its midst the many, many members of Jewish communities in Britain who, with others, support the maintenance of the law on universal jurisdiction, are not aware of any ‘current abuse’, and are neither outraged nor disappointed by the government’s decision that a change of this magnitude needs, at the very least, to be carefully considered and not rushed into in order to appease any voluble lobby group.

In our view it would be a grave mistake to change the existing law. As a reminder of what is at stake, see earlier postings on this site: Human Rights Watch: Don’t Shackle UK Courts on War Crimes and Torture; Amnesty International call on universal jurisdiction and Lady Scotland opens a can of worms. Fortunately many Jewish human-rights lawyers are active in the campaign and speak as much for the Jewish community as the many self-appointed guardians of its alleged concerns.

Richard Kuper, JfJfP Information Officer

PS: Recent statements concerning the arrest of Dr Ejup Ganic are relevant here and show the government acting on a quite principled basis in this case e.g. junior FCO Chris Bryant on 5 March 2010 here and Miliband on 11 March here.

Joint statement issued 10 March 2010 by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council

Recent Developments regarding the law of Universal Jurisdiction

We are encouraged that the Prime Minister has fully acknowledged the serious concerns that exist about the current abuse of the principles of Universal Jurisdiction, and that he has unequivocally stated that the Government intends to legislate to resolve the current anomaly in the law.

However, we are disappointed at the additional delay, particularly when the case for change has long been recognised by the Government, and is so overwhelming.

We will fully engage in this new round of consultation and scrutiny as set out by the Secretary of State for Justice, but once this process has concluded political leaders must deliver on their commitment to legislate.

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