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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



Politico-religious fanatics disrupt family simcha

UN Photo/Jean-Marc FerreUpdate 2 (Saturday 1215 BST)  Open Shuhada Street (A South African Jewish group fighting the closure of Hebron and supporting anti-occupation groups) shows how the SAZF are desperately – and falsely – trying to clear their name. The SA Globe & Mail reports that Richard Goldstone has been “cleared” to attend – by the SAZF.  Avram “Mr Sensitive” Krengel, chair of the SAZF said there was discussion – but of course cannot explain with any decency why the SAZF thought it had the right to enter into discussions about the Bar Mitzvah arrangements in the first place.

Original post: Mixing politics and religious doctrine almost always produces a toxic brew, whatever the faith involved. As if to demonstrate the truth of this maxim beyond any reasonable doubt, the South African Zionist Federation has effectively banned – downloadable PDF, article on p3 – Judge Richard Goldstone from attending the Bar Mitzvah of his grandson. The campaign of vilification Goldstone experienced over his investigation into Operation Cast Lead was revolting, but now his critics seek to plumb new depths. There were plans for a demonstration outside the synagogue during the service. Richard Silverstein puts it well when he suggests these people should “call themselves something other than Jews”. Jerry Haber – showing magnanimity – feels sorry for the “heresy hunters and the pusillanimous cowards who caved in to them.”

Indeed, it is hard not to feel sad when someone asserts that they “think (the agreement) was quite a sensible thing to avert all this unpleasantness.” That was the opinion of the head of the SA Beth Bin (religious court) Rabbi Moshe Kurstag. Just as sickening are the words of the SAZF chair, Avrom Krengel who made the breath taking claim: “We understand that there’s a barmitzvah boy involved — we’re very sensitive to the issues.”

“Sensitive to the issues?” What was the SAZF doing getting involved in the first place, in a celebration where they had precisely NO relevance? “Sensible?” That’s a euphemism for “we collapsed in the face of inexcusable political extremism.”

There’s coverage all over the web on this. You might like to contact the South African Zionist Federation to let them know just how low they have sunk. Former president of South Africa’s Constitutional Court Arthur Chaskalson offers a pithy suggestion: “If … this has the blessing of the leadership of the Jewish community in South Africa, it reflects on them rather than on Justice Goldstone. They should hang their heads in shame.

Update (Friday 1400 BST): Miriam Shaviv, comment editor of the JC understands the SAZF action and is unimpressed by the SA Board of Deputies damage limitation attempts. You may or may not be surprised to hear that the UK ZF does not, with Jonathan Hoffman both defending their intervention and at the same time more or less contradicting himself by saying Goldstone’s decision was his alone. Keith Kahn-Harris Twittered his relief that so many people feel the decision is offensive even if they disagreed with Goldstone’s conclusions over Cast Lead. But no one has shown any relevance between the report and the Bar Mitzvah. Not surprising, as there isn’t one, which is what reduces all the ad hominem reasoning and ‘cherem‘ references to an intellectual (and maybe gastric, too) emetic.

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