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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




Israeli fury at Palestinian boycott of settlement goods

cifBoycott gives Israel a taste of its own medicine

The Palestinian boycott of Jewish settlement goods outrages Israel but is nothing compared with Israel’s undeclared embargo

Rachel Shabi, 26 May 2010

Things are heating up with the Palestinian boycott of Jewish settlement products. The Palestinian Authority has recently passed a law prohibiting the sale of such goods, with potential fines and prison terms imposed on those that flout it. The authority has dispatched 3,000 volunteers to canvass door to door in the West Bank, explaining what products should be boycotted and why.

According to the Washington Post, at least 17 businesses within the largest settlement bloc, Ma’ale Adumim, have closed as a result of the boycott campaign that took off earlier in the year, while the PA has confiscated $5m-worth (£3.5m) of settlement goods across the West Bank.

The reaction to all this in Israel has been a combination of bluster, threats and outrage premised on a theme of: how dare those ingrates.

Settler groups, who you can imagine may see a Palestinian sneezing and call it germ warfare, have decided that this boycott amounts to “economic terror“.

An opinion piece in Israel’s mass-market daily, Yediot Aharonot, warns the PA that “the boycott game can go both ways”.

Uri Ariel, an Israeli minister (of the far-right National Union party), is already cooking up a counter-boycott and sanctions proposal. The Israel Manufacturers’ Association has said that Israel should close its ports to Palestinian exports until the boycott is lifted, and Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has just chimed in and called the campaign self-destructive.

All of which has skewed a few key components of this scenario. First up – and as PA officials have been careful to point out – trade agreements between Israeli and Palestinian authorities do not apply to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, since they are defined as illegal under international law.

Second, Israel has for years been ignoring the very treaty that the PA is now accused of breaching. The Paris protocol trade agreements, part of the Oslo Accords, are supposed to guarantee the free movement of goods between Israel and the Palestinian territories – but in reality, that’s mostly a one-way flow. Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other restrictions constantly thwart Palestinian exports to Israel, while the Palestinian market is flooded with cheap Israeli imports that stunt the local economy.

Dr Samir Abdullah Ali, director general at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, points out that even clauses specifically contained in the treaty to rebalance trade inequities are flouted. So, for example, the agreements include a quota for the Israeli import of key Palestinian agricultural items such as tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelons – but it is never met. Meanwhile, Palestinian exports destined for foreign markets are routinely delayed by port authorities, and registration licenses are withheld for pharmaceutical or other industrial products (solar water heaters, for instance) so they cannot enter the Israeli marketplace.

In practice, it all adds up to an undeclared embargo on Palestinian goods – not calling this a boycott doesn’t mean that it isn’t one. And to add some context to the PA’s ban on settlement goods: these represent $200m of the estimated $3bn–$3.5bn that Palestinians spend annually on Israeli goods and services.

In other words, the outrage could be summarised as a case of Israel not liking the taste of its own medicine. The strength of the PA-backed settler goods ban must have come as a shock, but Israel is not supposed to enjoy being boycotted – and its approval of this campaign is not required.

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