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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

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21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

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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

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28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

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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

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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



Israel: Victim of its own Pathology?

the-nationalIsrael itself may be among the victims of its pathology

Eyad Sarraj, 1 June 2010

Dr Eyad Sarraj is president of the Gaza Mental Health Programme and founder of the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza

Resorting to brute force is an expression of fear. Its deployment yesterday by the Israeli soldiers who raided and opened fire on the freedom flotilla en route to Gaza, killing at least 10 civilians and injuring dozens more, will not serve Israel or treat its existential anxiety.

As a psychiatrist and a resident of Gaza, I understand Israel’s reflexive use of force against civilians as a symptom of a structural pathology. Israel resorts to the use of maximum force as a form of intimidation. But this is the choice of the weak. It is quite possible that through Israel’s actions, it is tightening its own noose.

More than a decade ago the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a book defending Israel’s right to “a place under the sun”. But it is the racist desire to create “a nation above nations” that is the desire of Zionist extremists. In this context, peace is anathema; the siege and war on Gaza are legitimate and justified; Israel will use every possible means to avoid reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Indeed, Israel is marching rapidly towards becoming an apartheid state.

Due to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the unemployment rate in the strip is near 50 per cent. The World Bank has stated that 90 per cent of water in Gaza is not suitable for human consumption, 80 per cent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, and 70 per cent depend on charity for food supplies. Chronic malnutrition affects 15 per cent of Gaza’s children and its serious consequences for their cognition and growth will be felt for years to come

The boats that the Israeli soldiers attacked were carrying food, medicines, and materials to build prefabricated homes for the people of Gaza. The freedom flotilla was a new attempt to break this Israeli blockade, condemned by the human rights community the world over.

The former US president Jimmy Carter has called the blockade an assault on civilisation. Justice Richard Goldstone has rightly called Israeli actions crimes against humanity. So many voices, including those of many Jews, have called upon Israel to end this draconian siege.

One and a half million Palestinians remain prisoners of the largest open-air jail on earth since Israel’s siege on Gaza began in December of 2008. Then, Israel’s army demolished 15,000 homes, destroyed factories and ministries, and chopped off the minarets from mosques. Even the American School in Gaza, a sprawling establishment, was completely destroyed and Israel bombed schools run by the United Nations. Israel used illegal weapons against the people of Gaza during this war, killing hundreds and wounding thousands of civilians including children.

The attack on the freedom flotilla is just the latest act of Israel’s violence. Now there is defiance in the streets of Gaza from people who demand that the world force Israel to respect them as human beings.

For the Palestinians, this is the time for us to be reunited. It is doubtful if Palestinian factions will rise to the occasion and end their internal strife as their political alliances dictate otherwise. It is also doubtful that many Arab regimes will heed the calls from the people of Gaza, as they are not independent from external political and economic pressure.

Yet the mass killing of those on board the freedom boats has drawn condemnation around the globe with critical statements from the United Nations and from European capitals. Israel’s action may reinforce calls to boycott its products. This could be a turning point in the struggle to end the siege and the Israeli occupation.

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