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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



Thoughts on the Jewish boat to Gaza

Lynne Segal, 28 September 2010

Lynne Segal comments on the significance of an all-Jewish aid boat to Gaza that has been intercepted by the Israeli navy today

Lynne Segal, a member of the Independent Jewish Voices Steering Group, is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London

How many warships does it take to intercept one small boat, with 9 unarmed passengers? 10 apparently! One for each passenger, and two for the 82-year-old Holocaust survivor. Did we need yet another boat provoking confrontation on the high seas trying to break the long years of Israel’s blockade of Gaza? Just when a fact-finding mission to the UN Human Rights Council accused Israel of war crimes over its lethal assault on the Mavi Marmara four months ago, another small boat departed on its perilous voyage to Gaza. Captained by Glyn Secker, from Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP) in Britain, it was co-organized by the German Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East and supported by eleven other groups affiliated to the European Jews for a Just Peace, plus two US-based groups. The symbolic significance of this boat is that it is a Jewish boat, its crew and passengers drawn from Jews around the world, including Israel. But can it make serious political ripples, or will it prove merely another misadventure in the murky waters that never deliver us any nearer to peace between Israel and the Palestinians?

The voyage has been dismissed by a spokesman from the Board of Deputies of British Jews a mere ‘publicity stunt’, as a vehicle supporting ‘terrorists and enemies of Israel’, by the secretary general of Germany’s Central Council for Jews. It is certainly hard to shift the passionate polarities within the Jewish population on Israel/Palestine. But for genuine peace activists despair only mounts watching the foreseeable futility of the current round of official peace talks in Washington, as Netanyahu allows the resumption of settlement expansion in Palestinian territory, leaving Abbas with little choice but to resign from the talks. Meanwhile, the ongoing catastrophe in Gaza caused by Israel’s continuing blockade is not even under discussion.

Yet, with varying levels of hypocrisy or sincerity, almost everyone agrees that something must be done to end the economically ruinous collective punishment of the population of Gaza. International reports all describe the extreme physical and mental health problems resulting from Israel’s blockade, as demographic isolation results in the curtailment of a multitude of basic human rights, even the right of Gazans to fish in most of their own territorial waters. Israel’s recent announcement that it will “ease” some of the most arbitrary controls over imports for rebuilding the collapsed sewage, water systems, houses and schools from its bombardment of Gaza 18 months ago has yet to make any significant difference.

Something must be done. But what is the significance of one small Jewish boat trying to deliver token humanitarian aid, including musical instruments for young people being helped by the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP)? The GCMHP was founded by the indefatigable peace campaigning psychiatrist and community leader, Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj. Wondering what new I could say in this piece, I emailed Eyad before penning it, asking him what we could possibly hope for from this venture when ‘things only keep getting worse, despite our best efforts to promote peace?’ I did not expect a reply, but to my surprise he responded instantly. Any doubts I had about the expedition were completely dispelled by his moving words, whatever now happens to the boat and its crew, as the eyes of the world look on.

Dear Lynne,

You write to me, and I must tell you that I am very inspired by the coming voyage of a Jewish boat to break the siege on Gaza. I have helped and worked with and received other boats, but this is the most significant one for me, because it carries such an important message. It brings to us and tells the world that those we Palestinians thought we should hate as our enemies can instead arrive as our friends, our brothers and sisters, sharing a love for humanity and for our struggle for justice and peace. I will wait with anticipation to shake hands with them and hold them dear in close embrace. They are my heroes.

Please, never despair that you cannot bring peace, and never give up work for a just world. When I see, read, and relate to Jews who believe in me as an equal human being, and who tell me that their definition of humanity is not complete without me, I become stronger in my quest for justice and peace. I learnt long ago that there are Jews in and outside Israel who belong with me in the camp of friends of justice and peace. I have always strongly believed that we can live together, that we must live together. We have no other choice except to live together. It is because of people like you, and events like this, that I will never give up on the hope.

With my best and warmest

Eyad Sarraj
Gaza, Palestine

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