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JfJfP comments


2016:

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

2015:

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

2014:

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

2013:

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

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Posts

Jews for Justice – a Quaker view

the-friendJews for justice

Stevie Krayer charts her journey for peace and justice

21 September 2010

As I write this, we are halfway through the holy week of the Jewish New Year, culminating on 18 September in the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. Once again this year, I shall be fasting on that day.

Although I am ethnically Jewish, my family didn’t observe this fast when I was a child. I was brought up in a secular household where Yom Kippur was just a good excuse for my father to wangle a day off work! I only got into the habit of fasting on Yom Kippur in 2002, and have maintained it ever since. Why 2002? Because that summer, I had the privilege (and pain) of participating in an international Quaker working party that spent three weeks in the Middle East, studying the knotted conundrum of Israel and Palestine. That, incidentally, was also the first time I had visited Israel.
For the first time, I saw with my own eyes the brutal realities of the Occupation, and listened to dozens of eloquent voices, mostly Palestinian or Israeli, mostly speaking up for peace and justice. I was confronted with the bigotry and double standards widespread in the Jewish state. I found myself alongside Friends (and others) who had been involved long-term in the region and who were able to teach me, from a gentle yet principled Quaker perspective, about much that was hidden from an ignorant observer like me. Among them was Jean Zaru, the remarkable Palestinian Quaker activist who is widely known and admired, by readers of the Friend among others. We ate together, talked together, wept together. When I invited the group to celebrate my birthday with me, Jean seemed a little unenthusiastic – then she confessed to me that my birthday fell on the same date that her brother had been ‘disappeared’ by the Israeli authorities. Yet she embraced me, a Jew, and even called me her sister!

After that, how could I continue to sit on my hands as I had done all my life, swallowing my outrage at the actions of the Israeli government? I looked for ways to be part of the solution. I gave talks about my experience. I wrote letters: to the Israeli embassy, to my MP and my prime minister, to the press – even to The Jewish Chronicle. I supported the Ecumenical Accompaniers to Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) initiative. I did advocacy and fundraising for the Israeli organisation New Profile, which helps refuseniks and, in Quakerly fashion, works long-term for the demilitarisation of Israeli society. I tried to boycott goods from illegal settlements. And I signed up to a British organisation called Jews for Justice for Palestinians. I was thrilled to discover that there was a movement of Jews like me, who wanted to stand up and say ‘Not in my name!’

And I fast on Yom Kippur. I do it in grief for the moral distortion of Jewish life across the world caused by defending this unequal conflict. I do it in solidarity with the empty bellies of Gazans. Above all, I do it to identify myself as a Jew – in that long tradition of Jews who care about justice for all, not just for Jews. Of course, a day’s fast is not going to change the world. It’s not going to ensure that the current talks will be any more successful than the previous rounds. It’s just a symbol. The sin for which I am atoning is not mine, but it’s a burden I feel called to share in. And I’ll continue to work, and to pray, and to fast, until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream’.

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