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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

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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

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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



Life under occupation – 9

Israel is now punishing Palestinians shamelessly

What is delaying treatment of a 47-year-old Palestinian woman, if not punishment of someone who opposes her foreign rulers?

Amira Hass, 6 October 2010

Behind a modest desk with a view of Beit Jala sits a nameless Shin Bet security service officer who is very pleased with himself. He has just saved the Jewish people in Israel from yet another grave security risk by preventing a 47-year-old woman, for five weeks now, from going abroad for urgent medical tests.

Or perhaps this isn’t a story about just one officer, but rather about a committee of three. What matters is that Khalida Jarrar, a resident of Al-Bireh, has not gone to Amman for diagnostic brain tests that cannot be done in the West Bank due to lack of the necessary medical equipment.

I first wrote about Jarrar’s case a month ago. On July 19, a doctor in Ramallah informed her she could obtain the necessary tests in either Israel or Amman. The Palestinian Ministry of Health told her it would not pay for the tests to be done in Israel.

Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was refused permission to leave in 2008, when she was supposed to participate in the intra-Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo. But until getting that note from her doctor, she had never fought for her right to freedom of movement.

This time, officials in the Palestinian Authority promised they would arrange her exit permit for medical tests with their acquaintances in Israel. They promised, and then they disappeared.

After about three weeks, some of her lawyer friends applied directly to the Civil Administration and tried to discover how her exit permit could be arranged. Two weeks later, the answer arrived in writing: Jarrar, it said, does not have a notation by her name barring her exit.

The Civil Administration officer had relied on computer input from the Shin Bet. So on August 30, Jarrar set out for the Allenby Bridge. But there, the Israeli border control computers had different data: She was not allowed to exit. What had been true a few hours earlier stopped being true when she arrived at the border.

At the time, the Shin Bet told Haaretz that Jarrar had to apply for an exit permit via the Civil Administration’s health coordinator. So the lawyers resent all the documents to the coordinator.

At first, there was some delay: The Civil Administration said the documents and the application had not reached their destination. Then work began on the application. But our anonymous man from the Shin Bet is evidently in no hurry.

This is a mere footnote in the chronicle of the Palestinians’ life under foreign rule. But this footnote is a typical chapter in the history of Israeli society: a democratic society that gives those wonderful fellows from the Shin Bet a blank check to act like the last of the great dictators and juggle with their subjects’ lives – without elections, without oversight, without supervision. Their word is sacrosanct. And if they say, as they did in reply to Haaretz, “Relevant information exists indicating that [Jarrar’s] exit from the area poses a risk to our security,” we all salute.

If she were dangerous here, she would have been arrested long ago. Her address, after all, is known. Hence the Shin Bet’s bluster about “relevant information” showing the danger she poses will somehow materialize only abroad. Evidence? Explanations? Common sense? No need. They, after all, are paid a salary by the Israeli taxpayer in order to invent new kinds of punishment and torture.

For what is the endless postponement of an urgent medical test if not torture of a sick person and her family? And what is delaying treatment, if not punishment of someone who opposes her foreign rulers?

Until six or eight years ago, a journalist’s report of a similar situation would have embarrassed someone up there on the security ladder and an exit permit for medical reasons would have been issued despite the “security considerations.” But today, the sense of shame has disappeared. Society’s backing is assured.

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