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BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
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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

“Israel has a strong message but it will still be a hard sell”

The Reut Institute report on London’s role as the “hub of hubs” of the delegitimisation campaign is a profoundly important intervention in the debate. Its analysis of the existential attack on Israel, by an alliance of Islamists and the hard left, acts as a sobering warning to those who felt that the Jewish people’s right to statehood had been established decades ago.

But this is not just another think tank analysis of Israel’s failure to win the PR battle, in defence of its right to exist. This is a call to action for grassroots supporters of Israel in the UK Jewish community, which is urged to set up a movement to take on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British-based Islamists who find common cause with Hamas.

It is also heartening that the authors recognise that the fight against deligitimisation will only succeed if there is credible progress towards a two-state solution and equal rights and opportunities for minorities in Israel.

As part of this campaign, the researchers urge supporters of Israel to forge new links with left-liberal opinion formers in Britain to help make the argument.

There are many sickened by the unholy alliance of the hard left and Islamic right

The scale of this task is vast. Israel is very close to losing liberal Britain.

This week, for example, sees the launch of the Human Rights Legal Aid Fund dedicated to supporting Palestinians access to international justice. Promotional material for a fundraiser called on people to “help give Palestinians their day in court, by enabling legal action on war crimes, settlements and other violations of international law”. Celebrated lawyer Michael Mansfield and activist-comedian Mark Thomas were due to take part in the event for the fund, which is explicitly modelled on a similar initiative set up for those fighting apartheid in South Africa.

As the situation stands, it may seem absurd to think that Israel could persuade liberal opinion. The second Lebanon war, Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza blockade, settlement building: none of this makes the job of Israel’s supporters any easier, whatever justification is made for Israel’s actions in each specific case.

The other side has a far better product to sell to liberals: decades of discrimination, a nationless people facing a colonising military power. What has Israel to offer when faced with liberal empathy for the wretched of the earth? The Reut report urges Israel to promote its liberal face: its thriving cultural sphere and civil society, its scientific and technological advances, its record in disaster relief. This is important, of course, especially in the fight to undermine the arguments for a cultural and academic boycott. But it will not be enough on its own and will not build a movement.

There are people on the liberal left in Britain who still believe Israel chimes with their own principles and beliefs. There are many who are sickened by the unholy alliance of the hard left and the Islamic far right. In order to attract these people to a campaign – with all the glamour of turning up to meetings in draughty halls and stuffing envelopes – it will need to broaden its focus.

This will need to be a campaign in defence of democratic values which builds bridges with the students fighting the totalitarian regime in Tehran and the brave women and human rights activists fighting extremist Islam around the world.

Now there’s a cause worth taking onto the streets.


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