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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



The revolution is coming… one truckload at a time


The revolution is coming… one truckload at a time

Gisha mailing, 13 February 2011

In a press conference last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Quartet Representative Tony Blair announced a new package of measures aimed towards, in Blair’s words, improving “the conditions and living standards of the Palestinian people” and in Bibi’s, “enhancing stability”. This on the backdrop of instability in Egypt as well as the closing of Rafah and reduced activity in the tunnels. What do the measures Bibi and Blair announced mean in real terms for Palestinian residents of Gaza?

The new measures promised are welcome and important for Gaza’s struggling private sector and the population at large. The changes in access policies seen since the June 20th Israeli Security Cabinet decision and the measures promised in this latest press conference are, however, minimal compared to need. Israel is currently allowing Gaza residents to receive 3% of the construction materials needed to re-build the Strip and to export 1% of the quantities promised in earlier agreements. A small fraction of projects led by the international community have received approval, let alone materials, to begin building.

With the proposed measures, we hope to see a rise in these figures. For example, the new package promises 40,000 tons of gravel – in February. The rest of the year is anyone’s guess, since hints in the press statement that Sufa crossing would be opened for transfer of construction materials appear to be just a one-time gesture intended to clear tens of thousands of tons of gravel which have been sitting there since Israel banned construction materials in 2007 and then closed Sufa in 2008.

Approval for twenty additional projects is also welcome, provided that it won’t take months to negotiate the entrance of each truckload of cement and steel, as has been the case until now. UNRWA alone reports that just 9% of its construction plan has been approved.

The measures also include reducing Gaza’s dependence on Israel for infrastructure – including by exploring new sources of energy and increasing capacity to treat sewage and de-salinate the water supply. Just for reference, currently the Palestinian Authority pays Israel for electricity to Gaza to the tune of some 40 million shekels per month (11 million dollars), and it is estimated that it would take several years to develop proper infrastructure to supply Gaza’s needs – assuming Israel refrains from measures taken in the past which have included blocking infrastructure inputs and bombing the power station.

But this isn’t just about “improving living standards” that have been dramatically and deliberately worsened over three and a half years of closure. While Israel negotiates numbers with the international community’s most high-ranking envoy, Gaza residents are being denied their right to build schools, hospitals, and homes and to travel, produce and sell the goods necessary in order to engage in their livelihoods. If there really has been a paradigm shift and security is the only criteria for what can enter or leave Gaza, then perhaps we can do better than this.

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