Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

BSST

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

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

_____________________

Posts

US vetoes its own policy at the Security Council!

UNSome immediate responses to the US veto of a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy at the Security Council on 18 February 2011
Jerry Haber, Thank You, Mr. President
Phyllis Bennis, US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Illegal Israeli Settlements — Will the Palestinians End Up Benefiting From the Move?
FMEP, U.S. Veto of UN Security Council Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements Undermines American Interests
Philip Weiss, Obama gives big thumbs up to settlements at UN (and kills the two-state solution –Haber)

and see MJ Rosenberg US refuses to condemn settlement building at the Security Council, 14 February 2011

plus: Jeremiah Haber, US Joins Security Council In Condemning Israeli Settlements as Illegal – in 1969, 19 February 2011



magneszionistThank You, Mr. President

Jeremiah Haber, 18 February 2011


Thank you, Mr. President, for vetoing the UN Security Counsel Resolution condemning the Israeli settlements as illegal.

Thank you for making America the only country in the world to support Israel on this matter.

Thank you for contradicting long-standing US policy on the settlements.

Thank you for not abstaining on this vote – which is what the US has done in the past.

Thank you for talking the talk on settlements but not walking the walk.

Thank you for allowing Israel to say, as it always does, “We and the US have disagreements on various items, but our bond is strong.”

Thank you for doing nothing about the biggest settlement activity within East Jerusalem in over forty-three years.

Thank you for undermining the PA and Abu Mazen.

Thank you for showing the Palestinian people how much – or how little – you can be relied upon.

Thank you for holding the Palestinians hostage to a non-existent (fortunately) peace process.

Thank you for allowing Israel to kill any chance of a two-state solution.

Thank you for making the United States irrelevant in the Middle East.

And Shabbat Shalom from your neighbor up 16th Street.


alternetUS Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Illegal Israeli Settlements — Will the Palestinians End Up Benefiting From the Move?

The United States’ isolation on the issue of settlements may lead to more engagement from the international community.

Phyllis Bennis, 18 February 2011


Sometimes a Security Council vote can mean a victory for human rights no matter which side wins. Today’s vote on a resolution mildly condemning Israeli settlement activity is one example. If the U.S. had voted for the resolution, or even abstained and allowed others to pass it, it would have strengthened the international opposition to the Israeli occupation, and perhaps helped set the stage for greater UN and international engagement in ending the Israeli occupation and challenging Israel’s apartheid policies and other violations of human rights. It would have been a great victory.

But instead, the U.S. vetoed the resolution – the vote was 14 to 1, with no abstentions. On this issue once again, the U.S. stood absolutely isolated. And ironically, that was a victory too. Britain, Russia, Brazil and others spoke after the vote, expressing stronger than usual support for the anti-settlement resolution and referencing (Britain most strongly) their recognition of a Palestinian state that may be declared in September. The unity of these countries shows the limits of U.S. control over the “peace process” and may lead to a far greater level of international engagement.

By itself, that recognition is unlikely to achieve an end to the Israeli occupation; the PLO’s 1988 declaration of an independent state quickly won close recognition from close to 100 governments and the occupation intensified. But the recent moves toward greater recognition – especially from a number of Latin American countries that had not previously recognized Palestine – may foreshadow greater UN involvement in holding Israel accountable for its violations.

The U.S. had been threatening the veto for weeks. But in the last few days there were rumors of a possible shift. A bribe was offered — if the Palestinians would withdraw the resolution, the U.S. would accept a “presidential statement” from the Council, a diplomatic step-down from the power and enforceability of a resolution. The Palestinian diplomats, backed by global support for the resolution and facing massive popular discontent at home because of concessions offered to Israel during peace negotiations, stood firm. Then there was another rumor: maybe the U.S. would abstain, allowing the resolution to pass.

In the end, the Obama administration’s early threats proved accurate. The U.S. stood alone. Ambassador Susan Rice’s statement was astonishingly defensive – she went to great lengths to claim that the U.S. actually agrees with the resolution, that no one has done more than the U.S. to support a two-state solution, that the U.S. thinks settlement activity (not, we should note, the continuing existence of longstanding settlements now home to 500,000 illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem) violates Israel’s international commitments and more. She tried to convince the world that “opposition to the resolution should not be misunderstood” to mean the U.S. supports settlement activity – only that the Obama administration “thinks it unwise” for the United Nations to try to stop that settlement activity. She defined settlements as one of the “core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians,” not as a violation of international law and a host of specific UN resolutions. Therefore, she claimed, the issue was just one of the wrong venue for this debate.

We’re really against settlements, she pleaded, we just want to end them OUR way. On OUR terms. In OUR peace talks. And we all know how well that’s gone so far.

In fact, the U.S. veto in the Security Council was consistent with a long and sordid history. As of 2009, fully half of the vetoes ever cast were to protect Israel from being held accountable in the UN for violations of international law and human rights. Another one-third were to protect racist regimes in southern Africa — South Africa and pre-independence South-West Africa — from the same accountability. Taken together, fully five out of six, or more than 80 percent of U.S. vetoes, have been cast to protect Washington’s allies accused of apartheid practices.

The Middle East is in the throes of a new wave of democratic revolutionary motion, and it is high time Palestinians were able to be part of that wave. So while the U.S. use of the veto remains part of a sordid history, this time, this veto may be different. This time, the veto may actually help set the stage for a much greater possibility of the kind of international engagement in the United Nations that could, in partnership with the mobilization of Palestinian and global civil society working on boycotts, divestment and sanctions and with growing opposition to U.S. military aid, move once and for all to end the Israeli occupation and Israeli apartheid.

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. She is the author of “Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy U.S. Power” (Interlink Publishing, October 2005).

fmep

U.S. Veto of UN Security Council Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements Undermines American Interests

Foundation for Middle East Peace President Philip C. Wilcox, Jr. issued the following statement February 18, 2011


The U.S. veto in the United Nations Security Council on February 18 of a draft resolution demanding that “Israel cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” and reaffirming that settlements are “illegal,”  undermines American interests in the Middle East and prospects for a two-state peace.

The Obama administration has worked strenuously but unsuccessfully over eighteen months to persuade Israel to freeze settlement building which it regularly described as “illegitimate.” Yet Israel has accelerated settlement in defiance of American wishes.

In casting the U.S. veto of the resolution, the US representative explained that only direct negotiations will bring peace and that the resolution would have risked “hardening attitudes” and further resort to the UN.  This is not persuasive. The text of the resolution called on the parties “to continue with …their negotiations,” and was entirely consistent with this goal, and otherwise reflected U.S. policy.

In any case, negotiations over the past seventeen years have utterly failed to break the impasse over Israel’s occupation and settlement policies, at least in part, because of Israel’s insistence in expanding settlements unilaterally in territory that is the subject of negotiations.  The settler population has expanded from 281,000 in 1993 to 557,800 in 2010.  Notwithstanding a temporary, partial freeze, the settler populace in the West Bank alone grew by 15,000 in 2010.  While passage of a resolution condemning Israeli policy might further harden Israeli views toward compliance with international law and opinion in the short run, it would signal that Israel cannot continue to expand settlements with the impunity it has enjoyed in the past.

Other U.S. officials have said the UN should stay out of Israeli-Palestinian peace-keeping. Yet the UN has been deeply involved in this conflict from the very beginning. It recognized Israel in 1948 and passed other landmark resolutions, like 242.  In 2003, the U.S. supported the Security Council’s endorsement of the Quartet’s roadmap, which calls for a settlement freeze.

Anticipated domestic criticism appears to be the real reason for the U.S. veto.  But foreign policy leadership requires courage and strategic vision.  The U.S. veto will likely accelerate the decline of U.S influence in the Middle East, undermine the credibility of its own policy on settlements, and further erode our reputation as an impartial mediator. All this makes the prospect of progress toward a two-state peace even more distant.

At a time when U.S. efforts to make peace between Israel and Palestine have ground to a halt, the U.S. needs a new policy.  Growing protest in the Middle East over oppression and denial of freedom and human rights makes this all the more urgent.



mondoweiss

Obama gives big thumbs up to settlements at UN (and kills the two-state solution –Haber)

Philip Weiss, 18 February 2011


Nearly two years ago I was sitting in a gilded hall in Cairo as Barack Obama called for democracy in the Arab world and an “end” to the settlements in the West Bank. Wild cheers. Now the kids in the hall have followed thru on one part of his challenge, in Tahrir Square, and Obama went along with them, in the end.

And today the Palestinian Authority took some guts from Cairo and pushed the U.N. resolution to oppose settlements in the West Bank, and Obama betrayed his promise to the students and vetoed the resolution. The only country to oppose the resolution. The AP is very clear about the politics:

The U.S. veto was strongly opposed by Arab nations and much of the rest of the world, especially at a time of growing street protests in the Mideast, fueled by hopes for democracy. An abstention would have angered the Israelis, the closest U.S. ally in the region, as well as Democratic and Republican supporters of Israel in the U.S. Congress.

Lest you had any doubt who’s running the show in Washington, it’s not J Street, the liberal Zionist lobby that urged Obama to go along with the resolution, no, it’s Gary Ackerman and the hardline lobby Jennifer Rubin, who warned the president not “to join the pack of jackals that seek, at best, to extract concessions and impose a deal on Israel and, at worst, delegitimize Israel.” Here’s part of Jerry Haber’s great post on the matter, pointing to the lobby (that’s 16th Street in the last line).

Thank you for holding the Palestinians hostage to a non-existent (fortunately) peace process.

Thank you, Mr. President, for vetoing the UN Security Counsel Resolution condemning the Israeli settlements as illegal.

Thank you for making America the only country in the world to support Israel on this matter.

Thank you for contradicting long-standing US policy on the settlements.

Thank you for not abstaining on this vote – which is what the US has done in the past.

Thank you for talking the talk on settlements but not walking the walk.

…Thank you for allowing Israel to kill any chance of a two-state solution.

Thank you for making the United States irrelevant in the Middle East.

And Shabbat Shalom from your neighbor up 16th Street.

Phyllis Bennis at Alternet is optimistic that the U.S.’s “sordid history” of using its veto, which was wielded today by Susan Rice, very defensively, with prattle about this not being the right venue to stop a regrettable practice, will lead to progress:

“The Middle East is in the throes of a new wave of democratic revolutionary motion, and it is high time Palestinians were able to be part of that wave. So while the U.S. use of the veto remains part of a sordid history, this time, this veto may be different. This time, the veto may actually help set the stage for a much greater possibility of the kind of international engagement in the United Nations that could, in partnership with the mobilization of Palestinian and global civil society working on boycotts, divestment and sanctions and with growing opposition to U.S. military aid, move once and for all to end the Israeli occupation and Israeli apartheid.”

Human Rights Watch:

“President Obama wants to tell the Arab world in his speeches that he opposes settlements, but he won’t let the Security Council tell Israel to stop them in a legally binding way,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Elliott Abrams:

On the last day before the vote, the President called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli press reported that “In a 50-minute phone call, he asked Abbas to drop the resolution and settle for a non-binding statement condemning settlement expansion, Palestinian officials said. Abbas on Friday received a follow-up call from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the issue, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said.” But apparently the President did more than ask: “One senior Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the offer, made in an hour-long phone call from Obama, was accompanied by veiled threats of ‘repercussions’ if it were refused.

Abbas rejected the Clinton and Obama appeals and/or ignored their threats, in itself a sign of reduced American diplomatic influence. The American veto will have angered Palestinians even more….

Feeling guilty about its veto the Administration then issued an extraordinary “explanation of vote,” read by UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Though we had to veto, she explained, “we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. For more than four decades, Israeli settlement activity in territories occupied in 1967 has undermined Israel’s security and corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region. Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace….While we agree with our fellow Council members—and indeed, with the wider world—about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this Council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution.”

Jeff Blankfort:

Abrams is right [to criticize Obama’s mixed messages] from any perspective. The Obama administration is diplomatically incompetent. Was this Obama, Clinton, Indyk. or Ross, or a combination of the four? Given what is happening in the region it marks of one of America’s great self-inflicted wounds. The president has admitted that Washington is clearly Israeli occupied territory and that its interests trump those of the United States.


magneszionist

US Joins Security Council In Condemning Israeli Settlements as Illegal – in 1969

Jeremiah Haber, 19 February 2011


In 1969, the United States voted with the rest of the Security Council to condemn Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and plans to build Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. The Security Council “urgently calls once more upon Israel to rescind forthwith all measure taken by it which may tend to change the status of the City of Jerusalem.” And it explicitly mentioned expropriation of land.

Several days earlier, the US ambassador the United Nations had said in a speech to the UN:

The United States considers that the part of Jerusalem that came under the control of Israel in the 1967 war, like all other areas occupied by Israel, is occupied territory and hence subject to the provisions of international law governing the rights and obligations of an occupying Power. Among the provision of international law which bind Israel, as they would bind any occupier, are the provisions that the occupier has no right to make changes in law or in administration other than those which are temporarily necessitated by his security interests, and that an occupier may not confiscate or destroy private property. The pattern of behavior authorized under the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and international law is clear: the occupier must maintain the occupied area as intact and unaltered as possible, without interfering with the customary life of the area, and any changes must be necessitated by the immediate needs of the occupation. I regret to say that the actions by Israel in the occupied portion of Jerusalem present a different picture, one which gives understandable concern that the eventual disposition of East Jerusalem may be prejudiced, and that the private rights and activities of the population are already being affected and altered. (Cited in Separate and Unequal: The Inside Story of Israeli Rule in East Jerusalem, by Amir S. Cheshin, Bil Hutman, and Avi Melamed (Cambridge: Harvard, 1999), pp. 46-7.

I should point out that this statement was made before a single Jewish settlement had been built outside of Jerusalem. The censure was in reaction to Israel construction of Jewish settlements over the Green Line in East Jerusalem – settlements that are now the “neighborhoods” of Ramot Eshkol and Ma’a lot dafna, East Talpiyot and Neveh Ya’akov.

Over the last 43 years, UN ambassadors and consuls have fumed and chastised, but there have been zero consequences for Israel. Now there are close to half a million Jews living over the Green Line, with hundreds of thousands of dunams confiscated and expropriated, and the lives of many Palestinians a living hell, as they see their lands, resources, freedom of movement become increasingly restricted.

And the United States has the sheer chutzpah to say that the question of settlements is a matter of the (non-existent) peace negotiations, and not one of international law.

Print Friendly

1 comment to US vetoes its own policy at the Security Council!