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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

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

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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

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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




Labour Friends of Israel to reinvent itself

liberal-conspiracyIsrael’s friends reach out to the liberal-left

Ben White, 23 February 2011

See related articles below

Over the last year, Tel Aviv-based think tank The Reut Institute has offered a lot of advice to supporters of Israel in the West on how to respond to “the erosion in Israel’s diplomatic status” (aka ‘delegitimization‘), including a focus “on engaging the hearts and minds of liberal progressive elites”.

A recent report looked specifically at London, saying “liberal and progressive left” voices are the ones “most effective” in shielding Israel. Reut urged Israel’s defenders to “substantively engage liberal and progressive circles” by “responding to their concerns and building personal relationships”.

Now it has been reported that Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is set to “re-invent itself” in order to “develop the ‘progressive case’ for Israel”.

The article by The JC’s political editor Martin Bright noted LFI’s “fire-righting role” against “growing anti-Zionist sentiment” in the British left and the “re-branded” LFI’s new slogan – “Working Towards a Two-State Solution”.

Other voices have encouraged a similar tack. Writing on in December, Julian Kossoff cited Reut and the need for “smart thinking” to persuade “liberal opinion”.

Strategically, this means a rejection of the “‘Israel right or wrong’ approach”, and instead being willing “to concede…that Israeli Arabs’ civil rights and Palestinian human rights are in need of intensive care”.

The JC’s Martin Bright also wrote in January how “it will be all the more necessary to develop the progressive case for Israel in the year ahead”.

Fresh from appearing at the Herzliya Conference, Lorna Fitzsimons, chief executive of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), wrote in The Jerusalem Post that BICOM is “launching the progressive case for Israel and driving the campaign for the Left to support it as a Jewish state”. The “re-branding” of LFI will be heralded byan event in the House of Commons next month with Progress.

Progress is chaired by Stephen Twigg, former chairman of LFI, and one of its vice-chairs, Rachel Reeves MP, has previously been on a LFI delegation to Israel. It’s not all one-way traffic however; LFI’s recently-appointed director, Jennifer Gerber, previously worked at Progress where, according to The JC, “she edited its magazine” and wrote articles “on Israel and antisemitism”.

Like all the huff and puff about ‘delegitimization’, this “progressive case” for Israel is unlikely to fare well as long as the Israeli state controls the lives of millions of Palestinians in an apartheid-system of control and discrimination. I’m not sure who they’re trying to kid.

Jewish Chronicle, 11 February 2011

Ben White’s comments also apply to the Jewish Chronicle of 11 February 2011, which was full of “allowing criticism of Israel” articles, such as Mick Davis’s I am a loyal Zionist and that is why I must criticise Israel (in which he only criticised “discrimination against minorities, rabbis who issue racist edicts, the divisions between secular and religious Jews”….). Tzipi Livni got in on the act (see Tzipi Livni: We ALL have a voice on Israel – “We have to listen to our ‘diaspora family’, says Tzipi Livni”); and even JC  editor Stephen Pollard jumped on the bandwagon in his editorial that week entitled A chance to speak. It ends with a call for “a big conversation, of which we can all be proud”- but the participants in this big conversation seem to range only from Mick Davis and Tzipi Livni who, bizarrely, make up the extreme left of the dialogue, to all those who support Israeli government policy…

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