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

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



Israel no longer denying the nakba!

The Palestinian narrative has won

Oudeh Basharat, 24 March 2011

When the teacher asked us first-graders in Kfar Yafia what we do on Independence Day – it’s “day” in the uninspired Jewish term, “holiday” in the imaginative Arab language – I answered excitedly: We go to Ma’alul.

Ma’alul is my parents’ village, whose residents were uprooted in 1948. Indeed, it was a holiday, when the military administration, in its generosity, loosened its grip a little and turned a blind eye to the crowds “celebrating” Independence Day on the ruins of the villages from which they had been uprooted.

At the time I, the refugee, felt privileged. I told my friends how we visited a church and a mosque, strolled along the paths, and how we gathered by the fountain.

Do you hold gatherings here as well, they asked. No, I said with spiritual elation. In Ma’alul the gatherings are more beautiful. How does Bertolt Brecht put it – in the homeland, even the voice sounds clearer.

Today, more than 40 years later, my daughter Hala is in first grade and feels the same sense of privilege. She, too, has Ma’alul.

They didn’t use the word “nakba” then. The popular expression was “al hajij” (forced migration ), and was enough to raise a storm of emotions – a mixture of sadness, loss, anger, helplessness, compassion and yearning. The poet Salem Jubran said: “As the mother loves her disabled son…I will love you my homeland.”

What would we have done in their place, I always ask myself. The challenge they faced was so great, I answer myself – beyond their capability to grasp, not to speak of dealing with it.

The term “Nakba” sounds like a natural disaster and still provokes debate. Those who object to it say what happened was not a natural disaster. That’s true. But what counts is that the event is seen as a disaster of proportions beyond anything human beings are capable of generating.

So when the Knesset approves legislation banning the Nakba commemoration, it seems surreal. The Nakba is an ongoing event. No solution has been found for the refugee problem; the Arab population is discriminated against; senior cabinet ministers are threatening a sequel to the Nakba and Prime Minister Netanyahu defined the demographic issue, i.e. the Arabs’ presence in their homeland, as the gravest problem.

Yet, there is also something good in this commotion. At least, there’s no denial of the Nakba. Nobody claims the whole thing is a fairy-tale. The Palestinian narrative has won. The narrative that in ’48 a people was exiled, by force, from its land, has been seared into Israeli and global consciousness. A vibrant, lively nation lived in Palestine, and a brutal act severed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. They were brutally and mercilessly thrown into the desert of doom and oblivion.

Instead of conducting a discourse, the Gadhafi-like types here – the Liebermans and their kind – are threatening a massive bombardment “house by house, zanga-zanga” of every good part in Israeli society. They won’t rest until they destroy any memory of the word “Nakba.” They will use this opportunity to eliminate every trace of democracy as well.

What gives us room for optimism is that this running amok has awakened Israeli public opinion against the murky fascistic wave. Perhaps this absurd law will provoke a dialogue about the events that took place in 1948, as a way to reconcile the two peoples. Avoiding such a dialogue will only add to the conflagration, for the surest way to get stuck in an entanglement is to ignore it.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.