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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. 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.
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Freedom Theatre UK tour


Performances in:
Birmingham, Colchester, Frome, Glasgow, Halesworth, Hastings, London, Leeds, Manchester & Nottingham.

Booking details here. _____________________

JfJfP comments


2015:

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

Late blossoming of Arab Spring among Palestinians

bbc_black
Palestinian protests: Arab spring or foreign manipulation?
By Jim Muir BBC News, Beirut
15 May 2011

The “Nakba” day incidents on Israel’s borders showed that the Palestinians have undoubtedly been caught up at last in the Arab revolutionary spring fever.
In a very different position from most Arab nations, the Palestinians had so far been largely left out as the spirit of assertive demands for rights and freedoms swept the region and threatened its dictators.
The pent-up frustrations of the Palestinians largely took the form of pressure on their own divided leaderships to unite, something that has now happened.
The 15 May challenges to Israel on its borders with Lebanon and Syria, within the fragmented West Bank and on the Gaza frontier, undoubtedly embodied the same kind of risk-taking, confrontational people-power ethos that has fired the revolts in many parts of the Arab world.
Palestinian militancy and desire for self-assertion in keeping with revolutionary Arab times are very strong and can be taken as a given. But the ability to express those sentiments is something else.
‘Common denominators’
There is clearly another dimension to the unprecedented eruptions on Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria, in which a number of protesters are reported to have been shot dead and many others wounded.
The common denominators in both cases are Syria and its ally Iran.
In past years, Syria has prevented Palestinian protesters from getting anywhere near the sensitive Golan border, where Damascus has in the past scrupulously respected its truce agreement with Israel.
Nearly half a million registered Palestinian refugees live in Syria, some of them in camps not far from the Golan.
Syria may be distracted and preoccupied by events inside the country, but so much that it could not have prevented the Golan incident if it had wanted it not to happen?
The real power in southern Lebanon is Hezbollah, the militant Shia movement that was created in the early 1980s by Iran and Syria to counter Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.
If Hezbollah had not wanted the display of Palestinian refugee militancy at Maroun al-Ras on the south Lebanon border with Israel to happen, it would not have happened.
Damascus and Tehran retain extremely strong ties with Hezbollah, so by extension, the same is true of them.

Lebanon, like Syria, also has getting on for half a million Palestinian refugees on its soil.
But Jordan has something like two million, yet its borders with Israel, running along the Jordan river, did not see any such incidents because Amman did not want it to happen.
Jordanian police intervened to prevent a mere 200 Palestinian students from marching towards the border, and six of them were injured when they were restrained.
The unusual flare-ups on the Golan and on the Lebanese border came as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime moved into its third month of confronting its biggest internal challenge in more than 40 years of rule by his family and the Baath Party.
It would be hard not to see a link between the two developments.
To allow a controlled burst of tension on the borders with Israel might have been seen by the Syrian regime as serving several useful purposes: to divert attention from its internal troubles, and to burnish its nationalist credentials of steadfast resistance to Israel.
It may also have been aimed at conveying to Israel and the Americans the message that if Mr Assad’s grip on power should slip, Israel might face a much more militant Syria.
In a recent New York Times interview, the president’s controversial businessman cousin, Rami Makhlouf, said that if Syria had no security, Israel would have no security – remarks from which the regime has officially distanced itself, but which came from a key figure within the inner circle of power.
‘Playing with fire’
One question Israel will be asking itself is whether the outbursts on the borders might be sustained and turn into a running situation.
That is not impossible. But Damascus and its allies in Lebanon know that they are playing with fire.
Syria would be unlikely to permit a situation on the Golan that could get out of hand and lead to a serious engagement with the Israelis that could be deeply damaging, and might even hasten a decision by Washington to move towards a call for regime change.
A warning skirmish is one thing, a serious confrontation something else.
In Lebanon, while anything is possible, Hezbollah is also unlikely to want an open-ended situation in which Palestinians play a leading role.
The Palestinian presence triggered the Israeli invasion in 1982 and other interventions which greatly hurt Hezbollah’s Shia community.
The Palestinians in Lebanon played no part in Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel.
But clearly, these are uncharted waters.
For the first time ever, Lebanon had the extraordinary experience of having people shot dead on its northern border by Syrian security forces because of the upheavals inside Syria, and a larger number shot dead on its southern border because of the Palestinian issue.
Whatever the degree of possible manipulation by Syria and its allies, the message from Palestinians both inside and outside is that the Arab revolution has found another home.

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