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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

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




Israeli Left shrinks in face of settlements challenge

Israeli left’s awakening too little, too late
Raja Shehadeh
The Electronic Intifada

The strong reaction by left-wing Israelis to the recently passed “boycott law” must have astounded many in the country’s right-wing government and made them wonder why such a strong reaction now. The controversial law penalizes anyone who calls for an economic, academic or cultural boycott of Israel or its West Bank settlements.

For more than four decades successive, democratically-elected Israeli governments have been working assiduously to establish and enlarge illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, beyond the 1949 armistice line that marked Israel’s boundary until the 1967 war. A large number of enactments were passed increasing the linkage between the settlements and Israel making it possible for an Israeli citizen living in one of these West Bank settlements to be considered as living in Israel — even though no country considers the West Bank part of Israel.

This was done through passing laws and rules that applied Israeli income tax laws and other fundamental legislation to those living beyond the boundaries of the state. Over the years successive governments allocated billions of dollars to the settlement project — resources that should have gone to finance development of deprived sectors of Israeli society, in particular Palestinian citizens of Israel who disproportionately make up Israel’s growing ranks of people living below the poverty line. Throughout the left remained acquiescent, rarely, if ever, making its voice heard.

Nor was there a strong reaction when in 1981 the dual system of law was developed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip through the creation of the Civil Administration. This gave rise to the dual system of law and administration whereby Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs living in the same area of the West Bank were subject to different and discriminatory laws and administrative structures. In 1995 this system was consolidated by the Oslo accords whereby through an Israeli Military Proclamation the Israeli Military Commander of the West Bank transferred some of the powers over civil matters that he exercised as Head of the Civilian Administration to the Palestinian and its Palestinian head.

This did not include powers over 60 percent of the territory dubbed Area C which were retained intact under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Head of the Civilian Administration that was never abolished. Notably, according to the Oslo accords and subsequent agreements, except for Area A comprising some of the Palestinian cities, the Palestinian Authority does not exercise jurisdiction over land, but only over Palestinian people. It has no authority, for example, over Israeli settlers who enter areas under its control.

It is only fair to mention that over the years there were Israelis on the left who were able to see the danger to their country posed by the consolidation of the settlements and their annexation in every aspect except by name to Israel. Yet the majority remained passive and uncritical.

Now that it has become accepted throughout the world that the presence of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 constitutes the most serious obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state, the left in Israel seems to have woken up from its long slumber. As part of their struggle against the boycott law they have submitted a challenge against its constitutionality to the Israeli high court.

While the left vacillated the settlement lobby worked diligently at increasing its political power, becoming a force to be reckoned with. But perhaps their greatest success was to convince most of their countrymen that the territory occupied in 1967 belongs to Israel and challenging Israel’s hold on it whether by calling for the boycott of goods produced there or through any other means is tantamount to threatening Israel itself. This seems to weaken the hope that a change of direction regarding withdrawal from the settlements can occur through a change of policy engineered from within the country itself. It merely strengthens the position of those who argue that only external pressure brought about through boycotts and other political means will convince Israel to change its colonial course.

Raja Shehadeh is the author of Palestinian Walks, Forays into a Vanishing Landscape, which won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and more recently A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle.

There is no such thing as Israeli left-

There is only Israelis with leftist ideas, and they are 5% at the most. The outcry against the boycott law was because it could be used against liberal Zionists who believe that Israel should not build settlements in the West Bank because they believe in the two-state solution and separation from the Palestinians. They do not, for example, question the land grab of 1948, which by far exceeds the land grab by the settlements, nor do they want to rectify they displacement of 1948 through allowing the right of return, and they enthusiastically believe in the “Jewishness of the state”.
For them, the so called “Palestinian State” is an Israeli interest, and reducing the number of Israelis in the West Bank is an interest in as much as it will facilitate the “separation” and creation of the Palestinian “state” in order to legitimate the bigger theft of 1948. Essentially, this kind of “left” just regenerates racism in a different package in order to secure its own survival.

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