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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



May you have a blessed Ramadan!

Statement from JfJfP Executive
1st August 2011

Jews for Justice for Palestinians would like to wish all our Muslim readers a Ramadan Mubarak

In Gaza
Israeli warplane flying loud over the city today, first day of Ramadan

The Joys and Sorrows of Ramadan
By Hesham A. Hassaballa, New York Times


CHICAGO — Ramadan has just begun, and I must admit that it starts with no small amount of dread for me. Fasting, an essential pillar of ritual in Islam, consists of abstaining from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from dawn (before sunrise) until dusk.

Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar one, Ramadan travels backward along the solar calendar, and this means that for the next 10 years it will fall during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.

That will mean very hot and very long days, and distressingly short nights. I remember Ramadan being in June when I was about 12 years old, and it was hard then. I have since become much older, and thus, fasting during the summer has become much more difficult for me. Last year, when only a part of Ramadan was in August, I had a tough time. This year, all of August is Ramadan, and therefore — although I hate to say it — I am scared.

Of course, if fasting poses bodily harm to a person, he or she should not fast, and can feed the poor instead. In addition, pregnant and nursing mothers, people with chronic illnesses, and those who are traveling do not have to fast. Indeed, I could contemplate traveling the entire month of Ramadan, but I would likely not have a job waiting for me when I came back. And I would have to make up the days I missed.

So, I am going to have to suck it up and fast.

It shames me to admit that I am so scared to fast, because the month of Ramadan is chock full of divine blessings and rewards. The sins of the fasting person are completely erased, and Prophetic tradition holds that there are tremendous benefits for those who fast.

In addition, the act of forgoing food and drink during the daylight hours allows one to reflect upon the lives of the poor and hungry, who — out of sheer poverty — may quite often have to forgo food and drink. My hunger and thirst should motivate me to help relieve their suffering through charitable giving and work.

Moreover, there is a tremendous spiritual cleansing that comes with the fast of Ramadan. More than just depriving myself of food and drink, if only for a few (or rather this year, several) hours, I must not engage in bad behavior. Ideally, I should finish the month a better person than when I started it. Thus, I really should be happy that Ramadan is here, and I should be happy to be to fasting.

But I am not. It is going to be hot, I will have to stop eating at around 4 in the morning, and the sun will not set until well after 8 in the evening. The only saving grace is that the days are getting shorter. Normally, this makes me sad. During Ramadan, however, it brings me no small amount of joy. Yet that is the point of the fast, if one is able to do it. It is a physical and spiritual challenge, and God knows it is difficult. That is why in Muslim tradition He says: “Fasting is for Me, and I give the reward for it.” Struggling a little to fast for the sake of God is the essence of jihad, not violence and murder, as some radical Muslims believe.

Throughout this month, Americans will see Shariah law, which some want to ban, being practiced by the throngs of Muslims in the United States who are waiting until after sunset to eat, drink and be (very) merry. There is no threat at all in this. By making American Muslims better neighbors, better friends, better coworkers, and better people, the fast of Ramadan is only a good thing, for both the United States and the world.

Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago-based doctor and writer. His latest book is “Noble Brother: The Story of the Last Prophet in Poetry.”

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