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BSST

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


2016:

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

2015:

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

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

Petition to support social justice in Israel

1 million Israelis
Dear friend,
In 9 days, on September 3, one million Israelis are expected to go out into the streets to stand for the values that we believe in — social justice, equality, and democracy.

Here’s our chance to give this movement a push: NIF is collecting signatures from supporters of Israel worldwide. We’ll publish it in a large circulation newspaper 1 day before the scheduled demonstration.

Add your voice. Show your support for a better Israel.

One million is a huge number. It’s more than 1 in 8 Israelis. A month ago it would have seemed impossible. But we’ve seen wave after wave of Israelis coming into the streets. 20,000. Then, 150,000. Then, 300,000. The sense of excitement, of empowerment, is palpable. Even the terrible events in the south of Israel have not deterred the movement.

Israelis from all walks of life — secular, Orthodox, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Arab, immigrant, residents of Tel Aviv and the periphery — have already come together as never before. None of us can say where this will end.

Stand with the Israeli people. Speak out .

This is not just about numbers. It’s about re-awakening the values that Israel was founded on — the values that you and I share. It’s about shifting priorities. It’s about quality of life for average Israelis, and about a nation that invests in its future. It’s about social justice. It’s about democratic participation.

It’s about making Israel the moral, just society we all want it to be.

Let’s prove that thousands of us, living overseas and loving Israel, agree.

Our NIF colleagues in Israel, and dozens of the groups we support, are working night and day to help the protesters. We’re providing emergency grants, organizing assistance, legal advice, workshops on peaceful protest.

This petition is another way to help.

Some people worry that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will get in the way. The events of the last week have been a sobering reminder of the bloody toll paid for the unresolved conflict.

Peace is vital. At the same time, Israel can’t afford to put off the question of justice at home indefinitely. Residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheba face housing shortages and economic injustice every day, whether or not bombs are falling. That’s a key message of the movement. And it’s something we all know is true.

Be a part of a movement that is changing and inspiring Israel.

Sign your name. Do it now. The ad runs in 8 days.

Thank you.

Adam Ognall
Chief Executive
This petition is being coordinated by my colleagues in the USA which is why you are being directed to the International website


Petition
We, friends of Israel from across the globe, are inspired by the Israeli public’s demand for social justice.

We share your values. We long for the day that Israel is a place where every Israeli can live with respect and dignity. Your protests demonstrate the depth of Israel’s potential to be a beacon for social justice and democracy throughout its region.

We know that the values of social justice, of equality, and of democracy are inextricably linked. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for a better Israel.

1 million Israelis
On September 3rd, one million Israelis are expected to go out into the streets to stand for the values that we believe in — social justice, equality, and democracy. This petition is our chance to give this movement a push. We’re collecting signatures from supporters of Israel worldwide. And we’ll publish it in an Israeli large circulation newspaper 1 day before the scheduled demonstration.

This movement is about making Israel the moral, just society we all want it to be.

We, friends of Israel from across the globe, are inspired by the Israeli public’s demand for social justice.

We share your values. We long for the day that Israel is a place where every Israeli can live with respect and dignity. Your protests demonstrate the depth of Israel’s potential to be a beacon for social justice and democracy throughout its region.

We know that the values of social justice, of equality, and of democracy are inextricably linked. Thank you for standing up and speaking out for a better Israel.


New Israel Fund Alone in Funding Israel Protests
Leaders Reluctant to Take Help, Despite Shared Social Justice Goals
By Nathan Guttman, Jewish Forward
26.08.11
issue of September 02, 2011

WASHINGTON — Since mid-July, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated for “social justice” in what have been called the nation’s largest protests on domestic issues in recent memory, and organizers promise more. Yet the leaders of most major American Jewish organizations have been noticeably silent about these protests — with one exception.

And that organization, the New Israel Fund, which so far has raised $35,000 on behalf of the demonstrators, has been shunned by some of the very protesters it is trying to support.

This dynamic illustrates the way that the protest movement that began on July 14 has scrambled the conventional relationship between Israelis and the American Jewish establishment. Eager to show that the tent cities and marches throughout the country are a grassroots effort, some Israeli organizers are reluctant to accept American funding, especially from a politically charged organization like the NIF. At the same time, it seems, some U.S. leaders are reluctant to endorse a movement that, while it says it is avowedly non-partisan, could serve to weaken the Netanyahu government.

“The Rothschild Boulevard tent camp and leaders of the protests are cautious about working with us,” acknowledged Yuval Yavneh, director of the NIF grants department. “People on the right were successful in portraying us as a left-wing group, and the organizers are afraid of any political identification that might deter supporters.”

Nonetheless, NIF mobilized as soon as the tent cities popped up in Tel Aviv and later across the country. On August 8, after 150,000 Israelis took to the streets in the first of what would become a series of mass demonstrations, a fundraising appeal was sent out by Rachel Liel, NIF’s executive director in Israel. “Stand with these Israelis. Stand for social justice and for democracy,” the e-mail urged, linking supporters to an online donation website. Since then, of some $35,000 that has been raised, NIF officials have disbursed more than $21,000 in small grants to activist groups on the ground. The grants, up to $1,000 each, were provided only to certain elements within the Israeli movement and are based on two criteria: assisting protesters from the so-called periphery, outside Tel Aviv, and helping activists from smaller groups connect to the broader national protest movement. As part of this effort, grants were provided to groups of Ethiopian immigrants, Israeli Arabs, the handicapped, foreign workers and Russian-speaking Israelis. The NIF also provided money for tents and electric generators for protesters in areas other than the main tent city on Rothschild Boulevard.

“We want our money to go where it is needed the most,” said Yavneh, adding that the Tel Aviv protesters have other funding sources, including the national student movement. NIF did not provide funds for the two mass demonstrations that took place in central Tel Aviv but did support smaller demonstrations in Haifa, Jerusalem and in front of the Knesset.

In addition, professionals from Shatil, NIF’s social activism arm, have volunteered in 40 of the 65 tent cites across Israel, helping protesters organize, connect and resolve disputes.

Because the protest movement is so decentralized, it is difficult to assess what NIF’s share represents. Still, it is emerging as one of the largest funders, alongside the national student organization and a couple of labor-oriented youth movements. Costs of the protest have been kept to a minimum, and the only big-ticket expense — the mass Tel Aviv demonstrations — was paid for from donation jars that were passed around the crowds.

NIF’s offer to help was met with a mixed response on the ground in Israel. On the one hand, the group received a stream of requests for grants from the tent encampments and social change organizations representing minority groups. But leaders of the mainstream protest movement, especially those in Tel Aviv, the movement’s epicenter, chose to steer clear of the group.

“Everyone is saying that we are supported by the New Israel Fund, but we don’t work with them directly or indirectly,” Orly Weisselberg, one of the protest organizers, said in a phone interview. “We are not willing to have any groups that are getting involved in order to promote their own agenda or to direct the movement toward their own interests. We welcome any kind of support, but our condition is that they have no conditions.”

NIF’s support for the protest movement, although limited in scope, triggered a barrage of criticism from Israel’s right wing. In blog posts and newspaper articles, opponents argued that the protest movement was no more than a front for the NIF. “We’re rather bemused by the extreme right in Israel ‘crediting’ it to the New Israel Fund,” said NIF spokeswoman Naomi Paiss, who stressed that the protest “is an authentic grassroots movement. “

Whatever NIF’s role, it stands in stark contrast to the relative silence of other Jewish groups, which are normally quick to issue a press release anytime there is news from Israel. The Anti-Defamation League, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, J Street — all have said nothing. The American Jewish Committee did not issue a statement, but did offer an analysis that took no position on the protests. Only the Reform movement and the left-leaning Ameinu issued statements of support.

The Jewish Federations of North America issued a carefully worded press release pledging support for “those who raise their voice in the public forum for the good of Israeli society, whether protest tent-dweller or member of Knesset.” At the same time, JFNA urged protesters and the government to continue their dialogue until reaching an agreement.

Other groups expressed their support from afar. Rabbi Steve Gutow, president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, an organization known for its strong stance on social issues, said the demonstrations raised real concerns regarding economic disparity in Israel. “Social justice in Israel is something we care about deeply,” Gutow said, while adding that his group still wishes to give time for the commission set up by Prime Minister Netanyahu to issue its recommendations. “The fact that the government is seen as responding gave us a sense of pause,” Gutow said.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com

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