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

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

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

_____________________

Posts

Palestinian bloggers denied entry to fount of Arab Spring


Tunisia denies visas for Palestinian bloggers

Eleven out of the 12 Palestinians invited to the Tunis meeting had their visas rejected by the Tunisian authorities.
Yasmine Ryan
05.10.11

TUNIS – As influential bloggers from across the Middle East and North Africa gather in the country where the Arab Spring began to share ideas and tactics, the absence of 11 Palestinians has served as a reminder that even if borders have faded in the online world, they remain a reality in the physical one.

Over 100 delegates from at least 15 different countries are meeting in Tunis, the Tunisian capital, for the Third Arab Bloggers meeting.

Unlike the bloggers and journalists from every other country, 11 out of the 12 Palestinians invited to the meeting had their visas rejected by the Tunisian authorities.

“It’s not a good feeling to me, why am I the only one here?” Saed Karzoun, who lives in Ramallah in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera.

Karzoun, who blogs at http://blog.amin.org/saedkarzour/, does not know why his visa was the only one accepted. It could be because his profession is listed as “musician” or because he has travelled to Europe several times, he speculated.

Some of the other Palestinian bloggers spoke to the attendees over Skype on Tuesday afternoon. Despite this attempt to include the online activists, the virtual connection was not enough to allow the Palestinians to participate fully in workshops on skills, including how to present data in hard-hitting infographics and best practice for activists on Twitter.

Speaking to his compatriots back in Ramallah, Karzoun promised that he and the other attendees would demand answers from the country’s interior ministry.

Sami Ben Gharbia, one of the co-founders of the Tunisian dissident blog-turned-NGO Nawaat, said that it was unclear who had made the decision to refuse the visas – the embassy in Ramallah or the Tunisian interior ministry – and why they had done so.

The initial reason given by the embassy was that Nawaat was not a legal entity. Gharbia said this was not true, as they had registered Nawaat as an NGO in Tunisia, and in any case, all the other participants had been granted visas.

“It’s a huge debate, Tunisians are shocked and ashamed that their country is treating Palestinians this way, because Tunisians have never had a problem with Palestine,” Gharbia said.

The interior ministry was unavailable for comment.

Long tradition of solidarity
The Heinrich Boell Foundation, Global Voices Online and the Nawaat Association, which co-sponsored the event, issued a joint statement condemning the decision to refuse the visa requests.

“We demand an explanation from the Tunisian interior ministry and seek clarification as to why Palestinian participants were denied,” it read.

“An Arab Bloggers Meeting without participation from Palestinians is an offense to the long tradition of solidarity between Tunisia and Palestine, and deprives participants of a key contingent of the Arab blogging community.”

It has provoked discussion at the conference about the wider issue of difficulties Palestinians faced travelling in the Arab world.

An online petition against the decision was launched along with a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #VISArejected.

Razan Ghazzawi, a Syrian blogger participating in the meeting, tapped a sign on her back that read “OK, Pals denied entry. Let’s not just tweet about it.”

Amra, a Palestinian-American activist based in Ramallah, said that the Palestinians were being discriminated against because of their identity.

“We must ask ourselves, why the Palestinian participants were prevented. Is it a threat, and if so, to who?” she said in an emailed interview.

Joachim Paul, head of the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s Ramallah branch, said that it was important that Palestinian bloggers should have the chance to come to such events so that they could be part of the Arab blogging community.

“So many of the issues are also common issues, despite the differences,” Paul said.

‘Political decision’
Ali Shaath, who runs the Arab Digital Expression Foundation, said that the refusal was nothing new, but that it was disappointing that the Tunisian authorities appeared to be going against the spirit of the Arab Spring.

“It’s obviously a political decision,” he said.

Organising events has long been difficult because of such barriers on travel, he said.

“Now with the Arab Spring, we think that this is a popular movement and it should open up borders within the Arab world,” he said.

“Maybe a no-visa policy within the Arab world is something that has to be lobbied for.”

The rejected bloggers come from the Occupied West Bank, Gaza, within Israel and a Palestinian living in Egypt.

On the first day of the meeting, some were still hoping that the bloggers would still make it.

“It would be an honour to meet such amazing people who have created change,” Dalia Othman, one of those stuck in Ramallah, wrote on her blog.

“Here’s hoping the Tunisian government would change their mind and grant us a visa!”

With only two days left of the conference and no sign of a change of heart from the Tunisian authorities, it appears Othman and the rest of the bloggers will have to wait until the next meeting.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.