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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



Don’t make a religion of BDS

Amira Hass on BDS: “Don’t make it into a religion”

Lisa Goldman, +972

According to a recently-passed Israeli law, a citizen who advocates for a boycott of Israeli services, institutions or products, either in Israel or the West Bank, can be sued in civil court and a serious financial penalty imposed. A plaintiff need not show damages in order to win his case; it is enough to convince the judge that there is a potential for damage. Since +972 Magazine has no financial resources, we decided that we had no choice but to censor ourselves. None of the contributors to this site is permitted to express a position either against or in favour of the global BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement. Since +972 is also responsible for the comments, we delete any mention of BDS in the comment threads. I have never expressed my opinion on the matter in any public forum, and now I suppose I never will.

This is unfortunate, because BDS is a hot-button issue that stirs up a great deal of debate. For its supporters, BDS can be the litmus test of pro-Palestinian advocacy. At an October lecture hosted by the University of Toronto, Haaretz journalist Amira Hass responded to a question regarding BDS with remarks that I found particularly thought-provoking. Below are her comments, as they appear in my notes from that lecture.

[The video of Amira Hass speaking on BDS at Toronto is embedded in the original; click the +972 headline to go to it]

You mustn’t make the means of the struggle into a religion. Palestinians used to believe in the armed struggle as a kind of religion. Now they do not. The use of weapons in the second intifada excluded the majority and actually made the occupation worse.

The problem is that Israelis have come to accept the dual life of occupation. They can have parties and gallery openings in Tel Aviv while a few minutes’ drive away water cisterns are destroyed, houses are destroyed, you need a permit to plant a tree, and so on.

Does boycott help? Well, $10 billion of Israeli military expertise (which Israel exports annually) will not be affected by BDS. Campaigns against Ahava, Elbit & Veolia were successful. The campaign against Caterpillar failed.

Boycott also raises the question of hypocrisy. Should we boycott Canada because of what it did to the First Nations? Do not think of activism as a cult. Think. Ask questions. And by the way, not all Palestinians support BDS. As someone who grew up in a Marxist environment, I say, ‘don’t make a religion of it.’

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