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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



Jerusalem in Darkness

Alison Prager

In this land where no-one sees the other, Palestinians are separated from Israelis and only see them as oppressors. Whilst Israelis don’t want to see Palestinians at all and so they don’t.

The tawdry ‘Light in Jerusalem’ festival thankfully concluded last night. Staged for a domestic audience its publicity states that it ‘joins a short and prestigious list of Light Festivals in the world.’ It promises the potential visitor: ‘an extraordinary sensorial experience will be discovered by those visiting the Old City of Jerusalem and the blend of cutting edge technology with light illuminations, plastic arts, music, movement and performances will create unforgettable magical moments.’

Plastic lanterns and neon lights adorned the outer city wall, street lamps were covered in coloured cloth inside the city wall to mark the ‘four trails’ that visitors could follow. God forbid anyone should take a stroll on their own. There were thousands upon thousands of Jewish Jerusalemites frantically rushing to see the plastic lights, lamps and ‘light sculptures’ hanging from walls and buildings.

This is significant because it is the only time Jews will visit the non-Jewish areas of the city. They will only come in their thousands, or with the army or military police. It was like a ‘reclaiming the night ‘ dressed up as entertainment. No Palestinians were to be seen, in the ‘festival areas.’ A heavy military presence ensured they stayed in their homes. As the publicity for the light festival refers to the ‘reunification’ of Jerusalem there would be no need to invite the non-Jewish residents of the Old City to participate, because the Jerusalem Municipality who co-sponsored the festival, automatically assume what they do represents all interests.

If it was a genuine Old City festival, all the different groups: Armenian, Christian and Muslim would have put on their own cultural activities. Instead it was a Jewish imposition. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious act of defiance by many of the visitors. It was meant to be a night out enjoyed by observant and secular alike. The unifying element was that they were Jews walking through areas they were normally too frightened, or had no desire, to walk through.

This supposedly ‘artistic’ festival, with Jewish-only artists, was a nationalistic show of Jewish strength. Instead of calling it a festival of light it could have been called a Festival of Jewish Non-Seeing, as they were literally going to experience the absence of Arabs for an evening. This was the real entertainment.

What also struck me is that apparently the Jerusalem establishment are dissatisfied with the appearance of one of the, if not the, most historically important cities in the world. Is there a translation of ‘gilding the lily’ in Hebrew? Going against all current archaeological and preservation trends to say nothing of aesthetic sensibility, the municipal authorities thought the Old City could be improved by red and yellow plastic lights on the outside of the city walls. What do they think it’s only old stones that could be improved with a bit of colour? It is the colour of the stone that makes Jerusalem universally famous and historically has brought travellers to see it. But this show was not for tourists.

Israelis seem afraid that the history evidenced in the Old City will show Arabic influence. They are incapable of integrating this into a rich and inclusive Jewish history and want to eradicate anything pertaining to a synthesis of cultural influences, including the population. This is why they have to tear down and then artificially adorn the remaining authentic beauty of Jerusalem; it tells a story they don’t want to be told: Israel is part of the Middle East and Jerusalem was and still is an Arab city.

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