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

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



EU speaks with forked tongue


EU move to upgrade relations with Israel

Wide-ranging boost to bilateral relations undermines Brussels over West Bank, say critics

Phoebe Greenwood

The EU will offer Israel upgraded trade and diplomatic relations in more than 60 areas at a high-level meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, just weeks after European foreign ministers warned that Israeli policies in the West Bank “threaten to make a two-state solution impossible”.

In advance of the annual EU-Israel Association Council on Tuesdaymeeting , a diplomatic source shared with the Guardian details of the package of benefits that will be offered to Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister.

The EU will widen its relationship with Jerusalem on a range of areas including migration, energy and agriculture. It will remove obstacles impeding Israel’s access to European government-controlled markets and enhance Israel’s co-operation with nine EU agencies, including Europol and the European Space Agency.

The wide-ranging boost to bilateral relations stops just short of the full upgrade that was frozen after Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in January 2009.

One senior EU diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that despite private complaints of the inconsistency of chastising Israel with one hand while rewarding it with the other, not one minister was prepared to oppose Tuesday’s agreement.

“I was struck by the fact that a whole range of relations was offered to Israel – at the request of Israel – as if nothing is happening on the ground,” the diplomat said. “Most ministers are too afraid to speak out in case they are singled out as being too critical towards Israel, because, in the end, relations with Israel are on the one hand relations with the Jewish community at large and on the other hand with Washington – nobody wants to have fuss with Washington. So [ministers] are fine with making political statements but they refrain from taking concrete action.”

The Brussels-based bureaucrat points out that Europe’s 500 million consumers constitute almost 60% of Israel’s trade and are an under-utilised bargaining tool.

“The only possible tool for the EU to make Israel change its behaviour is to use the weight and power of these relations,” he said. “We should be using [Tuesday’s] dialogue to get what we want, which is Israel’s compliance with its obligations under international law.”

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, a particularly voluble critic of Israel’s expansion into the West Bank, which is illegal under international law, has taken the unusual step of delegating representation at Tuesday’s meeting to Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, the Cypriot foreign minister.

As recently as 8 June, she issued a statement deploring Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to build an additional 800 settlements in occupied territory – compensation for the 17 Israeli families the country’s high court had ordered to be removed from the Migron settlement.

“Settlement activity is detrimental to current peace efforts, including by the Quartet [the UN, EU, US and Russia], and puts those efforts at risk,” she said.

On 14 May, the EU’s 27 foreign ministers unanimously condemned Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes, its continuing settlement expansion and the rise of settler violence against Palestinians – which the UN says has leapt by 150% in the past year, largely due to the impunity of Israeli perpetrators. EU officials argue that far from a package of rewards, Tuesday’s agreement constitutes part of an existing action plan to promote co-operation, in progress since 2000. But while all 60 agreements in the package may have been discussed previously, they are being made concrete for the first time this week. In its entirety, this is the most significant package offered to Israel since the upgrade in relations was frozen.

Among the most controversial is the addition of areas of co-operation in the Agreement on Conformity, Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products, or ACAA – a deal first agreed in principle two years ago. In this agreement, the EU formally accepts for the first time the authority of Israeli ministers over goods produced in West Bank settlements.

The package also promises to “further bilateral co-operation” between Israel and key EU agencies, including the EU’s Judicial Co-operation Unit and the European Police Office.

Paul Hirschson, a spokesman for the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs, admits the EU and Israel may have their differences, but, dismissed the idea of trade sanctions as nonsensical:

“Both sides would suffer terribly if we start throwing eggs at each other. With Greece and Spain imploding, it doesn’t make sense for the EU to do anything to damage trade with anyone at this point,” Hirschson said, pointing out that two-thirds of Israel’s imports are bought from EU member states.

“The upgrade process may be frozen but both parties are finding ways to increase cooperation when it suits them,” he added.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.