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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




Unlike Israel, Egypt understands that security means granting Hamas status as a partner.

Free Gaza

The effort to promote prosperity in the West Bank and poverty in the Gaza Strip as a way of proving that cooperation with Israel reaps dividends, whereas hostility to Israel does the opposite, has never ignited the longed-for chain reaction.

By Zvi Bar’el, Ha’aretz
September 05, 2012

The time has come to free the Gaza Strip, to lift the closure against it and to maintain a “normal” relationship both with its Hamas leadership and its population. The time has come to allow European nations and the United States to make direct investments in the Strip and allow the Gaza economy to develop, like its counterpart on the West Bank. The time has come to stop bluffing and pretending that the Gaza blockade punishes Hamas, impedes missile fire and serves Israel’s security needs. Israel’s fantasy about “destroying the terror infrastructure” – that is, destroying Hamas’ leadership – has shattered time after time, and it is time to end this illusion.

The effort to promote prosperity in the West Bank and poverty in the Gaza Strip as a way of proving that cooperation with Israel reaps dividends, whereas hostility to Israel does the opposite, has never ignited the longed-for chain reaction. Gaza citizens have not staged mass demonstrations against the Hamas government, and the majority of West Bank residents do not really experience political or economic dividends. The truth is that the economic closure of Gaza is rather porous, and not only due to the smuggling through tunnels. Hundreds of trucks pass between Israel and Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing point, and a number of merchants from Gaza are allowed to bring their wares to Jordan and Israel. Israel faces stiff international pressure about the siege, particularly in the aftermath of the 2010 Turkish flotilla affair.

The link that Israel claims to exist between the economic closure and security has no foundation. Hamas has a huge inventory of rockets and missiles, but rival organizations in Gaza are mainly responsible for missile and rocket attacks on Israel. The terror attack in the Sinai peninsula, in which 17 Egyptian soldiers and officers were killed, forced Hamas to claim vociferously that it was not involved in the affair.

In a paradoxical way, Hamas’ absolute dependence on a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt forced it to publicly express solidarity with Egypt’s national interest, renounce the attack as a crime, and support the Egyptian army operation against terror organizations in Sinai. Hamas even when so far as to pledge publicly its intention to assist Egypt in its war against terror in the Sinai peninsula. Last week, a Hamas “military” contingent visited Egypt; among others, Ahmed Jabri, head of Hamas’ military wing, traveled to Egypt to coordinate anti-terror activities in the Sinai area. The character of such cooperation remains unclear; it is hard to fathom what Hamas can do against radical organizations that oppose Egypt’s government.

In any event, Hamas’ consent to cooperate with Cairo in this sphere puts it on a collision course – it aggravates tensions on the Gaza Strip between Hamas and organizations that are assisted by radical groups in the Sinai region. The Egyptians aren’t naive; they know that cooperation with Hamas will clinch victory in their anti-terror campaign. Yet, unlike Israel, Egypt understands that the only way to gain security cooperation is to grant Hamas status as a partner.

Embroiled in an intensive effort to recruit partners for an international struggle against Iran, Israel should be happy that the Hamas leadership rejected Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s proposal to convene in Tehran a Palestinian summit including Fatah and Hamas. Hamas spokesmen stressed repeatedly in public that Egypt, not Iran, can promote unity among Palestinian groups. Incidentally, it bears mention that Mahmoud Abbas, who has long accused Hamas of being enslaved to Iran, took part in the conference of unaligned states held in Teheran.

Israel does not need to recognize Hamas in order to cooperate with it. But in view of the fragile state of relations between Israel and Egypt, the former would do well to try to strengthen these ties by making some sort of good will gesture to the Gaza Strip. Another bonus might be notched by lifting the siege: Relations between Turkey and Israel might at long last straighten out should Israel invite Turkey to serve as a watchdog after the blockade were ended, and also offer Turkey a belated apology for the killings on the flotilla.

Political wisdom, humanitarian compassion and a cool calculation of costs and benefits dictate the freeing of Gaza. But it seems these paths of enlightenment are still under closure by order of the Israeli government.

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