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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




One equal state edges into Israeli mainstream

Into the Mainstream

By Rachel Lever, One Democracy
September 27, 2012

We reported that in June a poll found 28% of Israeli Jews already see one equal state as an option to explore. When an idea is in the mainstream to that extent, it’s a much bigger river with many different fish in it. With millions of people looking at one state as a possibility, we can expect the unexpected: significant opinions and actions in some very surprising places. Two such were in the press in the past week. A definite sign of the times.

1. The zionist assassin who deplores “hatred of Arabs”

The radical magazine +972 published an interview with Hagai Amir, recently released from prison 16 years after he helped his brother to assassinate the country’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin — for which he has no regrets. He sees the state of Israel as disintegrating and thinks a “bi-national” state is essential for Jews to “be able to live here”. Though he and his brother are seen as heroes by the right, he says “If the right is about hatred of Arabs, then we are not right wingers. We never had any issue with Arabs, we see them as a foe or an enemy of war on this land, and we respect them for that.” And as for the secular Left, he notes that “a large portion of seculars live on land stolen from its legal owners, which in turn made them refugees, against UN resolutions” but that they have no “reasonable explanation” for this. Interesting.

2. The Settlement that’s fought for homes for its Palestinian neighbours

“Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, while in the remaining 30 percent, a range of restrictions virtually eliminate the possibility of obtaining a building permit.” UN Ocha report

The Gush Etzion settlement bloc comprises some 10% of Jews living beyond the Green Line. It traces a history going back 20 years before its evacuation in the 1948 partition. Twenty years later it was one of the first to be built beyond the Green Line, just three months after the 1967 occupation. Its founders were the originators of the Gush Emmunim settlement movement.

Ynet News, one of Israel’s top ten websites, carries a story of how this Jewish bloc of 22 towns and settlements in the West Bank Area C have supported and lobbied with neighbouring Palestinian villagers to obtain unprecedented building permits for 300 new Palestinian homes. They now speak of sharing their public facilities and sports hall.

This permit has taken more than three years to achieve. It meant winning the support of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and was spearheaded by the poet Eliaz Cohen, on the left in the photo, with local village leader Muhammad Saad. (Photo by Atta Awisat).

Cohen is a member of the settlers’ umbrella body the Yesha Council and also an initiator of the coexistence group Eretz Shalom. This group started having meetings and conversations with neighbouring Palestinians that could have ended in no more than fine words. But the talking has led to a positive and exemplary action that will benefit five local Palestinian villages, and could become a precedent and a model for Eretz Shalom’s other members to follow on.

Admittedly this action could be seen as a palliative that appears to contradict, but does nothing to change, the big picture of colonisation and ethnic cleansing that’s left Area C, comprising 60% of the West Bank, with just 150,000 Palestinians. As such it could be used by Israel’s propaganda machine, especially in the event that Area C is annexed, as many on the right are pressing for: they would then claim that the area’s Palestinian population are being treated as full citizens of Israel, and these 300 housing permits could be their big alibi.

And maybe some would rather have seen Eliaz Cohen and his co-thinkers challenging the bulldozers that flatten so many homes, water sources and workshops, and we’d also like to ask them to campaign to remove roadblocks, for equal access to Jews-only roads, travel rights, healthcare and other human rights and civil rights. And for the right to vote.

What decides what side of the line this story falls, and what it means, is all about context.

In the context of two states, the “peace process” or an endless status quo, the accelerating and aggressive settlement building for Jews is a central plank of the Zionist land grab, intended either to scupper the two state project or to make it meaningless. So while the winning of Palestinian building expansion by Jewish settlers is an exceptional story, it still falls within the Zionist agenda, which will not be dented or deflected by a few hundred houses in one heavily zionist location.

But if the context changes into the direction of civil rights rather than re-partition borders, this Gush Etzion story could be a signpost towards sharing not just their sports hall but the entire land — a signpost written in Hebrew, that many Israelis will be happier to follow than those they see as hostile or alien.

In the context of two states and Israeli dominance, this story is perhaps about Zionists with a nicer face. In the coming mainstream one state discourse, it could be something else.

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