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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



Jerusalemites, caught between the rock of Israeli rule and the PA’s hard place

The American consul general in Jerusalem walks through the rubble of a Palestinian house demolished by Israeli authorities in Silwan E.Jerusalem. Photo by Inbal Rose, Maan Images

Why Jerusalem Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship

Today there isn’t a family in East Jerusalem that is not fearful of losing its residency status, without which it is stripped of the right to live in the city.

By Yehudit Oppenheimer, Ha’aretz
October26, 2012

An urban legend has it that, upon the de facto annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, the State of Israel offered the city’s Palestinian residents as a group Israeli citizenship and they rejected it. Though it’s an interesting legend, there isn’t a shred of truth to it. The state applied Israeli law, judicial powers and governance to East Jerusalem less than two weeks after it was conquered. And to the Palestinians who lived there, it conferred the status of permanent residency, which is still in effect today, more than 45 years after the annexation of East Jerusalem.

Those measures, which were in violation of international law, gave expression to an enduring ambivalence, still reflected in Israeli policy today. Israel wanted the territory of East Jerusalem but it did not want its residents. Thus Israel created a status that is without parallel in the world, a situation in which a native community of 300,000 people live without citizenship in the place where they were born and have lived forever.

In his recent article on the subject (“3,374 East Jerusalem residents received full Israeli citizenship in past decade ) Nir Hasson surveyed the growing phenomenon of applications for Israeli citizenship among residents of East Jerusalem. We are undoubtedly talking about a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored, and yet Hasson correctly underscores the fact that those applying constitute a minuscule minority of East Jerusalem residents as a whole – and an even tinier minority of whom are actually approved for citizenship.

Hasson cites a former Shin Bet official who says, with typical arrogance: “People have reached the conclusion that the Palestinian Authority will not save them and that Israel gives them all the best …” Anyone who is familiar with the reality in East Jerusalem, knows that the phenomenon of rising citizenship applications is in fact, a more telling indication of the hierarchy of disaster created by Israeli policy in Jerusalem: Close to 15,000 Jerusalemite Palestinians have received Israeli citizenship over the years. A comparable number of Palestinian residents of the city, – some 14,000, to be precise – have lost their residency status during the same period, most of them from the mid-1990s on.

Today there isn’t a family in East Jerusalem that is not fearful of losing its residency status, without which it is stripped of the right to live in the city.

The applicants for citizenship quoted in Hasson’s article complain of bureaucratic failings and red tape? These failings become nonexistent when it comes to revocation of residency, at which point the Israeli bureaucracy displays surprising efficiency and resourcefulness. While application of these policies hardly affects the demographic ratio between Israelis and Palestinians, the resultant despair and hardship eat away at the fabric of Palestinian society and life. The applications for citizenship are, above all, a survival strategy by those who seek to be on the right side of the revolving door of demographic policy.

The increased interest in Israeli citizenship on the part of Palestinian families is a mirror image of the unequal binational reality in the city, one that is becoming, in the absence of a political solution, a permanent reality. Demographic tactics will not spare Israeli society the need to confront the reality in which more than a quarter of a million human beings are living under Israeli law without civil status and without recognition of their political and collective rights. This reality is unmatched in the rest of the world and cannot be tolerated in a society that aspires to a democratic way of life.

If the chances of partitioning the city in the framework of a political agreement have been all but extinguished, we will have to examine new paradigms for creating an equitable and fair partnership in the city. This partnership ought rightly to be based on full and unconditional civil rights not only for individual Palestinians, but also for Palestinian society as a whole.

Equitable partnership must also include a division of administrative powers in the city and of its public and symbolic space. We can no longer evade our responsibility to the people we subordinated to our rule and our laws. One can argue over the legality of the annexation in 1967 or over the political wisdom behind it, but one cannot deny the mantle of responsibility it placed on Israel’s shoulders. Enough of urban legends – the time has come to deal fairly with the reality in Jerusalem.

Yehudit Oppenheimer is the executive director of Ir Amim, an NGO that is dedicated to establishment of an egalitarian and stable Jerusalem with a negotiated political future.

Why Palestinians Want Israeli Citizenship

There is no denying that by applying for Israeli citizenship, in defiance of PLO and Hamas warnings, they are actually making clear that they would rather live under Israel than any Arab rule.Why Palestinians Want Israeli Citizenship

By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute

October 23, 2012

The Palestinian Authority says it is worried because of the rise in the number of Palestinians from Jerusalem who are seeking Israeli citizenship.

Hatem Abdel Kader, who is in charge of the “Jerusalem Portfolio” in the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank, revealed that more than 10,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem have been granted Israeli citizenship.

Abdel Kader attributed the growing phenomenon to the failure of the Palestinian Authority and the Arab and Islamic countries to help the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.

In other words, he is admitting that Israel is doing more for these Palestinians than the Palestinian leadership and the entire Arab and Islamic countries.

According to figures released by the Israeli Ministry of Interior, 3,374 Palestinians obtained Israeli citizenship in the past decade.

According to ministry officials, in the past two years, the number of applicants for Israeli citizenship has intensified.

Palestinians living in Jerusalem enjoy the status of permanent residents of Israel. This means that they hold Israeli ID cards but do not have Israeli passports.

As permanent residents, they are entitled to all the rights of an Israeli citizen, with the exception of voting in general elections.

Israeli law, however, allows any resident to apply for citizenship.

Yet, in the first two decades since Israel annexed east Jerusalem after 1967, few Palestinians applied for citizenship.

At that time, it was considered an act of treason to apply for Israeli citizenship; the PLO openly threatened Palestinians who obtained it.

But the trend changed after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and, a year later, the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Suddenly, the number of applicants increased dramatically and Palestinians were no longer afraid or ashamed to stand outside the offices of the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem to apply for Israeli citizenship.

The main reason the Palestinians rushed to apply for citizenship was their fear that Israel would also cede control over east Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.

Their biggest fear was they would lose all the privileges they enjoy as residents living under Israeli sovereignty, including free health care and education, and freedom of movement and work.

In addition, the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem realized that despite all the difficulties they face in Israel, their living conditions were still far much better than those living under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

Lack of democracy and massive financial corruption under the Palestinian Authority also drove many Palestinian Jerusalemites to apply for Israeli citizenship as a way of ensuring that they would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.

As one Palestinian explained, “I prefer the hell of the Jews to the paradise of Hamas or Yasser Arafat.”

Another reason Palestinians are rushing to apply for Israeli citizenship is their fear that the Israeli authorities may revoke their Israeli-issued ID cards.

According to the ministry regulations, Palestinian residents of the city who move to live outside the country automatically lose their status as permanent residents.

In the past decade, many Palestinian residents who moved to the West bank or left Israel lost their Israeli-issued ID cards.

Many of those who have applied for Israeli citizenship are are Christians from Jerusalem who are also afraid of ending up under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.

Ironically, obtaining Israeli citizenship has become a way for Palestinians to ensure their social, economic, health and education rights in the country.

There is no denying that applying for Israeli citizenship, in defiance of PLO and Hamas warnings, is also a political statement on the part of the applicants. They are actually making clear that they would prefer to live under Israel than any Arab rule.

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