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



The criminal investigation of New Profile and freedom of expression


A talk at Tel Aviv University by Rela Mazali May 14 2009
[Hebrew original here. The talk is a couple of months old, but it has just been circulated in translation by Jewish Voice for Peace. It provides a very powerful statement from the peace movement in Israel]

Oshrat Shtangel, Annelien Kisch, Rotem Kinberg, Danna Frank, Raanan Forschner, Nimrod Evron, Sergeiy Sandler, Mirjam Hadar, Bilha Golan, Amir Givol, Ronnie Barkan.

Here they are. They’re sitting right here among you; the people whom the police “raided” – as they official press release had it – in their homes and their rented apartments at seven a.m. on the eve of Memorial Day, in an extravagant, highly irregular theatrical production. This would-be-daring-operation instantaneously positioned these people as well as myself and many others in the role of secret agents, as it were, part of a dangerous clandestine network.

Here they are then – the people who were interrogated under threat of indictments, the people who today – on the restraining orders of the police – are banned from meeting or speaking to each other, although they’re allowed to assemble here within the same public lecture hall.

They, I, we, the New Profile movement, are suspected – according to the police and the Attorney General – of the offense of “incitement”. This criminal offense has yet to be enforced in the state of Israel. It has never yet led, to date, to indictments or trial in an Israeli court, for the law that prohibits it is viewed as problematic and overly vague. The authorities, however, have not stopped at pulling this questionable offense out of the law books; for good measure we are also suspected of counseling young men and women to lie to the military towards procuring exemptions from service.

The powers that be are spreading a broad and intentionally ill-defined dragnet; it’s not hard to imagine it snagging something – some word or sentence torn out of its careful context, as already experienced by some of those interrogated.

New Profile is an open, feminist movement of resistance, very rich in words, formulations, challenging viewpoints, unconventional civil-critical thinking and strong public declarations. Of course we’re being criminalized for verbal offenses – what else? For alleged incitement. For alleged lies. Verbal offenses nevertheless punishable by serious sentences.

But the preposterous suspicions we are being framed for are not the real motive for the Attorney General’s instructions or the army’s concerted pressure or the police’s hyperbolic production. All of these were motivated not by lies but rather by the truth we speak; the truth that we’ve been speaking over every available channel for more than a decade, the truth that we are a state trapped in militarized patterns of action, a society addicted to militarized mindsets and the use of force.

We speak the truth about an interest group of people who profit – hugely – from a continuing state of low-intensity-war occasionally peaking in a high-intensity campaign. We point out that some of them are the very same people who define what security is, what it means, for all the rest of us; that they are the same people who identify security with military prowess, with power and money for the military organization and with power, including extensive political power, for military men.

In addition, we report on a growing movement of eighteen-year-old women and men who do not enlist, the vast majority of them without ever having heard of New Profile. We relate this truth, describe this broad social movement, to whoever is willing to listen and discuss it with respect. We denounce attempts on the part of the establishment to erase this reality through slander, representing those who create it as negligible people: a lunatic fringe, extremists, emotionally disturbed, unstable or – mainly – “shirkers”.

Parts of this social movement resist the draft openly and refuse to serve a violent policy of repression, dispossession and occupation. New Profile upholds and backs their right to do so with practical assistance. For instance, for Yinnon Hiller, whose High Court struggle for an exemption from military service (finally granted in 2003), was heard by, among others, the Honorable Judge Dalia Dorner seated beside me at this panel. Or, for instance, very recently, over the last few months, for a series of young conscientious objectors who served sentences in military prisons – yet another group of High School Seniors (“Shministim”) determined and steadfast despite years of army intimidation and imprisonment of their predecessors.

I wish to reiterate: Israel has no overt legal provision for recognizing freedom of conscience. There are no express legal arrangements for the right to conscientious objection. This is a huge exception among states that set themselves up as democracies. Like many other severe injustices committed by Israel, injustices addressed in some of New Profile’s oppositional action, this one too is enabled and allowed under the embedded clauses or Israeli mantras: “We have no other choice”, “existential threat” and “security reasons”.

Another section of the social movement of draft resistance, a huge mass of young future citizens, simply doesn’t enlist; refrains from service. I won’t claim, superficially, that all of these young men and women are expressing left-wing views in their act of refraining. Their deliberations, difficulties and personal motives are many, complex and varied. Nevertheless, it can be stated clearly that a large number of them disbelieves the existence of a threat so huge, so immediate and so pressing to the existence of their society that every young body must stand up to block its way. Clearly, some of them also deeply mistrust the people deploying the army and fail to believe that their lives and health will be put on the line only and truly when there is no other choice.

New Profile has been acquainted with this movement for years and maintains ongoing personal contacts with a small portion of those who constitute it, due among other things to the fact that we create a space for thinking, for the open, free and safe discussion of questions which are often difficult for young people to raise at home or in their neighborhoods. Young women and men find space for a personal decision process through New Profile. Those who seek it are furthermore provided with fully legal information about their rights and about the intricate processes they face. At the same time, we collect and build knowledge about this broad social phenomenon.

New Profile and now – as it would seem – the heads of the Israeli army-state, view this emergent youth-led movement as a force potentially destabilizing the existing order. This is what has them worried. This is what has led them to such distinctly politicized use of the police. This truth rather than the alleged lies of which we are being accused.

The open, visible activity of New Profile provides them with a scapegoat, a convenient venue for staging their spectacle, designed to intimidate and face down tens of thousands of young eighteen year olds. What a perfect complement to the recent campaign that aggressively marketed the draft like a fashionable brand of teenage footwear.

Draft resistance is common throughout every social class today. It has gradually gained a degree of legitimacy in public opinion. Before our eyes, it is in the process of dismantling the false façade of “a people’s army”. It has apparently also begun to undermine the army’s exclusive, autonomous control over screening, selecting and deciding who will serve, who won’t and where.

Perhaps more important, though, wide-spread draft resistance is threatening to rob those who deploy the army – the politicians – of their fear instilling moves, their most dependable tactic for derailing any civil activity that contests their failures, their corruption or their horrific injustices.

They are charging us with lies in a bid to regain their own unobstructed lying.

In 1985, the authorities in South Africa commenced persecution of the End Conscription Campaign, it too a feminist, women-led movement. Its activities were outlawed and it was forced underground. Five years later, apartheid collapsed.


Print Friendly

Comments are closed.