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JfJfP comments


2016:

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

2015:

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

2014:

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

2013:

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

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Posts

American Jews launch ad campaign to reject false representation by AIPAC

The report from Electronic Intifada is followed by reports from 2) JVP and 3) Before its News.

During AIPAC conference, activists launch ad campaign to end $30 billion aid package to Israel

By Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada
March 04, 2013

An ad by Visualizing Palestine and the US Campaign to End the Occupation, up this week in the Washington, DC metro area. (Visualizing Palestine/US Campaign to End the Occupation)

Over the weekend, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest Israel lobby group in the US, began its annual policy conference in Washington, DC. AIPAC is a longtime target of Palestine solidarity activists, who have protested and disrupted various fundraising and policy conferences.

Activists and artists with several Palestine solidarity and human rights organizations launched advertising campaigns this weekend to coincide with the AIPAC conference, placing placards at metro stations which call for an end to the US’ multi-billion dollar aid package to Israel.

A series of placards have been produced by a joint project of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the graphic design activism initiative Visualizing Palestine.

(Ad by Visualizing Palestine and the US Campaign to End the Occupation, up this week in the Washington, DC metro area. (Visualizing Palestine/US Campaign to End the Occupation).

In a joint press release, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Visualizing Palestine stated:

A three-day mobile truck ad highlighting the devastating impact US weapons have on Palestinians will follow AIPAC attendees during their conference and as they lobby Members of Congress for more weapons for Israel.

In addition, ads at three Washington, DD Metro train platforms — Pentagon, Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center, and Foggy Bottom — highlight the budgetary trade-offs of providing weapons to Israel at the expense of failing to fund local community needs.

In the press release, the US Campaign’s National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, stated:

At a time when the sequester is cutting billions of dollars from programs to help those in need, it is grotesque that AIPAC is lobbying Congress this week for ever-increasing amounts of military aid to Israel, especially as these U.S. weapons are used by Israel — in violation of US laws — to violate Palestinian human rights.

And Ahmad Barclay, Lead Information Architect with Visualizing Palestine, added:

We see visual media as an essential tool in communicating marginalized social justice issues to a mainstream audience. We hope that this ad campaign will spur US taxpayers to question more actively where their money is being spent at such a critical time.

In addition, activists with Jewish Voice for Peace have also launched an activism campaign with advertisements in the DC metro area.

JVP stated in a press release that 100 billboards are carrying the ads which highlight “the gap between AIPAC’s peace­killing policy positions and most Jewish Americans.”

The ads display the faces of Jewish Americans who declare that “AIPAC does not speak for me.”

In a press release, JVP’s Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson states:

AIPAC is the NRA [National Rifle Association] of foreign policy lobbies, pushing a right­wing agenda that does not represent the majority of Jewish Americans: Its support for military build­up and endless settlement expansion makes peace impossible. It cannot claim to speak for all American Jews.

JVP’s press release adds:

Hundreds of lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend AIPAC’s annual gala this week. Considered one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Washington, a number of AIPAC’s hawkish positions put it at odds with the majority of American Jews.

… The 100 ads can be seen throughout the Washington, DC Metro system as of March 3, at Union Station, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Archives, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center, Farragut North, Eastern Market, and other stations. The ads will be on display for two weeks, including at the two Metro stops closest to the Washington Convention Center, venue of AIPAC’s conference: Gallery Place and Convention Center.

In addition, the activism group CODEPINK held a day of protest actions on Sunday in front of the Historical Society Building and Washington Convention Center hosting the AIPAC conference.

On Monday, Code Pink has planned an action outside the conference again, saying that activists “will talk to the hundreds of Congresspeople going into the gala to show their support for AIPAC. CODEPINK and allies will say no to AIPAC, yes to equality and freedom for Palestinians, yes to peace with Iran. It is time for a new US foreign policy in the Middle East.”

For more information on the protest action, visit the Code Pink website.


Massive Ad Campaign Challenges AIPAC During Annual Conference

By Sydney Levy, JVP
March 03, 2013

“AIPAC Does Not Speak for Me” say 100 billboard ads in DC Metro, highlighting gap between AIPAC’s peace­killing policy positions and most Jewish Americans.

This weekend, Jewish Voice for Peace and Avaaz are unveiling 100 billboard ads in major subway stations across downtown Washington, DC, showcasing the faces of Jewish Americans saying boldly: “AIPAC does not speak for me. Most Jewish Americans are pro-­peace. AIPAC is not.”

The ad campaign begins Sunday, March 3, to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and is designed to challenge the lobbying group’s influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said: “AIPAC is the NRA of foreign policy lobbies, pushing a right­wing agenda that does not represent the majority of Jewish Americans: Its support for military build­up and endless settlement expansion makes peace impossible. It cannot claim to speak for all American Jews.”

Noah T. Winer, Jewish Voice for Peace Board member, said: “AIPAC represents the views of a few big political donors, not most American Jews. What’s the price tag for the rest of us to get a vote on AIPAC’s agenda?”

Hundreds of lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend AIPAC’s annual gala this week. Considered one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Washington, a number of AIPAC’s hawkish positions put it at odds with the majority of American Jews.

According to a recent poll by pollster Jim Gerstein, 82% of Jewish Americans support a two­-state solution to the Israeli­Palestinian conflict ­­ while last year AIPAC aggressively lobbied the US government to oppose UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. In another poll by Zogby, a majority of Jewish Americans listed Israeli settlements as illegal or a problem for future peace deals ­­ but AIPAC has refused to publicly condemn any settlements. That poll also found that 33% of Jewish Americans identify with pro­peace Jewish groups, while only 23% identify with AIPAC.

The 100 ads can be seen throughout the Washington, DC Metro system as of March 3, at Union Station, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Archives, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center, Farragut North, Eastern Market, and other stations. The ads will be on display for two weeks, including at the two Metro stops closest to the Washington Convention Center, venue of AIPAC’s conference: Gallery Place and Convention Center.video declaration of Jewish Voices for Peace’s “Young Jewish and Proud” youth wing.


‘Jewish and Proud’ Plastered in DC Metro Stations

By Before its News
March 04, 2013

Thousands of volunteer lobbyists are landing in Washington, D.C. this very minute for the annual convention of the AIPAC, the powerful pro-war Israel lobby group that acts like it owns Congress.

“But this year, I’m happy to report, we have a big surprise waiting for them,” stated Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director of the Jewish Voice for Peace in a written statement Monday morning.

As of this morning, plastered across the busiest Metro stations in D.C., 100 largeback-lit ads have the message: “I am Jewish and proud – and AIPAC doesn’t speak for me.”

“

Now we have just 48 hours to outnumber those thousands of AIPAC lobbyists with at least 20,000 pro-peace lobbyists—that means you,” exclaimed Surasky. “Click here.

The reader can send an email and call Representatives and the White House to tell them to say NO to AIPAC.

“We think this brazen ad campaign — produced with Avaaz, the 19-million strong people-driven activist organization— is ground-breaking,” says Surasky. “Now let’s overwhelm our Congressional representatives the same day they get inundated with AIPAC lobbyists who demand that Congress:

Exempt aid to Israel from sequestration, despite the fact that Americansare bearing the burden of $85 billion in cuts.
Guarantee US support for an Israeli strike on Iran, which would outsource decisions about the safety and security of the American people.

Remain silent on settlement building in E1, enabling the Israeli government to drive a nail in the coffin of the peace process.

“We have just 48 hours to show that AIPAC represents a radical anti-peace minority. Click here now: http: www.jvp.org/AIPAC,” Surasky urges.

“AIPAC is the NRA of Middle East lobbies–they do not represent American Jews or voters. Let’s tell Congress and President Obama to send them packing.”
hr/
AIPAC Does Not Speak for Me

By Rebecca Vilkomerson, Huffington Post
March 04, 2013

“Jewish and proud and AIPAC does not speak for me.” Starting March 4, commuters will see these words on 100 ads plastered across the most trafficked metro stations in Washington, D.C., just in time for Israel lobby group AIPAC’s (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) annual conference. They may be a harbinger of a new phase in the relationship between the American Jewish community, AIPAC and U.S. policy toward the region.

Five members of Jewish Voice for Peace and I are pictured in the groundbreaking ad campaign, co-sponsored by online advocacy giant, Avaaz.

For too long, AIPAC has derived much of its power by purporting to speak in the name of the American Jewish community. Its annual conference is an open display of power in Washington, as just about every politician of note — both Democratic and Republican — makes a pilgrimage there to declare their unconditional support of Israel, regardless of its actions.

Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II, receiving the aid on extraordinarily favorable terms, including, uniquely, being allowed to use some military assistance to make purchases from Israeli weapons manufacturers. Thus American taxpayers are subsidizing not only one of the world’s strongest militaries, but the Israeli arms industry as well. This support has continued even as Israel has undercut U.S. foreign interests by expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, using weapons that may have been provided by U.S. funding to kill and injure U.S. citizens, and denying freedom to Palestinians by maintaining oppressive and discriminatory occupation policies.

AIPAC has been partially responsible for keeping the American coffers flowing in support of Israel by perpetuating the myth that support of its policy agenda is a prerequisite for remaining in Congress. Like the NRA, to which it has often been compared in terms of strength and influence, AIPAC has an extremist agenda which doesn’t even represent the vast majority of Jewish American opinion on Israel. AIPAC undoubtedly intimidates members of Congress, and goes as far as to demand and sometimes write legislation that favors Israel at the expense of the United States. The organization’s new call for aid to Israel, which is exempt from the sequestration cuts that will affect so many other programs that provide critical services to Americans is just one example.

And like the NRA, which in recent months has experienced unprecedented pushback from American citizens, AIPAC may also be losing its absolute primacy in Washington. The battle over Senator Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense ultimately ended in his confirmation despite strong opposition by pro-Israel forces. AIPAC, for its part, stood down rather than publicly fight a battle it regarded as ultimately a loser.

Perhaps more importantly, the confirmation hearings exposed the excessive pandering to AIPAC and its proxies by Congress. The disproportionate focus on Israel and related issues — namely, bombing Iran — at the expense of the broad portfolio that a Secretary of Defense must deal with, was the first embarrassment. The second was the parade of Senators who competed to most thoroughly proclaim the necessity of absolute fealty to AIPAC’s agenda, while at the same time denying its influence. The unaired, but widely circulated, sharp parody of the hearing on Saturday Night Live reflects the broadening cultural awareness of the absurdity of AIPAC’s outsized impact.

The truth is, the American Jewish community is at best split on what role the U.S. should play in supporting Israel, especially as it continues to violate human rights and international law. In fact, the highly respected Zogby Research Services found in October 2012 that only 23 percent of Jewish Americans believe that AIPAC represents them [see below] .Polls have repeatedly shown that the American Jewish community favors an even-handed approach toward Israel and the Palestinians, and is broadly against war with Iran.

AIPAC is, of course, free to continue to push military build-up and endless settlement expansion. But it can no longer claim to do so in our name. Increasing numbers of Jewish Americans are gravely concerned by Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, made possible thanks to American taxpayer money. The sooner the political class in Washington understands this, the better chance we have for U.S. policies that promote the freedom and security of Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Rebecca Vilkomerson is the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace; www.twitter.com/jvplive

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