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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



Raging against the West’s double standards – what’s not clear?

Wall grafitti. put up by Bahraini protesters, unaccountably not the West’s protesters. Photo by Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

My World Is Upside Down

By Faysal Mikdadi, London Progressive Journal
April 18, 2013

What does the ordinary Arab man or woman in the street think about recent and current events? I couldn’t pretend to be the ordinary man on the Dubai Omnibus but I have a fair idea of what he is like since the blood in my tired, but still defiant, veins is Palestinian Arab blood.

I was so happy that everyone was condemning Gaddafi for his violence against the heroes protesting his cruel rule. I was so pleased that Mubarak had gone and Egypt was sorting its democratic future out. It made me feel comfortable to see the Lebanese telling Hizbollah to tone down their excesses or clear off: A secular Lebanon first, religion second. It is good to hear the world telling North Korea to stop its ridiculous posturing. It feels safe to see the world wagging a finger at Iran’s nuclear ambitions. I love it when Assad’s tyranny is rightly condemned.

It makes one feel secure to hear America tell Israel to get rid of its 250 nuclear warheads, hand occupied Palestinian lands back to Palestinians and accord all Israeli Palestinians equal rights.

Did that last paragraph stand out a little bit? Didn’t America say that to Israel? I must have dreamt it. Or maybe I just assumed it under that vague Western idea called “justice”. Or maybe I am just reacting against a colleague recently telling me to stop going on about American double standards or they might think that I was “a Muslim”. And we all know what a crime that is these days!

I was also excited when the protesters in Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen and Tunisia roared their disapproval. I was particularly optimistic when the Americans appeared to be supporting us seeking a free and democratic way of life. After all theirs was the land of the free.

Wall cartoon of Crown Prince Salman Al Khalifa driving ‘his’ people to despair. Photo Hasan Jamali, AP.

Then, as I sat complacently on my Dubai Omnibus, news came in through my trusted ear phones designed to keep casual chatterers at bay, of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invading Bahrain. News came in of Israel resuming its settlement construction policies. More news came in of President Obama visiting Israel and assuring it of his unconditional support then making a sickening speech telling Israelis to put themselves in Palestinian shoes and so have some compassion. By all means colonise them, render them homeless, starve them but… be nice to them the way that we were to those funny Native Americans if you remember what they once were. We took their land away from them by endlessly quoting John Locke at them on the Right to Property and property and property which made America great!

America had already made a few polite noises about “exercising restraint” the way that it does whenever Israel goes on one of its killing sprees in Gaza or the West Bank. I wondered if the Libyan protesters were seen as “our protesters” by the Americans and by the unelected Gulf governments whilst the Bahraini ones were somehow “their protesters”. A bit like the French Resistance were “our heroes” whereas Palestinian Resistance were “our terrorists”.

I do not know what to feel anymore as I step off the Dubai Omnibus on my way home to the six o’clock news of those killed or injured in Palestine, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt and so many other places.

The most famous symbol of the USA, the Statue of Liberty ‘Liberty Enlightening the World’. In her right hand she holds aloft the torch of universal freedom, in her left, the book of the universal rule of law. Round her feet (unshown) is the broken chain of oppression. Below, before the 18th century and the creation of the state, America had been symbolised as an Indian (Native American) warrior queen. She was dispensed with as ‘Property property property’ gained the crown. (This 1671 engraving by John Ogilby.)

I had thought that freedom and democracy were universal values. Obviously not when it comes to Palestinians or to Gulf Shi’ites. What dark forces are at work here? I am confused and wonder why the West can not understand why our ordinary man or woman in the Arab street rages against its ugly double standards and selective moral values.

Aren’t I lucky? I have lost my homeland in Palestine. I lost any chance of making peace as Israel grabs more land. I have lost my chance of extending a hand of friendship to Israelis after an Israeli friend suggested that Palestinian dispossession was not comparable to what the Jews suffered in Central Europe. I could hear King Lear pleading “Oh! Reason not the need” as we played the numbers game. I have lost my Palestinian dignity as my ‘Government’ in Ramallah does such a brilliant job of policing Israel’s profitable occupation of our lands. I have been exiled with America’s blessing. Even my Christian friend tells me that I lost Palestine because of the sins of my father and his father before him back to those nasty Muslims who conquered Palestine over a thousand years ago.

But still, aren’t I lucky to live in a free country where I can write articles like this and get away with being a member of the lunatic fringe. So lucky to be invisible like all Palestinians.

Faysal Mikdadi was born in Palestine in 1948. His family had to move to Lebanon. He came to the UK in 1967 where he has developed a career as a writer of fiction and specialist in English literature. His novels include Chateaux en Palestine, Paris,  1982; Tamra, London; Snowflake, Raleigh NC, USA, 2013.

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