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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



An invisible Palestinian spots a President in a fog of make-believe

For more historic pictures and information on Palestinian agriculture long before the creation of Israel, see Tell Me Again, Who Made The Desert Bloom?

In the early 1900s, Tiberias in northern Palestine — nothing but swamps, according to Shimon Peres

What It Is Like Being Invisible 

By Faysal Mikdadi, first posted JfJfP/also in London Progressive Journal
May 13, 2013

“Someone must have traduced Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning”.

So starts one of the iconic novels of the Twentieth Century. Kafka wonderfully captures the mood of his time in a nightmare narrative.

Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres is equally brilliant at creating fiction that captures the mood of the last sixty five years. In a recent interview, talking about Israel’s sixty fifth birthday, he had this to say:

“I remember how it all began. The whole state of Israel is a millimeter of the whole Middle East. A statistical error, barren and disappointing land, swamps in the north, desert in the south, two lakes, one dead and an overrated river. No natural resource apart from malaria. There was nothing here. And we now have the best agriculture in the world? This is a miracle: a land built by people” (Maariv, 14 April 2013).

I, celebrating my sixty fifth birthday too, was very surprised to find out that, along with some twelve million Palestinians, I never existed.

I am delighted to hear that Palestine was “a land without a people given to a people without a land”.

I am delighted because all that went wrong in my life can now be erased magically because every single Palestinian person who I have ever known was, presumably, a figment of my imagination. What I did not know was that I, too, being Palestinian, never existed.

It is wonderful to be invisible. When my wife married me, she married an image. When my children were born, they bonded with a character out of fiction. My ghastly and nightmarish education in Beirut is suddenly pleasant for I never was there to be so miserable.

That time in my teenage years when I ranted and raved at my poor father for never seeing my point of view, I must have been imagining it since he never existed.

In 1967, when I cried over the death of Palestinian friends, I shed meaningless tears because these friends, according to your Mr. President, never existed – unless they were part of the only life in Palestine: Malaria protozoan parasites.

There was nothing here. And we now have the best agriculture in the world

So many – many faces that scroll before me as I look back at sixty five years were a great invention of my non existent Palestinian creative mind. My first Palestinian girlfriend was a beautiful phantom capable of great love.

View from Jaffa’s orange groves, 1898-1914; amazing what grew in the barren desert. Matson Collection.

All those children’s stories I heard as a child must have taken place in Chicago or Argentina since Nablus, Tulkarem, Jerusalem, Haifa, Yafa, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Netanyeh and many other places were pure fictions inhabited by no people, apart, of course, from a few Malaria carriers passing through – not Palestinian but protozoan – sounds vaguely the same.

I remember reading Palestinian poetry – or am I imagining these mellifluous lines that never existed?

Of course, my questions are non sensical and a waste of time, since, having come from an empty country, I am clearly not even here writing this piece.

Bethlehem in the 1930s – or was it just a desert mirage

It took a Jew of German culture living in a Czech city to write the nightmare novel of the last Century.

It took a Jew of Polish birth – born in Wolozyn in Poland (now Valozhyn in Belarus) living in Palestine to tell us that he remembers arriving in an empty land and turning it into paradise through sheer hard work! Wonderful story! Even Shimon Peres did not really exist when he was born because the Polish baby was Shimon Perski.

No wonder Jewish Settlements can continue to be built on Palestinian lands. What’s the harm? There is no one there apart from a few stones, some wild plants and manufactured memories.

And, Mr. President, it takes a non existent Palestinian writer educated in a city that your army almost obliterated and now living in a British town to show up your fabricated excuses for taking Palestinian lands from non existent Palestinians.

And your Government tells us, Mr. President, that you want to make peace with us Palestinians. How can you? We don’t exist… You even said that you would be willing to swap land for peace. Which bit? The swamp? The dead lake? The Malaria infested area? The desert?

Let us have an invisible conversation about peace. I am willing to live with you. Together we can turn that Palestinian Malaria ridden swamp into the Biblical paradise that it never was.

Happy birthday Mr. President.

He might like to spend it at this splendid 17th century hammam in Nablus. Photo by Alamy.

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