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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



Crashing and weeping: the sound of Zionism being built

We have used a selection of the photos +972 has posted to document this article. Click the headline below to see the rest. Second, the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and five other NGOs send a letter to the Human Rights Council stating the need for them to protect Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory from forced displacement.

This is what Zionism looks like in Israel. The Jaradat family house, a-Tur, East Jerusalem, Apr 24 2013 Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills

House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise

Hardly a day goes by without the State of Israel demolishing an Arab home between the Jordan River and the sea. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.

By Idan Landau, +972blog, translated by Ofer Neiman
June 17, 2013

House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/
When people summarize the Zionist project, with the fanfare of victory or the gloom of defeat, one thing will be certain, they will be puzzled over one strange mystery. How could so many people associate Zionism with creation and construction, and not with regression and destruction. After all, in parallel with the endless construction frenzy, especially beyond the green line, the hum of bulldozers has always been audible: beating, breaking, shattering. Housing projects for new Jewish immigrants were built in record speed. Build-your-own-house neighborhoods, neighborhoods for IDF career officers, commuter suburbs, and luxury residential towers popped up everywhere; and at the very same time, the angel of Zionist history left more and more piles of ruin and devastation behind.

The demolition policy has, of course, been the Arabs’ share. From time to time, the state demolishes a tiny shred of a Jewish outpost in the occupied territories; just going through the motions, while bowing sanctimoniously to the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ). Let no one compare the master race, whose members have the benefit of myriad legal options when building their house, to the enslaved race, whose members are denied access to land, everywhere, by mountains of legal barriers; those who wish and even succeed in building their home on stolen land, to those who wish and fail to build their home on their own private land; those whose house will be protected by the sovereign through a reign of terror imposed on their neighbors, to those who can only dream of having the sovereign’s protection.

And this is the sound of building Zionism in Israel: smashing bulldozers and weeping women. House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 Photo by Meged Gozani/

And perhaps those analysts in the future will inquire further as to why so few Israelis knew about this devastation at all, even though it took place constantly, week by week. Hardly a day goes by between the Jordan River and the sea, without a demolition of an Arab home by the State of Israel. And they will be baffled by the short Israeli memory, a memory that had forgotten long ago that the foreign British rule had committed the same crimes against us. And the greatest mystery of all will regard those who had known, yet had always assumed that the demolition policy was right, appropriate, legally justified; those who had assumed, with unquestionable simplicity, that half of the population between the river and the sea, which happens to be the Arabic-speaking half, was also delinquent by nature, simply unable to abide by the laws of planning and construction; and not only that, the other half also suffered from such staggering folly and shortsightedness, that it brought those endless demolitions upon itself, impoverishing itself to perdition in the process. After all, would there be anything simpler than lawful planning, and lawful submission of plans, and lawful attainment of permits, followed by construction? In short, is there anything simpler than being Jewish?

Yes, that is what law-abiding Israelis think to themselves, and someone will be perplexed by this as well one day. Let us now put all this perplexity aside, and get back to the dismal reality of rubble and furniture lying upside down. It happens all the time, with hardly any media coverage; reports go through one ear and come out through the other. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.


The demolition of the el-Arabiyeh family home in Anata exceeds all the terrible things I have seen in my 17 years in Rabbis for Human Rights. The sight of a boy or a girl coming back from school and discovering that their house was demolished is something I would not wish my worst enemies to see.
Rabbi Arik Asherman.
* * *

Excluding bodily and psychological harm, no graver cruelty can be inflicted on people than the demolition of their home. The financial consequence for most people is the loss of most of the capital they had accrued throughout their lives; being pushed back 20-30 years as far as their financial independence is concerned. But the demolition amounts of course to much more than that. It’s a demolition of the personal, intimate space where one’s most precious memories were formed; for a child – it is the space where all her/his intimate memories were formed. Every little detail of the house, seemingly trivial to the outside observer, is loaded with intensive meaning to those living in it. The tree in the backyard, the angle formed by shadows penetrating the room, the cracked door frame, the personal arrangement of clothes or toys. All these are wiped out in a brutal instant when the bulldozer goes over your house, and you are bound to feel disconnected – sheer detachment and floating in an alienating, impersonal space; this word, which has undergone such appalling devaluation in our language – “Trauma” – describes the situation precisely.

* * *

The State of Israel demolishes, time and time again. Here is a sequence of such demolitions, a devastating sequence, from the beginning of the year up to the past few days. It is impossible to document everything. Hundreds of photos, of every single house demolished by the state in the past six months, cannot be uploaded. One must perceive the catastrophe, but it is imperceptible. For now, we will settle for a sample. Hail the demolishing hero.

* * *

The State of Israel demolished the house of Rafat Issawi, in order to pressure his brother Samer, who went on hunger strike, Issawiya, East Jerusalem, Jan 4 2013. It had no demolition order. Photo by Shiraz Grinbaum/ Activestills.

The State of Israel demolished 55 structures, leaving 187 people homeless, El-Maita, Jordan Valley Jan 20 2013. Photo by Keren Manor/Activestills.

In 2011 alone, Israel demolished around 1,000 houses in the Bedouin villages in the Negev. The Ministry of Interior refuses to disclose data for 2012.

In 2012 alone, Israel demolished around 600 buildings throughout the West Bank. As a result, 880 people, more than half of them children, have lost their homes. Around 90 percent of the demolitions were carried out in Area C, and the rest in East Jerusalem.

As of now, more than 400 houses in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem are under the threat of imminent demolition.

The State of Israel demolished the Abu-Saffa family house, leaving 12 people homeless, Feb 18, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. Photo by PNN.

Since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 28,000 Palestinian buildings in the Occupied Territories.

37 percent of state owned land on the West Bank has been allotted to Jewish settlements since 1967. Over the same period, just 0.7 percent of this land has been allotted to Palestinians.

Since 1967, East Jerusalem’s Palestinian population has grown by almost 250,000; throughout the same period, only 3,900 building permits have been issued in that part of the city.

Nearly half of East Jerusalem still does not have zoning plans, after 46 years. 35 percent of the planning area has been designated as “open view areas,” on which construction is prohibited. Just 17 percent of Palestinian East Jerusalem is available to residents for housing and construction, and these land resources have been nearly exhausted. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have no legal way of building houses.

Between 2005 and 2009, the construction of 18,000 housing units in Jerusalem was approved; just 13 percent of them were in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

In most parts of East Jerusalem, building density is restricted to 75 percent. In West Jerusalem, the rate goes up to 150 percent.

180,000 Palestinians who reside in Area C have to settle for just 0.5 percent of this area for legal construction.

In 2009-2010 just 13 out of 776 requests for building permits by Palestinians in Area C were approved, no more than 1.7 percent.

Demolition orders have been issued against the majority of the buildings in the 180-year-old village of Hirbet Susya, home to 250 people, and the same goes for the inhabitants of the Hirbet Dukaikah and Hirbet Zanuta (Hebrew), home to 550 people. The State of Israel intends to wipe out entire villages in Area C.

* * *

And what happens when you demolish the wrong house? Mistakes (by Jews) are paid for (by Arabs), and then you confess (to Jews) and get a warm embrace: Video, house demolition

* * *

Your country lies desolate,
Your cities are burned up with fire.
Foreigners devour them in your presence,
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers


ICAHD Signs Joint Statement on Forced Displacement of Palestinians

March 19, 2013

On March 18th a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations including ICAHD calls on the UN Human Rights Council to protect Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory from forced displacement.  As the Council, member states, and civil society discuss the human rights situation in Palestine under Item 7, with a special focus on Israel’s housing and settlement policies, the organizations urge the Council to fully endorse the recommendations of the Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements and of the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing.

NGO STATEMENT: The UN Human Rights Council Must Protect Palestinians from Forced Displacement on Both Sides of the Green Line

We, the undersigned Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, state as follows:


  • In 2012, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik and the International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements (FFM) conducted independent inquiries into Israeli policies regarding housing and the settlements to be presented during the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. Special Rapporteur Rolnik was granted entry to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), while members of the FFM were not; they held their meetings in Amman. Both reports highlight Israel’s forcible transfer of Palestinians through the implementation of discriminatory policies and practices. Moreover, the two reports underscore Israel’s serious violations of international law, including grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and emphasize Israel’s pervasive violations of the human rights of Palestinians, such as the rights to self-determination, non-discrimination, adequate housing and an adequate standard of living.
We support the findings of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as they relate to Israel’s systematic exclusion, discrimination and displacement of both Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the OPT, noting that Palestinian Bedouin communities – in Israel and the OPT– are particularly vulnerable to displacement and dispossession.
  • We highlight that the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur also echo those of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). In its concluding observations of its 2012 review of Israel, the Committee noted with concern that Israel’s discriminatory planning policy habitually denies construction permits to Palestinians, including Bedouin, and targets their property for demolition. The Special Rapporteur further supports the CERD conclusions in calling for the repeal of all Israeli legislation relevant to the right to adequate housing, that “in their application, do not comply with the principle of non-discrimination.”
  • As emphasized in both the Special Rapporteur and the FFM reports, the discriminatory treatment by Israel in the implementation of the right to adequate housing is clearly manifest in the construction and expansion of the Israeli settlements in the OPT. The FFM report emphasized that Palestinians are regularly attacked by settlers, who use physical violence and intimidation as a means of pressuring Palestinians to leave their lands. Settlements, together with ensuing settler violence, are a predominant factor of forced displacement in the OPT. We support both reports in urging Israel to cease all construction and expansion of settlements in the OPT immediately.
  • We further endorse the FFM’s recommendation to individual Member States of the UN to adhere to their obligations stemming from Israel’s violations of peremptory norms of international law, including the denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, the prohibition of the extensive destruction and appropriation of property, and prohibition of colonialism. As such, and in accordance with international law, the international community must implement all available mechanisms in order to pressure Israel to effectively halt settlement activity and the forced displacement of Palestinians.
  • We believe that discriminatory land laws and policies lie at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation. Therefore, justice for the Palestinian people for their forced displacement and the illegal appropriation of their land and other natural resources is crucial to achieving a just and sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • We call on the Human Rights Council to fully endorse both reports, and to ensure that the FFM report is given its due consideration by calling for a follow-up report on the implications and implementation of the FFM recommendations to be sent by the Secretary General to the UN General Assembly at its 68thsession this year.
  • We further urge the Human Rights Council to issue the strongest possible resolutions calling on Israel, the international community and individual member states to uphold general principles of international law and implement all available mechanisms to achieve justice for Palestinian victims of forced displacement on both sides of the Green Line.


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