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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

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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

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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

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19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

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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

Eminent Europeans and Israelis urge EC not to go soft on Guidelines

News reports of the European eminent persons letter, of the Israeli petition 2) and letter from the European eminent persons.

Former EU leaders to Ashton: Stand firm on settlement guidelines

Letter signed by 15 former EU leaders counters attempts by Israel and U.S. to scrap or delay the move to stop co-operating with firms in the settlements.

By Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz
September 16, 2013

A group of 15 former senior European officials has urged the European Union not to soften or delay new settlement guidelines slated to take effect on January 1, and in particular to ensure they apply to the Horizon 2020 scientific cooperation program.

The letter, dated September 16, was sent to all EU foreign ministers by the European Eminent Persons Group, whose stated goal is promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace. The group is co-chaired by former French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, former German Deputy Foreign Minister Wolfgang Ischinger and former British Ambassador to the UN Jeremy Greenstock.

Its more prominent members include Javier Solana, who formerly served as EU foreign policy czar and NATO secretary-general, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the former European commissioner for external relations and Austrian foreign minister, former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas Van Agt and former Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Van den Broek.

One particularly noteworthy signatory is former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, who is considered relatively close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was granted a meeting with the premier when he visited Israel a few weeks ago.

“With great concern we have taken note of recent calls to delay, modify or even suspend the European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” the letter began. “We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020.”

After noting that the guidelines reflect a longstanding EU position that the settlements are illegal under international law, the letter continued, “Their strict application serves to reiterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground … It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.”

The letter also argued that the guidelines’ publication in mid-July encouraged the Palestinians to agree to resume direct negotiations with Israel two weeks later. “If the EU were to delay or suspend the guidelines, or not fully apply them to the agreement with Israel on Horizon 2020, this could further undermine the Palestinians’ trust in the negotiation process and their ability to continue the talks,” it said. “In other words, delaying or suspending the guidelines is likely to undermine negotiations, not help them.”

Finally, it argued, the guidelines are the “minimum” the EU can do to uphold its own legislation and keep taxpayer funds from going to the settlements, so delaying or suspending them would “damage the EU’s credibility.”

The letter was written to assist the Palestinians’ counter-campaign against Israeli and American efforts to get the guidelines softened or delayed. Last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry asked EU foreign ministers to delay implementing the guidelines so as not to undermine Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The guidelines forbid any EU grants, loans or prizes to activities of Israeli entities in the West Bank, Golan Heights, or East Jerusalem. In some cases, the guidelines forbid financing Israeli entities that operate directly and indirectly beyond the 1967 lines. They also require any new agreement with Israel to state that these areas aren’t part of Israel, and therefore aren’t covered by the agreement.

Israel’s immediate concern is its current negotiations with the EU over participating in Horizon 2020. Participation would give Israeli researchers access to hundreds of millions of euros worth of funding. But Israel has said it can’t sign the agreement under the guidelines as they stand.


Israeli petition supporting EU guidelines on funding of Israeli entities

European Co-ordination Committee for Palestine (ECCP)
September 16, 2013

More than 600 Israeli intellectuals, senior academics and leading artists send a petition to President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Catherine Ashton in support of the European Union guidelines that exclude funding of Israeli entities active in the occupied territories.

Signatories of the petition include seven Israel Prize laureates (Dani Karavan, Alex Levac, David Tartakover, Shimon Sandbank, Zeev Sternhell, Yehoshua Kolodny and David Harel), as well as playwright Yehoshua Sobol, former Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry Alon Liel and former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair.

Israeli petition in support of EU guidelines on funding of Israeli entities

    
Four of the Israel Prize winners who signed the petition, from L.  Zeev Sternhell, Dani Karavan,  David Harel. Yehoshua Kalodny

We the undersigned support the European Union recommendation to its member states, to avoid signing agreements with Israeli organizations and companies if they are active, directly or indirectly, in the occupied territories over the green line of June 4, 1967.

We regard this EU announcement as an act of friendship and support to the state of Israel in its recognized borders. We believe that this decision will contribute to the strengthening of relations between Israel and European states.

If that decision will be fully implemented, it will accelerate the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and will increase the chances to bring both sides to the negotiating table towards an agreement that will include recognition of the green line as the basis for drawing the political border between Israel and Palestine, even if there will be small, mutually agreed modifications to it.

We hope that this decision will be implemented as soon as possible by all European states, and will convince other countries such as US, Russia, China and India to accept and join the European initiative.

We call upon the government of Israel to avoid any activities and reactions that might harm our relations with Europe, as well as to block its financial support and its activity over the green line, for the sake of all Israeli citizens.

Signed,

Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, Tel Aviv University

Ilan Baruch, former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa

Ofra Ben-Artzi, sister-in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Michael Ben-Yair, former Attorney General

Brigadier General Shlomo Brom, former head of the IDF Strategic Planning Division. Currently serves as a senior research associate at the Institute of National Security

Prof. David Enoch, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Member of the Israeli Young Academy

Prof. Emeritus Yaron Ezrahi, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Prof. Chaim Gans, Tel Aviv University

Ilana Hammerman, literary editor and translator

Prof. Alon Harel, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Prof. David Harel, the Weizmann Institute. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 2004 & the Emet prize in 2010

Prof. Eva Illouz, President of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem

Dani Karavan, sculptor. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 1977

Prof. Menachem Klein, Bar-Ilan University

Prof. Yehoshua Kolodny, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 2010

Miki Kratsman, Head of Photography Department of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Recipient Emet prize in 2010

Dr. Alon Liel, former Director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry

Mossi Raz, former Meretz Parliament Member

Prof. Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Tel Aviv University. Member of the Israeli Young Academy

Shimon Sandbank, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 1996

Uri Segal, conductor

Yehoshua Sobol, playwright and author

Prof. Emeritus Zeev Sternhell, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 2008

David Tartakover, graphic designer and artist. Recipient of the Israel Prize in 2002

Prof. Idit Zartal, historian

Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, Tel Aviv University

And more than 600 others

 

 


Letter by European dignitaries to EU Foreign Ministers on Israeli settlement funding

European Council on Foreign Relations
September 15, 2013

Following calls to postpone, modify or even suspend the new European Commission guidelines on the funding of Israeli businesses and institutions in the occupied territories, a group of European dignitaries has sent a letter to the 28 EU Foreign Ministers, urging them to fully support European institutions in implementing guidelines that exclude Israel’s illegal settlements from EU funding.

The letter has been signed by 12 [15] prominent Europeans – amongst them two former Foreign Ministers, three former Prime Ministers, one former Vice-President of the European Commission and one former EU High Representative – from 9 European countries, including the UK, France, Germany and Ireland.

The signatories stress that the guidelines reflect the EU’s long-held position that the European Union will not recognize unilateral changes to Israel’s pre-1967 borders and that the EU, under its own legislation, is obligated to prevent the application of agreements with Israel to illegal settlements.

The statement’s signatories call on the 28 Foreign Ministers to uphold their joint commitment, proclaimed in December 2012, to ensure that all agreements between Israel and the EU “must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability” to the occupied territories, also and especially in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020, the EU’s research funding programme. Also, the signatories argue that a delay or suspension of the guidelines would undermine peace negotiations, which they want to see succeed.

The letter is posted below and was sent in the context of the European Eminent Persons Group (EEPG), composed of former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and senior officials of EU Member States, who have decided to concert their efforts to encourage a lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Dear Foreign Minister,

With great concern we have taken note of recent calls to delay, modify or even suspend the European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, developed in furtherance of the clear EU Foreign Affairs Council position adopted on 10 December 2012:

“The European Union expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the on-going negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020.

In recent weeks, Israel has expressed strong objections to the guidelines. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said: “We will not accept any external dictates regarding our borders.” This both misrepresents the EU position and the international legal consensus regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As EU High Representative Catherine Ashton stated, in no way will the guidelines prejudge the outcome of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The guidelines rather reflect the EU’s long-held position that the settlements are illegal and that the Union will not recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders other than agreed by both parties. Their strict application serves to re-iterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground that increasingly dictate a unilateral reality inimical to a two state agreement. It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

The Palestinians have agreed to enter negotiations without explicit Israeli or US guarantees that these negotiations will be based on the pre-1967 borders. As you will recall, the guidelines’ release in mid-July was an important incentive for the Palestinians to agree to a resumption of direct talks without such explicit guarantees. If the EU were to delay or suspend the guidelines, or not fully apply them to the agreement with Israel on Horizon 2020, this could further undermine the Palestinians’ trust in the negotiation process and their ability to continue the talks. In other words, delaying or suspending the guidelines is likely to undermine negotiations, which we want to see succeed, not help them.

Furthermore, political considerations aside, the EU is obligated under its own existing law to effectively prevent the application of its agreements and programmes to illegal settlements outside Israel’s recognised borders. In fact, the guidelines are the required minimum for the EU to fully and effectively implement its own legislation and to prevent its taxpayers’ money from being used to support activities in settlements.

We welcome your efforts in the Middle East Peace Process and fully support the EU’s goal of a negotiated two-state solution. A delay or suspension of the guidelines won’t help achieve this solution. On the contrary, it would undermine the negotiations by alienating the Palestinians and by reinforcing Israel’s intransigence. In addition, it would damage the EU’s credibility and erode its vital foundations as a law-based community.

We urge you to be steadfast and support EU institutions in fully applying the guidelines.

Yours sincerely,

Members of the European Eminent Persons Group:

Frans Andriessen, former Vice-President of the European Commission
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, former Vice-Prime Minister of the Netherlands
John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, former European Commissioner for External Relations and Former Foreign Minister of Austria
Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Ambassador to the UN; Co-Chair of the EEPG
Teresa Patricio Gouveia, Former Foreign Minister of Portugal
Wolfgang Ischinger, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany and current Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; Co-Chair of the EEPG
Miguel Moratinos, former Foreign Minister of Spain and former EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process
Pierre Schori, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Sweden
Clare Short, former UK Secretary of State for International Development
Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and Former NATO Secretary-General
Peter Sutherland, former EU Commissioner for Competition and former Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Andreas Van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Hans Van den Broek, former Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and Former EU Commissioner for External Relations
Hubert Védrine, former Foreign Minister of France; Co-Chair of the EEPG


Notes and Links
Neither the ECFR, which published the letter from the European Eminent Persons Group, nor the EEPG is a formal EU institution. However the two groups have a close relationship with each other and both direct much of their work towards influencing the policy of the European Commission in particular and the European Union more widely.

Most European countries, including Turkey,  have members on the ECFR. Those not included are Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and most of the former Yugoslavia except for Croatia and Slovenia.

The ECFR

About the European Council on Foreign Relations
From ECFR website

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is the first pan-European think-tank. Launched in October 2007, its objective is to conduct research and promote informed debate across Europe on the development of coherent and effective European values-based foreign policy. It is independent and has no connection to the institutions of the EU. See below for information about its various sources of funding.

ECFR has developed a strategy with three distinctive elements that define its activities:

A pan-European Council. ECFR has brought together a distinguished Council of over one hundred Members – politicians, decision makers, thinkers and business people from the EU’s member states and candidate countries – which meets once a year as a full body. Through geographical and thematic task forces, members provide ECFR staff with advice and feedback on policy ideas and help with ECFR’s activities within their own countries. The Council is chaired by Martti Ahtisaari, Joschka Fischer and Mabel van Oranje.

A physical presence in the main EU member states. ECFR, uniquely among European think-tanks, has offices in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sofia and Warsaw. Our offices are platforms for research, debate, advocacy and communications.

A distinctive research and policy development process. ECFR has brought together a team of distinguished researchers and practitioners from all over Europe to advance its objectives through innovative projects with a pan-European focus. ECFR’s activities include primary research, publication of policy reports, private meetings and public debates, ‘friends of ECFR’ gatherings in EU capitals and outreach to strategic media outlets.

ECFR’s publications, along with the views expressed in podcasts, articles and blog posts, represent the views of its authors, not the collective position of ECFR or its Council Members. ECFR hopes to stimulate constructive debate about Europe’s place in the world.

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