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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



Racist Jews lead drive against ‘their’ women having sex with Palestinian men

Articles on the growth of the Jewish campaign against Jewish/Palestinian relations from Ma’an, Ha’aretz and +972.

The campaign against relationships, especially sexual, between Jewish women and Arab men is led by Lehava and, amongst others, Rabbi Dov Lior [above], notorious for his racist pronouncements including the proposals that Bedouin should be paid to move to ‘their homelands’ – Libya and Saudi Arabia.

Jewish women banned from night shifts to avoid Arab ‘contact’

By Ma’an news
October 20, 2013

BETHLEHEM — Jewish women have been banned from working night shifts as a part of their national service at hospitals in Israel in order to avoid “contact with Arabs,” Israeli Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.

Israeli National Service Administration Director Sar-Shalom Jerbi issued the directive two weeks ago banning any volunteer shifts past 9 p.m. for women fulfilling their national service duties.

The director explained that “we reached the decision based on concern for our volunteers, and Minister [Naftali] Bennett gave his blessing.”

Naftali Bennett is the leader of the far-right Israeli political party “Jewish Home,” and is currently the minister of religious services.

Many young Jewish women in Israel choose to volunteer at hospitals in order to fulfill their national service requirements. The national service is an alternative to service in the Israeli army, which is required for most Israeli Jews.

The decision marks a victory for an intense campaign led by religious Zionist rabbis and other right-wing groups within Israel to prevent contact of any sort between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, especially between Jewish women and Palestinian men.

According to the Channel 10 report, these groups began a campaign against women’s night-time service last year after reports surfaced of “intimate relations” between some Jewish volunteers and Palestinian doctors at hospitals.

In response to the decision, the director of the Lehava organization which was involved in the campaign issued a statement lamenting that the move did not go far enough. “Unfortunately, this is too narrow and too late a step. National service should be terminated anywhere there are non-Jews,” he said.

Lehava is an Israeli organization that campaigns to prevent relationships between Jewish women and non-Jewish men. The main targets of their campaigns tend to be Muslim and Christian Arabs.

Among the leaders of the campaign was Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba settlements who was in 2011 arrested for incitement against Arabs.

Lior has previously made numerous controversial and racist statements towards non-Jews, and called Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the 1994 Cave of Patriarchs massacre which claimed the lives of 29 Muslim worshipers, “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust.”

Jewish girls, beware the ‘evil’ Arab doctor
How did sex, which is supposed to be an intimate matter between two adults, become the doomsday weapon of generations of racists of whatever nationality or religion?

By Oudeh Basharat, Ha’aretz
October 21, 2013

If Channel 10 were to run a news item about a tomato that caused an upset stomach, Heaven forbid, the officials in charge would make sure to get a comment, if not from the tomato itself, then at least from the farmer who had grown it. But Arab physicians do not have this luxury.

Channel 10’s main news broadcast last Wednesday evening reported that the National Civilian Service Administration had ordered its religiously observant women volunteers not to work after 9 P.M. According to the news broadcast, this decision was made by the Lehava anti-assimilation organization after “reports were received about intimate relationships between young women performing their national service and Arab physicians in the hospitals where they volunteered,” as reported on the Nana 10 online portal. The website quoted one of the rabbis as having said in the past, “I’m hearing horrible stories about good girls.” The head of the National Civilian Service Administration made sure to mention that the decision was made with the blessing of the minister in charge, Naftali Bennett.

Channel 10 conveyed the news item with equanimity, as if it were a weather report. Nobody there bothered to invite an Arab physician, or at least the director of the hospital where these lewd acts are supposedly taking place, to give their version of events. In the Soviet Union, Stalin himself concocted the Doctors’ Plot against Jewish physicians. Today, all that’s necessary are a few racist rabbis, the director of the National Civilian Service Administration, brother Naftali and a major media outlet that forgets to ask for a response from the ones being maligned — and voila: a plot that would give the anti-Jewish propaganda industry since the Middle Ages something to be proud of.

After turning the Arabs into thieves, layabouts, non-tax-paying deadbeats and backstabbers, now the time has come to malign the Arab physicians. And they, the jewel in the crown, are portrayed as sexual deviants who go after helpless teenage girls. Well then, ladies and gentlemen, be careful when you walk around in the hospitals, because you never know where it’s going to come from: the hallways teeming with hormone-ridden physicians on the prowl. This is the Arab portrayed in the Israeli media. In situations like these, when any response pales next to the plot, the writer Emile Habibi would mutter, “Treacherous time.”

How did sex, which is supposed to be an intimate matter between two adults, become the doomsday weapon of generations of racists of whatever nationality or religion — a weapon that brings all the hidden demons of their sick souls out into the open? But if so, why punish the Jewish women doctors and nurses, who will become easy prey for all the hormonal attacks of the Arab doctors once the teenage girls doing their national service have left for the night? Well, Jewish physicians, get out of bed and go to work! Stand guard en masse during the night to maintain racial purity. And as for you, Arab physicians, here you go — finally, an evening with your families and a warm bed at night, just as long as you do not profane the modesty of the Arab girls.

All these good things, and the major festival of racism — the Knesset’s winter session — are still in store for us. If the media adopt the promotional methods customary on television, then it’s likely that we’ll be seeing promos before the Knesset’s hearings with the slogan “Racism not of this world” alongside a photograph of MK Ze’ev Elkin, for example. Or an announcer saying, “How to sweep the Arabs out of the Knesset,” while Deputy Minister Danny Danon is shown holding a large broom with the words “The Governance Bill” written on it. MK Yariv Levin will also appear with a similar broom, bearing the caption “The Prawer Bill,” while the announcer tells us, in formal tones, of “an eviction operation that will surpass the expulsion from Spain.”

Yil’an al-shaitan, as the Arabic saying goes — damned be the devil, who feeds the anger and despair that lie in wait o ambush the best of both peoples. Collaboration in this ugly phenomenon is so prevalent in Israeli society, Jews and Arabs alike, that it is hard to know who here is a Jew and who an Arab. Faced with this arid desolation of racism, the soil yearns for the blooming oases of normalization. Give normalization a chance!

Benzi Gopstein, a leader of Lehava, the Israeli organization that wants to bar Jewish women from night shifts.

Jewish women can’t volunteer at night – to avoid ‘contact with Arabs’

The Israeli government succumbs to pressure by racist and anti-miscegenation organizations, banning Jewish women from volunteering in hospitals at night, when they might be more likely to encounter Arab workers and doctors.

By Mairav Zonszein, +972
October 17, 2013

Young Israeli women volunteering at hospitals in Israel as part of their national service (an alternative to serving in the Israel Defense Forces) will no longer be allowed to do night shifts in order to avoid any contact with Arabs, Channel 10 reported Wednesday (Hebrew).

The director of Israel’s National Service Administration, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, issued a directive two weeks ago banning any volunteer shifts past 9:00 p.m.: “We reached the decision based on concern for our volunteers, and Minister [Naftali] Bennett gave his blessing.”

According to the report, the decision was made following a pressure campaign waged by religious Zionist rabbis, among them notorious Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior (arrested in 2011 for incitement against Arabs and for legitimizing the killing of non-Jews in war time) and the radical Israeli anti-miscegenation organizationLehava. They began the campaign over the last year after hearing reports of “intimate relations” between some of the Palestinian-Arab doctors and the Israeli Jewish volunteers.

The decision was not sharp enough for Lehava, however, according to a statement issued by its director: “Unfortunately, this is too narrow and too late a step. National service should be terminated anywhere there are goyim [non-Jews].”

Just last month, I reported on another anti-miscegenation religious organization Yad La’achim, which is collecting IDs of Jewish Israeli girls who are found socializing with Arabs.

The holy war against Arab-Jewish relations and the Jerusalem lynch

Those who attacked Palestinians in central Jerusalem [August 17th, 2012] claimed they wanted to prevent them from speaking to Jewish girls. The fear of interracial relations once found only in the fringes of the right are now turning into a legitimate, mainstream political issue in national-religious circles.

By Noam Sheizaf, +972
August 21, 2012

There are several organizations promoting ethnic segregation in Israel, with a special emphasis on preventing relations between Jewish girls and Palestinian men. The most vocal is Lehava, an NGO that calls upon citizens to inform them of any case of mixed marriage or relationship. Their low-tech internet site, filled with racism and hate-talk, has a section titled “shame page,” which features the pictures of women, mostly public figures, who are in relationships with non-Jews. The head of Lehava, a Kahanist called Bentzi Gopstein, said today that the Jerusalem attackers “have raised Jewish honor from the floor and did what the police should have done.”

Likud deputy transport minister Tzipi Hotovely; she presided over a 2011 Knesset hearing on ‘Jewish identity’ which centred on eradicating intimate relationships between Jews and Arabs.

Lehava wouldn’t merit much attention if it wasn’t for their legitimacy in right-wing circles. In February 2011, MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) invited Gopstein to a formal session of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women, along with other members of organizations who work to expose and prevent inter-racial relations. The title of the hearing was “the phenomena of assimilation in Israel – a special session in honor of Jewish Identity Day.”

Gopstein had the opportunity to explain the work of his organizations, and even to complain about “lack of cooperation” from the Ministry of Education; he mentioned the case of a school in Bat Yam “where 20 percent of the girls are dating Arabs.” MK Hotovely turned to a representative from the Department of Education, Dr. Zvi Zameret, for an explanation, and the latter, instead of calling racism for what it is, replied: “This is the first time I am hearing those figures… I made a note to look into that.”

A quote from Gopstein was the first one to appear in a press release that MK Hotovely sent following the session, and other Knesset members present at the debate congratulated her for tackling this issue.

The holy war against interracial relationships has been central to the agenda of racist groups throughout modern history. In many places, the first to suffer from attacks (and later, laws) were Jews. An attempt to introduce laws against intermarriage was the main reason the Knesset rejected Jewish supremacist Meir Kahane in the 1980s. At the time, Justice Shamgar wrote that such ideas “remind us of the worst persecution in Jewish history.”

Times have changed. The demand for racial purity is becoming mainstream, re-entering the Knesset through the front door. Leading rabbis, most of them state employees, have signed letters calling on Jewish homeowners to refrain from renting their apartments to Arabs, or warning Jewish girls against dating Arabs.

Michael Ben-Ari joined a party of 50 right-wingers who travelled to a village last May to prevent a Jewish woman marrying an Arab man. The former MK said, “We came to say that the women of Israel belong to the Jewish people. Assimilation is one of the greatest tragedies of the Jewish people. Every Jew can sleep tonight while clicking his tongue, but he must know that another daughter of Israel has married an Arab.”

It’s a form of racism that treats women as the object of the (Jewish) man, his to keep within the tribe. It’s not surprising therefore that the calls to ban women from public life come from the same national-Orthodox circles who want to “save” those women from Palestinian men. But while the attempts to limit the presence of women in public are (rightly) meeting fierce opposition, the revolting attempts to delegitimize, ban or punish interracial relations are endorsed by not-so-marginal circles, and practically accepted as a legitimate political concern within the Jewish mainstream.

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