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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



British student deported from Ben Gurion – Israel threatened by his tweeting

British student and activist Gary Spedding, stopped at Ben-Gurion Airport, subjected to full body search, interrogation, and sent back to the UK. Photo from Facebook.

Briton Deported ‘Over Security Risk Tweets’

Gary Spedding was stopped at Ben Gurion airport as he arrived to meet Israeli politicians and NGOs.

He tweeted while in detention in Israel

By Tom Rayner, Middle East News Editor, Sky news
January 11, 2014

A British student has been deported from Israel after authorities declared him a “security threat” – due to his use of social media.

Gary Spedding, from Belfast, arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on an Easyjet flight from Luton on Thursday afternoon.

He was taken to one side at immigration and then to an interview room, where he was subjected to a full body search and interrogation.

Sky News understands that he was told he would be deported and banned from entering the country for 10 years due to his activity on Twitter and Facebook.

Mr Spedding is an active youth member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and columnist for the Huffington Post.

He had travelled to Israel to meet Israeli politicians and NGOs.

Having been detained by the Israeli authorities overnight, he was put on a flight bound for the UK on Friday evening, and has vowed to appeal the travel ban.

Friends say he has aspirations to become a candidate for the Alliance Party in future elections.

While Israel has the right, like any country, to refuse entry to any individual at its border, the Spedding deportation has raised eyebrows.

Numerous international activists and volunteers suspected of being en route to the West Bank are deported from Ben Gurion airport every year.

However, Mr Spedding’s case is thought to be the first in which comments made by the individual on social media have been labelled a risk to Israeli national security.

While he was being held, Mr Spedding – who served as Vice President of the Palestine Solidarity Society while at Queen’s University Belfast – used Twitter to provide a live account of his detention.

His first tweet said: “Being detained at Israeli immigration. Lots of threats, they’ve went right through my phone. I’m about to be transferred to detention centre.”

A photo was also uploaded which appeared to show that he was being held in an airport holding area.

He then sent regular posts after his phone was returned to him.

In one tweet he wrote: “Just been subjected to another horrendous set of searches including very personally invasive ‘body search’ – felt all near my underwear etc.”

In another he added: “Just been informed they have booked me a flight tomorrow 5pm to deport me and I am now banned from Israel for 10 years.”

While he was in detention, Naomi Long MP, the Deputy Leader of Alliance, told Sky News she and the party were concerned about his welfare.

“Gary is a member of the Party’s youth wing and, though not travelling on Party business, we have already been in contact with him and remain concerned for his welfare,” she said.

Dimi Reider, an Israeli journalist for the liberal website and friend of Mr Spedding said: “He is one of the few activists I know who, while unequivocally recognising the Palestinians’ plight as the most acute and urgent of the conflict, is also genuinely and consistently concerned with creating a liveable and sustainable future for all those living in Israel-Palestine.

“To my understanding, he was en route to discuss lessons from Northern Ireland, especially the transition from armed struggle to political process, with activists and officials in Israel and in the West Bank.”

However, critics have taken to Twitter pointing out his involvement in a protest at Queen’s University Belfast in 2011.

He interrupted a lecture given by Solon Soloman, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Knesset on international and constitutional issues.

The law society event had to be abandoned and the speaker was escorted away by security staff.

Mr Spedding’s commitment to non-violent activism was given backing by SDLP politician, Margaret Ritchie MP.

“Mr Spedding has never engaged in, nor incited, violence of any kind to achieve political goals and has always expressed his views in a democratic and peaceful manner.”

Israel’s interior ministry was approached for comment, but have not yet provided a response.

However, a spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in London said: “Mr Spedding’s entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queen’s University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.

“No country has an obligation to allow foreigners who have been involved in violent activities targeting its nationals to enter its territory.”

Last week US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel to revive flagging Middle East peace talks, declaring it is not “mission impossible”.

British student deported from Israel because his social media posts ‘posed a security threat’

By JPost
January 10, 2014

British student Gary Spedding was deported from Israel on Friday because his social media activity allegedly posed a “security threat.”

Spedding defines himself as an activist against anti-Semitism and in favor of finding a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Sky News, Spedding arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday on a flight from London’s Luton Airport. At immigration, he was taken to an interview room where he was subjected to a full body search and interrogation.

Immigration officers took Spedding’s phone and went through its contents for four-to-five hours, copying content from it, according to Spedding, who kept his social media followers up to date with live updates.

“Just noticed Israeli security went through the email address I use for Alliance Party matters – they read our party proposals (confidential for party only) to the Haass talks,” he wrote on Facebook.

He also said on Twitter that he has been repeatedly threatened by airport security with nine days in detention and a permanent ban from Israel.

“It’s a shame that Israeli authorities feel it necessary to put such serious pressure and threats on me,” he wrote.

Following the interrogation, Spedding was told he would be deported and barred from entering the country for 10 years.

While Sky News reported Spedding’s detention and deportation were because of posts he made on Facebook and Twitter prior to his arrival, security at Ben Gurion airport did not specify to him what posts warranted the interrogation.

He said he will be “seeking legal recourse through [the] Israeli court system” against the ban.

Spedding, an active youth member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and a Huffington Post columnist, traveled to Israel in order to meet with Israeli politicians and NGOs.

He founded and served as Vice President of the Palestine Solidarity Society at Queen’s University in Belfast, and joined the Holy Land Trust – an NGO that “aspires to strengthen and empower the peoples of the Holy Land (in particular Israelis and Palestinians) to engage in spiritual, pragmatic and strategic paths that will end all forms of oppression.”

Spedding said the incident will not deter him from continuing his “nonviolent activist work.”

“I want to say that this event in my life only strengthens my resolve to love everyday Israelis,” he wrote.

“It’s the regime in power here that considers nonviolence, human rights and accountability to be ‘integral security threats,'” he added. “This entire process is designed to intimidate and humiliate activists and human rights workers.”

“My mission in Israel – Palestine [is] always for just, peaceful conflict resolution,” he said. “I hope one day Israel can learn from lessons of Northern Ireland Peace process and my own political party in particular.”

Talking to Sky News, Israeli journalist Dimi Reader from said Spedding is “one of the few activists I know who, while unequivocally recognizing the Palestinians’ plight as the most acute and urgent of the conflict, is also genuinely and consistently concerned with creating a liveable and sustainable future for all those living in Israel-Palestine.”

Reader added that Spedding arrived in Israel in order to “discuss lessons from Northern Ireland, especially the transition from armed struggle to political process, with activists and officials in Israel and in the West Bank.”

Gary Spedding shared a link.
8 January near Tynemouth
The same Knesset speaker that refuses to speak with African refugee representatives in Israel represented Israel at Mandela’s memorial –

Thousands of Africans rally outside Knesset as strike enters fourth day – National
Three MKs initiate meeting with representatives of African community, though Knesset Speaker Edelstein has not authorized their entrance.

Gary Spedding
8 January near Tynemouth via Mobile
Illegal Settlements in Palestine

“That this Assembly recognises that fundamental human rights and international law should be acknowledged and adhered to by states and corporations; commits to upholding human rights and ethical trading standards; welcomes the decision of the United Nations to grant non-member observer status to Palestine; condemns illegal Isreali settlements on Palestinian land; and resolves, insofar as legislative considerations permit, to resist any action that gives political or economic support to the State of Israel.”

Gary Spedding
8 January near Tynemouth via Mobile
Currently packing and I’m having difficulty deciding whether I should upgrade to have hold luggage or whether hand luggage will be big enough for 9 days worth of clothing and stuff. Anyone ideas?

Gary Spedding I know the weather can be quite different during January – April in Israel / Palestine so I’m bringing a selection of clothes. Hand luggage when leaving the UK isn’t weighed as long as it looks the right size & fits into the easyjet hand luggage size gauge thing. So I’m trying to see if I can get away with just that. Usually I bring a full 20kg when I’m staying for 2-3 months

Gary Spedding shared Kay Wilson’s photo.
8 January near Newcastle upon Tyne
A victim of an horrific terror attack misusing her tragedy to play a cynical anti-Palestinian political game. It makes me sad
Kay Wilson, Facebook
No one bothered me, very lovely people in Bethlehem! and this artwork I did all by myself — with Michael Dickson and 4 others at Bethlehem City.

Gary Spedding
8 January near Tynemouth via Mobile
Political parties in Israel should be encouraged to publish and regularly update position papers on the Israel – Palestine conflict so that civil society can be actively involved in the scrutiny process. This would ensure the public feel included and can trust who they are voting for when it comes to elections. It’s time to elect an Israeli government willing to be a true partner for justice, peace and human rights!

Gary Spedding shared a link.
7 January near Tynemouth
Israel still has substantial control over the Gaza Strip; under international law (which, to be fair, is generally ignored by most who can) Israel bears the responsibility for allowing people to live a normal life there.

So, did you see the malls in Gaza? – Opinion
It must be comforting for right-wing agitprop trolls to picture Gaza as a seaside holiday camp bursting with glitzy mall
[See IDF photo of ‘luxurious Gaza city’ exposed as fraudulent]
Gary Spedding
7 January near Tynemouth via Mobile
إنها قمة الأنحراف و الفساد أن يجبروا الأطفال على أرتداء الأحزمة الناسفة للعمليات الأنتحارية, ليس لدي أي شيء غير الغضب و الأستنكار ضد الأشخاص الذين يظلمون على الأطفال بهذه الطرق الشنيعة. لا يوجد شيء شريف مبارك في قتل الأبرياء.
[It’s peak deviation and corruption that forced children to wear explosive belts for suicide attacks, I have nothing but anger and indignation against people at a disadvantage on children such heinous ways. There’s nothing honest in killing innocent people. (Translated by Bing)]

Gary Spedding shared a link.
7 January near Tynemouth

How Israel views Palestinian, African and Jewish refugees +972 Magazine

Nadav Franckovich writes on Facebook: The State of Israel on Palestinian refugees:

Refugees should not return to their country of origin, even if the state of emergency which caused their exile has ended. They shall never ever return. Ever.

Gary Spedding shared a link.
7 January near Tynemouth
Actually pleasantly surprised that this Ynet article actually have a voice to Palestinians to express their genuine reasons for rejecting proposals that they move to a Palestinian state. (Unsurprisingly the reasons given aren’t the same ones that are projected onto the population by right-wing Israel fanatics),7340,L-4473953,00.html

Israeli Arabs: We don’t want to be part of Palestinian state
News: Residents of predominantly Arab ‘Triangle’ see Lieberman land swap plan as unrealistic, say most would move to stay in Israel: ‘The population won’t agree to give up their citizenship’

Gary Spedding
7 January near Tynemouth via Mobile
Oh did we finally get to that stage where Israeli coalition partners threaten to break up the government if anyone accepts 67 borders & sharing Jerusalem as a capital of both Palestine & Israel? It didn’t take this long last time….

Alliance was founded in 1970 with the objective of healing the bitter divisions in our community. We believe in a shared society, free from intimidation, discrimination and fear, where everyone is safe, can play their part and is treated fairly and with respect. We believe in a society for everyone.

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