Website policy

We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.


BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine

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




Why Israel should have cooperated with Goldstone on Gaza

haaretzMiri Weingarten, European Advocacy Officer, B’Tselem – HaMoked – Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, writes about a new article in Ha’aretz:
“In parallel to the coordinated counter-attack launched by the Israeli foreign ministry in the international media in response to the Goldstone report, some analysts in Israel are beginning to express regret for Israeli decisions in recent months. Israeli delegates abroad find it hard to answer the question why a State Commission of Inquiry, or at least some show of an independent domestic inquiry, was not established in Israel. Some Israeli analysts see the weak logic in claiming on the one hand that all actions were justified and that Israel has nothing to hide, while at the same time rejecting any process, domestic or international, that could demonstrate the same.

Below is an interesting comment in Haaretz by one of Israel’s leading political scientists, regretting non-cooperation with the Goldstone mission – on pragmatic rather than ethical grounds. Its author sees the Goldstone report as a serious blow to Israel, rather than as another UN report that can easily be shown to be irrelevant due to its bias.

And see the JStreet statement on Goldstone Report.

Yehezkel Dror, Why Israel should have cooperated with Goldstone on Gaza, Ha’aretz 21 September 2009
The blow Israel received from the United Nations’ report on Operation Cast Lead stems partly from a misunderstanding by its authors as to the essence of the conflicts in which Israel is embroiled, and of what security steps they necessitate. However, it was also caused by the poor Israeli decision not to cooperate with the investigation.

Proper judgment would have led to the advance realization that participation and nonparticipation could have brought either good or bad results, and resulted in four possible outcomes, of which the lesser evil should have been chosen:

1. Nonparticipation in the investigation, with an optimistic view of the outcome: a severe report against Israel, but Israel’s lack of participation would damage the report’s legitimacy and reduce the negative impact on Israel.

2. Nonparticipation in the investigation, with a pessimistic view of the outcome: A very severe report against Israel, whose legitimacy would not be damaged by Israel’s nonparticipation, that would damage Israel because it would strengthen the idea that Israel “has something to hide,” and that Israel “shows contempt for the United Nations.”

3. Participation in the investigation, with a pessimistic view of the outcome: a very severe report against Israel, underscored by the fact that Israel had ample opportunity to air its arguments, which were considered and rejected.

4. Participation in the investigation, with an optimistic view of the outcome: a severe but restrained report against Israel, with an opportunity for Israel to explain its side to the whole world, creating a basis for defense against the report’s conclusions and against the fact that Israel’s arguments were not given due consideration.

I tend to believe, in part due to the personality of the commission’s chairman, that had Israel participated, the results would have been somewhere between pessimistic and optimistic. Any serious background work would, in my opinion, have reached the conclusion that an optimistic outcome if Israel did not take part would be highly unlikely. However, the concern is unfounded that Israel’s very participation in the investigation would be construed as a kind of admission of guilt and result in harsher conclusions. Israel should therefore have participated, presenting its claims in the best possible way, with an eye toward the media and world leaders.

This is not a matter of 20/20 hindsight, but rather a conclusion that could have been arrived at ahead of time with a level-headed calculation. The question is, therefore, why Israel chose the worst alternative. There are three explanations for this failure:

1. A sense of contempt for United Nations bodies that clearly discriminate against Israel, and an emotion-based lack of desire to participate in an investigation that it is clear from the outset would draw conclusions that would be very bad for Israel.

2. The hope that if Israel did not take part in the probe, it would be easier to reduce the credibility of the probe’s conclusions.

3. A fear that numerous appearances by Israel before the commission investigating its actions would complicate things further for Israel.

These three explanations can be summed up in one basic failure: the lack of a “strategic mind.” Serious strategic thinking would have rejected out of hand following emotions on this issue (as opposed to, for example, the issue of kidnapped Israelis in enemy hands). Serious consideration would also have led to the conclusion that Israel’s lack of participation would increase the chance of harsher conclusions against Israel, because of the material presented, a lack of full counter-arguments as well as the psychological influences on the members of the investigative commissions.

Comprehensive strategic thinking would have also given great weight to the opportunity to explain Israel’s positions publicly by means of the commission’s deliberations, while placing most of the onus on Hamas – not defensively after the report was published, which is far less effective.

Unfortunately, the lack of strategic thinking in the decision not to participate in the investigation is not surprising. Those same senior decision-makers at the governmental level already evinced a lack of such thinking while managing the Second Lebanon War, and also in not giving proper weight to the matter of Israel’s image during Operation Cast Lead – all considerations that are the responsibility of the prime minister and not the defense establishment.

An essential step in learning a lesson is to stop justifying the decision not to participate in the investigation. Reasoning like “look at the conclusions – they justify the decision not to participate,” has a serious logical flaw. There is also a need to rethink the weight that should be given during security operations to the impact on Israel’s image.

However, most important is the development of a quality strategic mind in Israel’s governmental leadership. From a professional perspective, without reference to this or that political position, the little that is known about the workings of the “forum of six” – the new format of the National Security Council – and about the strengthening of the policy-planning division in the Foreign Ministry, give reason for hope. But much more is needed, especially at the highest government level, because Israel cannot allow itself to continue to operate without an excellent strategic mind.

“Prof. Yehezkel Dror is professor of political science (emeritus) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and founding president of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute. His experience as a strategic planner includes two years at the RAND Corporation, senior advisory positions in the offices of the Israeli prime minister and defense minister, and two years working on EU policy issues at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht.”
Best wishes,
Miri Weingarten
European Advocacy Officer
B’Tselem – HaMoked – Physicians for Human Rights-Israel
+44 7772209285
Print Friendly

Comments are closed.