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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



Turning off the lights


A breath of fresh air accompanied the panic that gripped the Israeli establishment with the publication of the Goldstone report. The humane Israeli macho man with his wavy hair no longer appears on the cover of Life Magazine, but rather in the lists of the human rights organizations’ suspects, and in the future also perhaps in the international tribunal in The Hague. After years of total disdain for the international community, of violating laws and treaties while Israeli legal experts turn into a kind of public defense counsel for our generals, there are finally members of the military elite who can no longer travel to Switzerland to ski, or to the opera in Covent Garden, or to a high-tech exhibition in Spain, without first consulting their lawyers. And that’s a good thing.

David Ben-Gurion’s boastful slogan, “It’s not important what the Gentiles say, it’s important what the Jews do,” has always been part of the State of Israel. It not only gave permission to the defense establishment, including the Mossad, the army, and the nuclear research facility, but also supplied the public with the nationalist fervor that helped it unite around the idea, “the whole world is against us.”

Another of Ben-Gurion’s stupidities, “a light unto the nations,” from the days of the raids on Qibya in 1953 and the Gaza Strip, became over the years an extinguishing of the lights so no one would see and no one would know. In short, Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, who provided legal advice to the Israel Defense Forces in the Gaza offensive, was invited to teach law at Tel Aviv University while the real work of “a light unto the nations” was done by the Jewish judge Richard Goldstone. (To our legal experts who are now calling for “a commission of inquiry,” where were you during the war?).

However, Ben Gurion’s slogan was also false. Israel has always been dependent on what the world “says,” even now, with all its military might. Israel was born from a dramatic decision by the United Nations General Assembly but permitted itself to spit into that well only when many dozens of countries that had won their freedom joined the organization. That was when they were dismissed as being “unenlightened” and “underdeveloped.” The world according to Israel was reduced to the former colonialist West, and it too was rejected by Israel with derision every time the occupation did not provide a good photo-op. With what excuse? Hypocrisy, of course, or anti-Semitism over the generations.

Over time, the West was reduced to the United States, which was reduced to the Israel lobby (which is very unpopular there), the military industries, the intelligence services and the Pentagon. In short, the world was reduced to what the military elite identified as its world. The “special ties” were seen as an achievement because, after all, Israel had made great efforts since its establishment to convince the United States that it was a strategic asset. Our democracy was sold merely as a wrapping for the main thing – we will do our work, which will also be your work.

If once upon a time Israel’s wars were planned according to the number of battle days left until the Security Council reached a decision, since 1967, the American veto has freed us even from this obstruction. The defense establishment learned that world public opinion can be based on pictures of atrocities, so the strategic concept of negative news ratings was developed. Gaza was closed to photographers and the war was planned for the saccharine season on Western television between Christmas and New Year’s.
To put it briefly, the bluff about “it’s not important what the world says” is once again blowing up in our faces. There is a world. Not all of it sells arms. Not all of it is hypocritical. Not all of it is anti-Semitic. There are good Jews who do not carry out each of the IDF’s orders. The time has come for us to equip ourselves with a few new examiners of reality.

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