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




A war crime whitewash

cifThe global choir of ethical cretins who condemn Goldstone’s Gaza report do Israel no favours
Michael Lerner of Tikkun writes in Comment is Free, 21 October 2009

I recently met a leading representative of the foreign ministry of Israel who acknowledged to me “off the record” that Israel had made a tremendous blunder in refusing to cooperate with the UN Commission led by Judge Richard Goldstone, which investigated the charges of Israeli and Palestinian war crimes in the invasion of Gaza last December and January. Judge Goldstone, an internationally respected jurist whose Zionist credentials include being a member of the governing board of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, wanted to hear Israel’s account of what happened, but Israel blocked that inquiry so Goldstone could only report what the victims of Israel’s attacks sought to convey.

Unfortunately, Israel’s predictable choir of ethical cretins around the world have joined in condemning Goldstone and the UN instead of urging Israel to investigate the charges by creating an impartial, objective and open process in which the victims can testify and the perpetrators can be brought to justice. Instead of seeing this as “Israel’s crimes”, Israel would easily be able to show that it is concerned about these violations, punish appropriately those who violated international standards of human rights, and show that it is regretful about what those particular people did. Far from undermining Israel, such a course, if done in a way that human rights advocates around the world could recognise as meeting acceptable standards of impartiality and sensitivity to human rights norms, would go a long way to validate the humanity of the Israeli people in the eyes of all but the worst haters of Jews.

Harold Evans’ screed here yesterday sounds exactly the wrong note in this regard. Instead of providing us with any reason to doubt the legitimacy of the claims made by the Goldstone report, he instead attacks the messengers and those who have taken the report seriously. Had he, for example, presented Goldstone’s account of Israeli shelling of a mosque on a Friday when it could have easily predicted that it would be filled with Muslims and that its attack would cause the death of some 60 civilians, Evans instead tries to shift the focus to the fact that the world is filled with many other (and worse) human rights offenders.

For those of us who have publicly challenged the evils of human rights abuses in China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Congo, Pakistan, India and many other countries, the strategy Evans uses is quite familiar. In an interview I conducted with Judge Goldstone earlier this month he recounted when, as the first chief prosecutor of the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Serbian minister of justice used the same argument to accuse the UN of being unfair, pointing to the many other countries that are human rights violators. I suppose Britain used this same argument to defend its colonial regimes, as did other colonial powers; and while the US was conducting a war in Vietnam that killed some three million Vietnamese it too tried to hide behind the same illegitimate defence that others had engaged in worse crimes.

I share with Evans and with Goldstone the upset about the specific way that the UN has used the report on Israel while ignoring its call for investigation of the war crimes committed by Hamas. Yet the report itself is an important ethical challenge not only to Israel but to western countries that have empowered Israel and remain insensitive to the suffering caused by Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza. It is Israel’s continuing refusal to have an impartial and open investigation that has allowed the hypocritical violators of human rights in other countries to unfairly gang up on Israel in the UN, ignoring what the report itself called Hamas’s war crimes in shelling Israeli towns in southern Israel.

The occupation of the West Bank and the stranglehold on Gaza by Israel, and the suffering that results for both Israel and the Palestinian people, remains the central issue. No matter how often cheerleaders for the occupation claim that Israel is “the only democracy with an independent judiciary” in the area (while human rights advocates argue that Israel cannot be considered a democracy as long as it rules over two million Palestinians in the West Bank to whom it refuses to give either voting rights or self-determination, and the “independent” Israeli judiciary continues to support military actions that systematically destroy Palestinian homes and refuse to scrutinise the way the military kidnaps and holds without charges thousands of Palestinian in deplorable conditions), the sins of Israel’s current treatment of Palestinians will haunt the state that claims to represent the Jewish people worldwide.

We in the Jewish community who want Israel to be strong and secure know that the path must be through justice and generosity toward the Palestinian people, and a renewal of the ancient vision of the Torah that commands us to “love the Other” – and that it is this, rather than military domination, that will in the long run secure Israel’s safety.

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.