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

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

JfJfP comments


2016:

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

2015:

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

2014:

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

2013:

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

_____________________

Posts

UK should stand for the law – not appease Israel

Letter from Arthur Goodman, 1); edicts from govt offices, 2 and 3.


And appeasement of the illegal occupier has won. Cabinet Officer Hancock was  warmly welcomed by PM Netanyahu at their first meeting last February (Screenshot)

Principled application of BDS is to be welcomed

Letter to Financial Times
February 19, 2016

Sir, The UK Cabinet Office is now allying itself with the Israeli government by trying to prevent local councils from taking ethical decisions to boycott products coming from Israeli settlements, or not to award contracts to companies that provide services to the settlements or to the Israeli occupation forces (“Cabinet embroiled in battle over Israeli goods boycott”, February 16). Those council decisions are part of the growing, worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which aims by peaceful means to apply pressure to Israel in order to persuade it to end the occupation of Palestinian land.

While some groups advocate boycotting all Israeli goods, our local councils quite properly accept the distinction between Israel itself, which is a legitimate state within the 1967 borders, and the Israeli settlements and Israeli economic activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), which are illegal in international law. That is also the policy of the churches and pension funds that have divested from companies that are active in the OPT.

Unfortunately, the Cabinet Office, in conflating all potential boycotts, does not appear to acknowledge this distinction. It is ignoring the published Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice, “Overseas Business Risk — the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, 14/7/2015, which pointedly says: “Settlements are illegal under international law . . . There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity.” Sixteen other EU member states have issued similar advice.

The Cabinet Office makes another error by trying to rely on the World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement, which requires all potential suppliers to be treated equally. The agreement applies to states, not to occupied territories, and therefore it does not rule out the BDS policies of our local councils. That would account for the fact that no case has ever been brought against a council in these matters.

Instead of trying to create its own foreign policy in opposition to the FCO, the Cabinet Office should welcome local authorities’ principled application of BDS.

Arthur Goodman

Parliamentary and Diplomatic Liaison Officer,
Jews for Justice for Palestinians,
London, UK


 


Leaving young Matt properly deferential at their meeting in Israel this week. Screenshot Youtube.

Putting a stop to public procurement boycotts

From:Cabinet Office, The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP and Crown Commercial Service First published:17 February 2016

Part of:Exports and inward investment and Government buying

The government has published new guidance that aims to stop inappropriate procurement boycotts by public authorities.

Guidance published today makes clear that procurement boycotts by public authorities are inappropriate, outside where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.

Town hall boycotts undermine good community relations, poisoning and polarising debate, weakening integration and fuelling anti-Semitism.

Locally imposed boycotts can roll back integration as well as hinder Britain’s export trade and harm international relationship.

All contracting authorities will be impacted by this new guidance including central government, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies, the wider public sector, local authorities and NHS bodies. Any public body found to be in breach of the regulations could be subject to severe penalties.

The World Trade Organisation Government Procurement Agreement – an international market access agreement – requires all those countries that have signed up to the Agreement to treat suppliers equally. This includes the EU and Israel. Any discrimination against Israeli suppliers involving procurements would therefore be in breach of the Agreement.

The guidance published today complements existing government guidance about trading or investing overseas (including with Israel), where we advise UK businesses to consider any potential legal and economic risks of doing so. It is also in line with the government’s existing policy of support for clear and transparent labelling of settlement products to ensure that individual consumers are able to make informed choices before they buy.

Cabinet Office Minister, Matthew Hancock said:

We need to challenge and prevent these divisive town hall boycotts. The new guidance on procurement combined with changes we are making to how pension pots can be invested will help prevent damaging and counter-productive local foreign policies undermining our national security.

We support UK local authorities, businesses and individual consumers alike in making informed choices about how they procure services and products from overseas.


Public Procurement Note

Information Note., 01/16
Crown Commercial Service
February 17,2016

EXTRACT

7. Public procurement should never be used as a tool to boycott tenders from suppliers based in other countries, except where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the UK Government.

There are wider national and international consequences from imposing such local level boycotts.
They can damage integration and community cohesion within the United Kingdom, hinder Britain’s export trade, and harm foreign relations to the detriment of Britain’s economic and international security.
As highlighted earlier, it can also be unlawful and lead to severe penalties against the contracting authority and the Government.

Print Friendly

1 comment to UK should stand for the law – not appease Israel