Newsletter 08 Jan 2009
0 8 / J a n u a r y / 2 0 0 9
Israelis and Palestinians: two peoples, one future
This mailing contains
1 Information on the national demonstration on Saturday 10 January
1. National Demonstration
2nd National Day of Action on Gaza, Saturday 10th January
Assemble 12:30pm at Hyde Park Corner
Join JfJfP in the assembly area from 12.00 – we’re meeting with the Jewish Socialists’ Group and others under Marble Arch itself. Israelis will be marching together with slogans and placards in Hebrew.
Please make every effort to come to Saturday’s demo. We had a fantastic turnout at last weeks huge march: it’s important that this one is just as big, if not bigger.
2. Demonstration on Sunday morning 11th January at Trafalgar Square
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council have called a demonstration in support of Israel on Sunday morning at 11.00-12.00.
Independent Jewish Voices have put out a call, which we are supporting, for people to show that many Jews hold a different view. Please join us. A good turn out is essential.
Meet outside Pret-à-Manger, on the corner of William IV St and St Martin’s Place, just up from St Martins-in-the-Field at Trafalgar Square from 10.15am
3. VIGIL FOR GAZA: A ROUND THE CLOCK VIGIL EVERY DAY IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE, LONDON
Starting Thursday 8 January at 10.30am and continuing 24 hours a day.
4. Rally: Stop the Gaza Massacre
Thursday 8 January 7.40 pm
5. What else you can do
* Write to your MP, asking them to inquire of the FCO what active measures – rather than good but ineffectual calls for a ceasefire – they are using to pressurize the Israelis. And if they are a Labour MP, urge them to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and the about to be launched (on Tuesday 13 January), by Martin Linton MP, Labour Friends of Palestine.
* Ask them even if they are already sympathetic. They need concrete evidence of their constituent’s concerns.
* Write to your MEP, demanding they vote against the protocols accompanying the upgrading of the EU-Israel relationship. The European Parliament is due to vote on this next week, so this is urgent.
* Is your MP or MEP Lib-Dem? Nick Clegg has become the first major party leader to call for suspension of the trade association agreement – and now, for an arms embargo against Israel. But if this call is to have some teeth, he needs to ensure that Lib Dem MEPs vote against the upgrade – which many of them were reluctant to do at the end of last year.
* Consider holding a public meeting in your areas – contact us for speakers. This is a good opportunity to air the issues locally – but also to get people to engage in local activity such as writing letters to the local press and local representatives. This is an activity which can be built into the meetings themselves – contact us for more advice.
* Sign the Christian Aid petition
“As each day passes more innocent civilians are being killed in Gaza and Israel. Israel’s disproportionate military assault means Gaza’s children are being left a legacy of destruction, trauma and anger.
Without an immediate ceasefire and sustained international engagement to bring about peace, they are being left without hope too. Palestinians and Israelis need security and peace now.
As a matter of urgency the UK Government should:
• Convince our European partners to immediately suspend all talks regarding the upgrade of Israel’s relationship with the EU. Europe’s impartiality and commitment to human rights are compromised when it appears to condone Israel’s continuing abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law.
• Use its position on the United Nations Security Council to promote a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire by all parties and unfettered humanitarian access to Gaza.
Military action is no solution to this crisis. Only dialogue between all parties can achieve lasting peace and a viable solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
6 Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights has set up a new webpage of Questions and Answers on the Gaza Conflict.
It is extremely helpful in debates on the questions raised by the invasion.
7 See our webpage at for a selection of relevant articles
8 Israeli Human Rights Organizations Initiate Gaza Blog
In the course of the fighting in Gaza, Israeli human rights organization will provide updates regarding the impact of the attacks on the civilian population in Gaza. The updates include reports that reach human rights organizations as well as information gathered by human rights and humanitarian aid groups. This information is but a small part of what has transpired in the course of the fighting and does not provide a comprehensive picture, nor does not constitute a list of the most serious human rights violations.
Since many organizations’ fieldworkers cannot arrive at the scene of events to gather testimony as they would normally, a significant amount of this information has had to rely on telephone reports. The information is being confirmed to the extent possible under the current circumstances. The blog’s aim is to provide information that is not otherwise available to the general public through the media.
9 Here is more specific selection on the propaganda war
In this war, the question of framing the conflict has been all-important. The official line has been to attempt to restrict it, to view the starting point as the firing of Hamas rockets into Israel, making the response an entirely justifiable and defensive reaction. No Israeli deliberate destruction of the cease-fire in early November, making a retaliation virtually certain, nothing on the endless blockade of Gaza and the turning of the screws on this prison bordering on concentration camp. And absolutely not a word about the ongoing occupation of the West Bank, on the settlement expansion and the daily incursions and repression there as well…
Ethan Bronner, NY Times 7 Jan “Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza”
Shiko Behar Who Ended the 6 Month Cease-fire in Israel/Palestine? Hagada Hasmalit 1 Jan
Stephen Pollard Bowen, BBC and bias: a case of selective myopia Jewish Chronicle 30 Dec
Yosefa Loshitzky Israel’s blonde bombshells and real bombs in Gaza The Electronic Intifada, 5 Jan
Rajeev Syal, How the pro-Israel lobby in Britain benefits from a generous London tycoon Observer, 4 January 2009
Jerry Haber How the Western Media is Falling for Israeli Spin The Magnes Zionist blogspot, 29 Dec 08
The Israel Project Language Guide on Gaza: Israel’s Actions to Defend its Citizens against the Iran-backed War against Israel
‘Several core messages are essential to a winning communications strategy about IDF defensive actions in Gaza: e.g.
See the full briefing document