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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

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Posts

What the IDF uses all those $billions for


Apologies for this unhelpful image. It’s a blueprint of the new acoustic sensor, developed by Israeli company 3DSignals, Kfar Saba,  4464101, Israel and presumably what the Israeli PM is implying detected a tunnel which the IDF then destroyed.

Israel lied about how it discovered Gaza tunnel

By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam
October 31, 2017

Israel has trumpeted its discovery and destruction of a tunnel leading from Khan Younis into Israeli territory. It is part of a massive network that Gaza militants have built underneath Gaza to defend it in the event of Israeli invasion. In a few instances, the tunnel-builders have also excavated into Israel proper either for the purpose of capturing IDF soldiers or, in the event of war, of attacking IDF positions inside Israel.


And here’s another expensive bit of kit. This February 10, 2016,  photo shows IDF soldiers keeping watch as a machine drills holes in the ground on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip as they search for tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists planning to attack Israel. Photo by Menahem Kahana

Tunnel discovery and destruction, old style (2016), IDF spokesperson.

The overwhelming number of such tunnel projects are under Gaza proper and defensive in nature. Which makes the one just discovered highly unusual. In fact, Islamic Jihad was responsible for the project and its central Gaza commander was killed when Israel destroyed it. Israel also claims two Hamas militants were killed along with him. Palestinian sources say the Hamas members were killed trying to rescue the others who were trapped.

Israel also claims it discovered the tunnel through “advanced technology:”

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said thanks to groundbreaking technology this “active tunnel,” which was still being dug, was discovered…


Last year an unsophisticated earth-moving machine digging the trench into which Israel plans to sink a deep, high wall around Gaza, cost $ 2.2 billion, came upon a tunnel in the Eshkol region in Southern Israel along the border with Gaza Strip. Photo from Israel Army Spokesperson.

This implies it had developed some sort of sophisticated acoustic listening device to detect the project. Netanyahu himself explained the “success” with the same claim. But I’ve learned from a well-informed Israeli security source that this explanation is a deliberate lie meant to conceal the real method: the Shabak “turned” an inside Palestinian source; perhaps a member of the tunnelling crew, who ratted on his fellow workers. In the process, Israel was not only able to destroy the tunnel, but to kill the leader of the entire project and seven of his co-workers.


Destruction of tunnel by new technology near Khan Younis. Screenshot from Channel 2

When asked whether the informant had arranged for the senior commander to be present and Israel deliberately detonated the tunnel intending to kill him, the source would only say “the timing of the bombing wasn’t coincidental.”

The Palestinian turncoat who caused the death of his comrades has been spirited out of harm’s way (presumably extracted from Gaza and moved either to Israel or some other safe haven). This is why Israeli developed the false cover story…to throw Islamic Jihad off the tracks of its betrayer. But while Shabak wanted to protect its asset and spirit him to safety, it must be annoyed that it can’t take credit for this intelligence coup. As a result of this lie offered the public, the IDF comes out smelling like a rose for both detecting the tunnel and destroying it, while all Shabak gets is nothing but a lousy t-shirt.

Some readers may recall that Shabak performed a similar trick back in 2016, when it used the same HUMINT, a Palestinian double agent, to identify a tunnel which it destroyed. Then too Israel falsely claimed the project was discovered through magnificent ‘Start-up nation’ technology, when a spy was the cause.


The IDF’s old tunnel detector/destroyer. This one managed to find and destroy a cross-border attack tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Youtube screenshot/IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

This interdiction is a coup both for the IDF and Bibi Netanyahu, who has faced an incessant onslaught of bad news in the form of three separate corruption investigations, any one of which could end his prime ministership. Nothing helps burnish an Israeli pol’s reputation than murdering “terrorists” trying to kill Israelis. And nothing helps the IDF in its efforts to secure ever larger chunks of the Israeli budget than such an achievement. Undoubtedly, the pictures of the tunnel exploding will be played on Israeli TVs for days on end (unless the IDF prefers to keep this aspect of the operation secret as part of its “work product“).


Palestinians killed in Israeli tunnel blast. Photo by Mohammed Salem/ Reuters

Further, the Palestinian reconciliation talks between Hamas and the PA have unnerved Netanyahu and his U.S. ally. Both counted on continuing dysfunction on the part of Palestinian leaders which would permit Trump and Bibi to outmanoeuvre them and maintain the Occupation status quo. When Egypt brokered a seeming success in devising a formula for a new unity government, this set Bibi back on his heels. He resorted to trying to impose ridiculous conditions on the new unity agreement as if he was a direct party to it.

Now that Israel has discovered a Gaza “terror plot” it can trumpet this to show that Hamas cannot be a fit partner for any legitimate Palestinian government. It doesn’t matter that Islamic Jihad  was responsible for the tunnel, since Israel blames everything happening in Gaza on Hamas. The irony of this is that while Israel blames Hamas as the reigning power in Gaza for all hostile acts that emanate from the enclave, the former refuses to recognize Hamas as a legitimate Palestinian political entity for the purposes of negotiation. And you can’t have it both ways: if Hamas rules Gaza and is responsible for what happens there, then it’s also a worthy interlocutor as a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The long-term benefits to Bibi from this incident will be nil. Like almost everything he does, it offers exceedingly short-term gains with no long-term upside.

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On a related subject, Jared Kushner and his mini-me, Jason Greenblatt, secretly travelled to Saudi Arabia to plot with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on behalf of a so-called Palestinian peace plan. From the Saudi kingdom they travelled to Ramallah, where they midwived a meeting between Israel’s treasury minister, Moshe Kahlon, and the Palestinian prime minister. This confirms that what the U.S and Saudis are cooking up is not a political agreement that will empower Palestinians, but an economic deal that will offer a few breadcrumbs to the Palestinians in return for their reneging on anything that would offer real national sovereignty:

Greenblatt…reported “important progress” was made in the meeting and that there were “meaningful steps forward on key economic issues — revenues, customs, and investment — that help support the search for peace.”

For years, Bibi has been offering this snake oil to anyone pressuring him for real concessions to the Palestinians. He claims that Palestinians don’t really need or want political power. They want a better life…and Israel can give them that. It’s a cheap, tawdry way to avoid the real issues. And it condescends to the Palestinians, turning them into children who can be pacified with a lollipop, rather than a full meal.

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