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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



This week’s


This week, the dominant subject was the Balfour Declaration obviously. The centenary of this ominous statement was on November 2nd, Balfour Day 2017. It seems unlikely that the 1917 Liberal government anticipated what effect that government’s ‘favourable smile’ would have, or how, in 100 years’ time it would be universally deplored. Excepting by the conservative governments of Israel and the UK:
Balfour Day can’t be celebrated with honour

It can be commemorated with regret, humility, anger. Robert A.H. Cohen, who has been reminding us of this centenary for the last year, finds more creative ways to acknowledge the date. He has been spreading the knowledge at meetings all over the country and also reports on the ‘justice pilgrims’ – the people who made the Just Walk to Jerusalem organised by the Amos Trust:
Balfour remains present and un-corrected

He also provides a model and reparative statement on Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews which Britain’s 2017 foreign secretary could make. It leads our NIBs this week:
The Boris Declaration

There were anti-Balfour protests in all Palestinian cities, all well publicised. They took many different forms recorded by local photographers:
Balfour’s legacy, in pictures

The verdicts on the legacy of the Balfour Declaration are various.

The National, produced by Abu Dhabi Media, the government-owned media company, had the widest range of articles including Contrary to popular belief, the Balfour Declaration did not sanction the existence of Israel, by Hussein Ibish who points out that the British government did not promise, and could not have promised, to create a national state for Jews either within, or replacing, Ottoman Palestine:
The Balfour legacy – in words

Zouheir Bahloul, a Palestinian MK in the Israeli Labour party decided, quite reasonably, that he would not take part in the Knesset celebration of Balfour. For this he was publicly reprimanded by Labour’s new leader, Avi Gabbay. Mazal Mualem tells the tale in Al Monitor seeing it as evidence of Gabbay’s party being unashamedly anti-Arab. Perhaps those Labour MPs who got so aerated about [imaginary] anti-Jewish views on the Labour left will also decide that they cannot have a relationship with an openly anti-Arab, racist, sister party. The Haaretz editorial condemns the Labour leader in the harshest terms:
Labour leader snubs anti-Balfour Arab party member over Balfour

Many of those who are highly critical of Israel may be unaware of the status and image of Jews who lived in E. European ghettoes – the majority. In the retranslated, republished The Wandering Jew Has Arrived, author Albert Londres travels through those eastern lands noting the poverty, dilapidated housing and insecurity of small Jewish towns (shtetls). They find their ‘home’ and security, writes Deborah Maccoby in her review, in their holy writings. Even in 1929, a young Zionist immigrant to Palestine thinks their passivity and extreme religiosity will leave them helpless. “By dint of waiting for [the Messiah] they will all end up slaughtered!”
Laying the Wandering Jew to rest

Russian pogroms were remembered by the immigrant father of British historian Simon Schama. Although Albert Londres (above) thought western Jews were all safe and settled in 1929, the UK Aliens Acts of 1905 and 1914 reminded Jews in London’s East End they, if poor, had to stick together for safety – and to be able to move quickly.  This is a short extract from his essay in the FT:
When rich Jews belonged and poor Jews were aliens

Israel would not have developed so quickly as a military, hi-tech political economy had it not been for the huge subventions from the US. PM Netanyahu can surf on this knowledge implying that the IDF can see off every threat – such as Hamas tunnels – with this super technology. In fact, the investigating Richard Silverstein says the Israeli PM was not telling the truth when he claimed ‘new technology’ viz acoustic sensors, had ‘discovered’ a tunnel from Gaza. The information came from a human informant. Many other discoveries are made by ‘old’ methods – but the PM has to demonstrate the good use to which he is putting that American dosh:
What the IDF uses all those $billions for

American military money provides a clue as to why, despite uniform support for ‘the 2-state’ solution, that solution seems increasingly out of reach. Thus we have
The world’s longest, harshest occupation

so judged by S. Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur for the OPT, who asks why the world tolerates this ‘anomaly’.

Now he’s been separated from the big guns, former defence minister Moshe Ya’alon has not spared the PM his scathing critique of the state of Israel’s democracy. In fact he sees Bibi, with his evasion of the rule of law, as the biggest threat to democracy especially as Netanyahu has surrounded himself with ministers who know one thing – that they agree with him:
This government can’t be serious

The right wing’s form of political correctness – far more powerful than the left’s because they even write laws outlawing it – is to identify and punish any act which might be deemed antisemitic. Who dares argue?  Raphael Magarik does, in the Forward. Civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz, Progressive Except on Palestine, charged that a cartoon of him in which, in the background, an Israeli soldier has shot a Palestinian dead, (it has been known) is antisemitic. There is blood on the ground. It is the ‘blood libel’. The cartoon is quickly withdrawn. Should a civil rights lawyer advise the prosecution of those who make a
Fake claim of antisemitism

Plus, the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation is still moving forward:
First small, symbolic, step to unity

and Pres. Trump has, for his own reasons, opposed the plan to redraw the boundary of Jerusalem so settlements can be brought inside and give the city a permanent majority of Jews:
The Great Jerusalem Gerrymander

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