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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


In the week November 6th-12th, 2017 former Cabinet minister Priti Patel MP erupted into the news with a inexplicable break from her family holiday in order to visit a variety of Israeli high-ups of the political not financial sort. Or perhaps the family holiday was just the cover for her ministerial meetings. Her explanation made no sense – she went, she said to offer aid by her department (DfID) to the IDF, with special concern for those active on the Golan Heights. The reason she’s the first minister to do this is because the British government, like most, regards the Golan Heights as illegally occupied by the IDF who enjoy the advantage point the big hills provide.

The IDF of course has rehabilitation (physical and mental) as one of its basic functions. Patel is not a sufficiently senior minister, even if briefed by the FCO, to conduct negotiations with the IDF. There has been a flurry of speculation about what she was up to:
The minister who says the IDF needs her help

Patel is a very right-wing, very pro-Israel, very anti-Palestinian person. Mrs May must have known this (Patel is also an enthusiastic Brexiteer contempt for experts being part of that package). It remains mysterious. Anshel Pfeffer thinks he can explain it:
Revenge of the experts

Her companion on this political journey is Lord Stuart Polak, chief of the largest lobby group, Conservative Friends of Israel.

This mess, says Marcus Dysch, Jewish Chronicle, can only dismay the grouplets of Israel’s supporters in Britain, thus hurting Israel itself:
Israel damaged by Tory supporters

Many think Israel’s ruination has resulted from its embrace of Zionism. In a splendid talk – many of you may have heard a short version of it at the Left, Israel/Palestine and Antisemitism conference on June 28 – Brian Klug describes the pre-holocaust E. European embrace of Zionism as their only hope of emancipation. He acknowledges anti-Zionism can be a cover for antisemitism and deplores those on the left who sweep anti-Zionism into the anti-Imperialist basket. They forget – ignore – the Jews’ history of persecution:
Two faces of Zionism

Three well-known Jews wrote a letter to the Times saying anti-Zionism has no place in a civilised society. Two of them are historians (Schama and Sebag-Montefiore) yet they seem to share a shocking ignorance of a history in which Zionism has had many different meanings at different times:
Dear Profs you make Zionism critically untouchable

Last week also saw the 22nd anniversary of PM Rabin’s assassination (November 4th) by a young Mizrahi Jew, Yigal Amir. The anniversary drew large crowds who believe he was the last man of peace, the chances of which died with him: the killing had been preceded by a week of incitement, much of it led by Benjamin Netanyahu. What he might have done is unknowable. Two journalists, Amir Hass and Guy Ziv, have a go using different facts:
Rabin: complex man, complex legacy

Right-wing theologians found justification for killing a leader in halachic law which no doubt helped the hyper-religious Amir. Tamar Persico sees that Israelis today are governed by two, incompatible legal systems, one theological, the other political democratic. Israelis can’t serve two masters :
Judaic law undermines the rule of democracy

The efforts of PM Netanyahu to improve relations with Arab states are entirely to do with building an alliance against non-Arab Iran. He and his Republican chums will not forgive Obama for negotiating and accepting the P5+1 deal to control Iran’s use of its nukes.

With no country exercising hegemony in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) there appear no moves to improve inter-state rivalries and several of them use the rhetoric of war as the answer:
War is in the air

Settlers feel unnerved. They want the Israeli state to provide them with total security. They feel entitled. This is impossible because ‘security’, as Mazal Mualem points out, is a bottomless financial pit:
The demand for ‘security’ can never be met

Avid supporters, including of the settlements, are the many Jewish Federations in the USA, together making one of the richest charities in the US. They do do some good welfare work but always, whatever else they do, is raise money for poor little Israel:
Jewish Feds feed money to Israel and settlers

Following an investigation by Uri Blau of Haaretz, we learn what poor governance is exercised over them, how much money is sent to Israel (about 10% of their billions) how little the donors know about the use to which their money is put and how control rests with a few pro-Israel Jewish families. Peace Now has appealed to them not to damage Israel by funding settlements:
Jewish Federations- stop funding settlements!

Last Saturday, there was a grand march of thousands protesting against the Balfour Declaration; we may have heard the last of it for some time. But it has spawned so many meetings, events, protests that it may be the first many people have heard about it, or its consequences. And contra May, few are celebrating:
Balfour protest draws thousands

As usual, news and commentaries on Palestine come at the end even though they are currently engaged in a world-changing reconciliation. Many are amazed it has got so far; but the obstacle to further development is the Hamas determination to hang on to its military paraphernalia. What else distinguishes it from its rival Fatah?

Into this logjam jumps Hazem Atallah, Palestinian chief of police. He cannot, he says have two rival police forces in the same area. Hamas must disarm. We await developments:
Palestinian police chief says Hamas must disarm

Palestinians lack a resource which would help them discuss the options. Mahmoud Abbas has already got a new law under which he can arrest journalists. COGAT and the IDF rush into the field with gusto. Media offices are ransacked, precious equipment smashed or confiscated and journalists arbitrarily arrested by COGAT for ‘incitement’. The RSF’s press freedom index for 2017 ranks Israel at a low 91, even worse for Palestine at 135. All the Arab states do badly in this index. Do all these states depend on ignorance to keep the leaders and structures in power?:
Thuggish choke on Palestinian media freedom

In a collection of news snippets
NIBS.5 From Balfour to Banksy, visions of Palestine which is a film about Palestine and those who speak about it. It would be wonderful if such films would make Palestine an entity to be reckoned with.

When is the UK going to recognise Palestine as a state?

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