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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


The dominant story this week, November 20th-26th, 2017 could only have emerged out of Israel with its mix of cruelty to Palestinians, angry right-wingers striving for hegemony, a judiciary ditto, religiosity, compulsory military service, a lively opposition made up of NGOs, free speech and the rule of civil law for some citizens (the Jewish 80%) but not the Palestinian Israeli fifth (and certainly not the c. four million non-citizens under martial law in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza).

A young Israeli man, Dean Issacharoff, told a rally last April that he had beaten up a Palestinian man when doing his military service. Justice minister Ayelet Shaked ordered the AG, Avichai Mandelblit, to investigate. His office concluded that nothing had happened. It is back leading the news because Issacharoff released a video repeating his claim. He is currently the director of the NGO most hated by the Israeli government and right wing, Breaking the Silence:
Drive to break Breaking the Silence

A satirical take on it by B. Michael is more fun:
Shaked is stirred to charge soldier truth-teller

Disputes about history are at the core of Israeli politico-cultural life. Think of the ‘new historians’. Three British Jews, two of them historians, wrote to The Times saying they were ‘troubled’ about Labour and its ‘demonisation’ of Zionism which they see as a cloak for antisemitism. Free Speech on Israel reposted a blog by Phil Edwards rebutting the three’s argument:
Muddling history

Israel’s violent history – mostly directed at the Palestinians, who hit back – has been catastrophic for the mental and emotional health of Palestinians in Gaza in particular. In a very disturbing interview psychologist Mohammed Mansour describes the acceleration of breakdowns in the Strip both of individuals and of familial law and order:
The mental hell of Gaza

The conflict has also caused many thousands of deaths, mostly – but not exclusively – of Palestinians. Many of these have been children, especially in Gaza. Last Monday, November 20th, UN Children’s Day, JfJfP held a public ceremony in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the short lives of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian children killed in the conflict. The video can be seen here:
Yahrzeit in Trafalgar Square

Amongst non-Zionists, the raison d’etre of Israel was to be a safe haven for refugees from European antisemitism, a particularly lethal form of racism. But in the churn of history Jews as a whole are now safe and the Jewish state is in a position to provide refuge for some of today’s wretched of the earth. Israel refuses to do that. The small number of Eritreans fleeing the military dictatorship who reach Israel are swiftly despatched, first to the Hulot detention centre, now to Libya and Rwanda neither of which enjoys a reputation as a safe haven:
Israel expels African refugees to death and torture

Although Israeli military forces and people have been withdrawn from Gaza, Israeli control over the borders – and occasional bombing sorties – means that Gaza as well as the West Bank are effectively controlled by Israeli martial law. Ironically, the 50th anniversary of the UNSC Resolution 242 – that Israel must withdraw from all territories acquired by war. Al Jazeera marks the occasion with valuable facts and figures:
Fifty years of military rule

With such a history it is not surprising that so few Arab-Israelis identity as Israelis. Surprisingly Israel Hayom – the free newspaper with highest circulation in Israel – commissioned surveys into many aspects of Palestinian life – finding in every case that on every measure Arabs are worse off than Jews. Not surprisingly only
Three percent of Arab-Israelis define themselves as Israeli

Relations between Israel and the US are still fretful and antagonistic. Tzipi Hotovely, acting foreign minister (the title is one of the four ministries Netanyahu claims for himself) was due to speak at Princeton. A group called Alliance of Jewish Progressives cancelled it accusing Hotovely of “stating her opposition to a Palestinian state”. She hit back at US Jews who enjoy comfortable lives and have no  idea of what Israeli Jewish life is like, viz. very violent:
Foreign minister berates comfortable US Jews

She might have added that they no longer have to deal with antisemitism. To claim it’s coming from the alt-right is wrong writes Peter Beinart. Look at the evidence and you will find that the alt-right is committedly anti-Muslim like a lot of Americans but with less embarrassment:
Fit in: Don’t hate Jews. Hate Muslims

This is of course Pres. Trump’s view which is also distancing the US diplomatically from Europe. He wants what Israel wants – the severance of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by the P5+1 team.  The leaders of Europe’s three most populous countries (excluding Russia) – Macron, Merkel and May – have jointly reasserted their commitment to the nuclear deal, expressing concern over Trump’s new (Israeli) Iran strategy:
May, Macron, Merkel stick with Iran nukes deal

A major player in Palestinian life which we rarely hear of is the Greek Orthodox Church the predominant denomination to which Palestinian Christians belong. The church has had very large landholdings in Jerusalem. There is scandal that it is selling off much of this land very cheaply mainly to Ateret Cohanim – Jerusalem for Jews only. Sue Surkes, Al Monitor, provides a simple answer – the church is in fact deeply in debt and can’t pay its land taxes:
Orthodox Church sells its land cheap to settlers

The US and Israel exercise a pincer movement over the PLO and Palestinian National Authority. If Palestinians fight for their own state and/or liberation, the IDF will kill them. If they use diplomacy the USA will block them. As punishment for daring to go to the ICC (International Criminal Court) American State Dept has closed the PLO’s office in Washington DC.
US punishes PNA for taking Israel to court

Plus, Richard Silverstein was quite right when he deduced that it was an informer rather than a costly hi-tech acoustic machine who revealed where a tunnel was:
Shabak agent revealed Gaza tunnel to IDF

And, in brief, events to come and short news items in
NIBS.7: Combatting Antisemitism versus Free Speech


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