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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



FFIPP-UK Newsletter 7th February 2007

This newsletter contains:

1. Reports on the FFIPP-initiated conference held in Ramallah in January
a) FFIPP report below
b) Uri Avnery’s report of the Conference Manara Square, Ramallah

2. “The bigger threat?: Is the fear of ‘extremism’ now posing a bigger threat to colleges and universities than extremism itself?”
Brenda Kirsch , co-editor of the University and College Union magazine, looks at the controversy.

3. US attacks on critics of Israel are on the rise and academics and intellectuals are increasingly targeted:
a) Muzzlewatch, a new blog “that tracks efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy”
b) Shulamit Reinharz, “Fighting Jewish anti-Semitism”, Jewish Advocate, January 14 2007
c) Alvin H. Rosenfeld “Progressive” Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism”, American Jewish Committee
d) Patricia Cohen, “Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor” New York Times, January 31, 2007

4. University and College Union (UCU) – Conference resolutions

5. Other articles of interest

a) Gideon Levy, “Twilight zone/I’ve lost my heart” – on the death of 11-year old Abir Aramin, hot while leaving school on the West Bank
b) Discussion on Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine: Peace or Apartheid?

* The March Newsletter will carry materials on:
a) The All-Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, UCU’s response etc
b) Update on the Palestinian grassroots’ call for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions


1. Reports on the FFIPP-initiated conference held in Ramallah in January

a) The “Ramallah Initiative”

The slogan was: “A New Hope”. A new spirit is necessary in order to overcome despair and pessimism. In order to rekindle hope, close Israeli-Palestinian cooperation is needed, as well as steadfastness and courage.
Timing and location of the conference underlined more than anything else: a day before, the Israeli army had invaded the center of Ramallah, killed four bystanders and caused an explosion of anger among the Palestinian population. However, in spite of the hesitation, it was decided to continue and hold the meeting precisely at this place and time, even if some of the invited persons would fail to come.
Less than 24 hours later, dozens of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists came to the same place in order to create a new joint framework for the struggle against the occupation.
At the opening session, representatives of 23 Palestinian, 22 Israeli and 15 international organizations were present. After hearing very depressing reports about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the ongoing annexation and settlement activities, the discussion on the character and direction of the joint action began. The deliberations, which also split into workshops, continued for three days. Most of the participants remained in Ramallah during all the time.
The consensus was that each member organization should continue to carry out their specialized activities, and that the planned joint coalition should concentrate on actions that needed a unified effort of all the forces, and especially full Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, with the participation of the international organizations.
In the course of the discussion, a lively debate over the course of central effort developed. While Jeff Halper of the Committee Against Home Demolitions and several others argued that the central effort should be aimed at organizing international protest, members of Gush Shalom and other groups insisted that the main fight should be for public opinion in Israel. They proposed to concentrate on action in the occupied territories and Israel in order to convince the Israeli public that the occupation, which destroys the life of the Palestinians, is causing huge harm to Israel, and that the achievement of peace is the foremost interest of both peoples.
The discussion was very practical and focused on specific actions which can be carried out by the proposed coalition – against roadblocks, against the wall, for the release of prisoners, for marking the Green Line, and more.
At the end of the three days it was agreed to:
1) Set up a coalition named “Israeli-Palestinian-International Coalition for Ending the Occupation” or in short “A Coalition for Ending the Occupation” (CEO)
2) Organize a car convoy in which Palestinians ride in Israeli cars as a demonstration against the law stating that Israelis cannot take Palestinians in their cars.
* This convoy will take place on January 19. For those of you interested in helping to organize it, please contact Yonaton Pollack at 054- 6327736 if you and/or your organization are interested in helping to organize this event.
3) Issue the following statement which did appear in Ha’aretz newspaper:
On Thursday, January 4, 2007, the occupation forces invaded the center of Ramallah in order to kill or capture a “wanted” person. Instead, four bystanders were killed.
The next day, January 5, the representatives of 60 Israeli, Palestinian and international peace organizations (23 Palestinian, 22 Israeli and 15 international) came together in Ramallah for three days of deliberations, in order to protest against the bloodshed, demand the end of the occupation and work together for peace between the two peoples.

These are the other suggestions that were raised at the conference:

1) A campaign that would start on June 2007 and continue until May 2008 against the Apartheid. The campaign would be called From 60 (years since the Nakba) to 40 (years of occupation). This suggestion is detailed in a paper written and handed out by Jeff Halper. It includes a protest against house demolition and the apartheid wall.
2) A call for boycotting Israeli products and/or products from the occupied territories and/or cultural boycott and/or academic or sports boycotts.
3) Joining Dorothy Naor’s and Anita Abdullah’s campaign against the prevention of right of entrance for those Palestinians holding dual citizenship or foreign citizenship.
4) An on going “Peace Camp” by the checkpoints. One of the ideas was to invite families to join to prove that this is a peaceful action. This also includes a peace camp at the Gaza check point.
5) A Peace Convoy from one checkpoint to another.
6) A demonstration of children in Nablus dressed as American Indians carrying signs saying: “We are not like the American Indians!” And from the other side a supporting demonstration if Israelis.
This will take place on Sunday 14 th of January 12 pm :
School children from Nablus dressed up like Native Americans will gather in a peaceful demonstration at the Huwarra checkpoint. On the other side of the checkpoint, Israeli peace activists will be gathered to support their demonstration. For more information email Mohammad Hazeem.
7) Support the Prisoners Initiative.
8) Radio reports about from listeners about real time problems concerning the apartheid and checkpoints.
9) A march around the apartheid wall or one on each side of it.
10) Repaint the green line.
11) Presentations and discussions before relevant audiences about the possibilities of living together.
12) Lecture trips abroad about what is really happening here to change people’s opinion. FFIPP offered to organize this.
13) Organize transportation for Palestinians to help them get from place to place.
14) A small daily bulletin which would deal with what is going on in the occupied territories

More attention should be paid to these other suggestions. It is a worth while idea to discuss them in future meetings to find more ways to cooperate and strengthen this new coalition and direct public attention to the need to stop the occupation.

Those who are interested in giving more time, thought and energy to this coalition are invited to send email to Hanna Knaz. –

b) Uri Avnery’s report of the Conference Manara Square, Ramallah

2. Brenda Kirsch, “The bigger threat?: Is the fear of ‘extremism’ now posing a bigger threat to colleges and universities than extremism itself?

A slightly edited version of this article appeared in the January 2007 issue of UC, the magazine of the UCU, pp.40-41. At a glance, the changes do not appear to be substantive but if you wish to cite the article you should check against the published version.
[Brenda Kirsch is a co-editor of the magazine.]

A leak, in October, of draft government guidance for universities and college on dealing with the extremist threat rang alarm bells for many academics. The document suggested that universities and colleges were becoming ‘fertile recruiting grounds’ for Islamist extremists, and called on staff to monitor ‘Asian-looking’ and Muslim students and report any concerns to the Special Branch.

Such was the furore – UCU joint general secretary Paul Mackney described the idea as ‘anti-Muslim McCarthyism, and there was widespread concern about the implications for academic freedom – that the government had to modify its draft, but its revised guidance received a critical response. Universities, unions and students organisations issued a joint statement in November criticising the guidance and calling for an approach that valued academic freedom while improving campus relationships and ensuring the security of all students, workers and visitors.

The joint statement, agreed between UCU, NUS, Unison, FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) and ECU (Equality Challenge Unit, the body funded by the HE funding bodies and universities), warned that universities and colleges must remain centres of enquiry, discussion and debate.

Indeed, there is some irritation in the sector about the need to reiterate these points, as Universities UK (UUK), ECU and GuildHE issued comprehensive guidelines on Promoting good campus relations in 2005, in the wake of 7/7. The guidelines cover not only religious and racial intolerance but also homophobia, animal rights extremism and wider aspects of intolerance.

‘This was a very practical document, with clear recommendations on pre-empting activity that could harm the campus community,’ explains Saheema Rawat, ECU policy adviser – race, religion and belief. This guidance had input from a range of organisations, including JNCHES, the HE joint negotiating body. ECU is now producing a supplement to this guidance, outlining activities by HE institutions to promote good campus relations, which will be circulated shortly.

On the new DfES guidance, Saheema says: ‘We would advise any HEIs who are proposing to implement this non-statutory guidance to conduct a race equality impact assessment first to see if its implementation would lead to any negative effect on staff or students in terms of race relations.’

RESPONSE IN FE The DfES makes much of its guidance, but it applies only to higher education. Maggie Scott, director of learning and quality at the Association of Colleges, says the AoC did not put its name to it as ‘we were unhappy with its stress on “Islamic extremism”.’ The AoC is just about to publish its own guidance on ‘managing conflicting rights’.

‘We have carefully avoided labelling any particular group. We talk about “extremism” and violence generally. We felt it would be inflammatory (and unlawful) to talk about “Islamic extremism”,’ she says.

‘Ours is a much more user-friendly, case study approach looking at commonly asked questions where there may be conflicting rights.’

TERRORISM ACT WARNINGS The latest developments follow the enactment of the Terrorism Act 2006. AUT and NATFHE warned, during its passage, that the legislation would restrict academic freedom and affect teaching and research.

An alliance of the unions, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, subject associations and others won some modifications to the legislation, explains UCU national cross-sectoral head Paul Cottrell, but the Act’s reference to conveying information that intends to encourage terrorism or is reckless could be problematic, he says. ‘A lecturer’s handout that raised questions on whether the Mau Mau were justified, for example, could potentially lead to a seven-year jail term under the Act.’ The Act also applies to instruction in skills that could be used for terrorist purposes: ‘that could affect work in science and engineering labs.’

THE DFES GUIDANCE focuses on ‘violent extremism in the name of Islam’, but to what extent is this an issue for universities and colleges? ‘The more visible Muslim students’ presence on campus is relatively new,’ says Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of Birmingham, who sits on UCU’s transitional arrangements committee. ‘It’s making some people “panic” in an old-fashioned, racist way.’

UCU’s ‘immediate and unequivocal response’ to the DfES guidance was important, says Gargi: ‘It helps to set a standard. Now we need to think of ways of engaging our membership a bit more – the tenor of the guidance affects us all.’

Government ministers Tony McNulty and Phil Willis came in for a rough ride on the guidance when they spoke at a meeting in December on the High Wycombe campus of Buckinghamshire and Chilterns University College, reports Shafique Chauhdry, director of equal opportunities and community development at the college and a member of UCU’s Muslim members’ network. ‘People on the ground don’t feel that the guidance has been helpful.’
The current debate has ‘not had a very good reception’ at his university college, where 40% of the student body are non-white, the majority being Asian and Muslim. ‘We are very concerned about the way the guidance puts expectations on us to isolate students by religion and ethnicity, targeting part of the student body.’
The community feels under threat and demonised, he says. ‘That’s alienating people quietly – having the opposite effect of pushing people into radicalisation. We need to promote a climate of trust and mutual tolerance.’
Muslim students need to have the same experiences as other students, says Shafique, and that also raises issues of the curriculum and assessment. ‘The composition of the staffing body also affects students and the quality of their relationships.’
The Muslim network initiative set up by NATFHE after 7/7 was ‘much appreciated’, says Shafique. The network is still embryonic, but UCU plans future meetings in 2007.
Faisal Haijira, head of student affairs at FOSIS, reports his members’ ‘wariness’ when the ‘police spies on campus’ stories were leaked; now they are ‘confused about what the guidance could add to the debate. The UUK guidelines were more helpful and recognised all forms of extremism on campus, such as the animal liberation extremists.’ He says that Muslim students already feel targeted and the DfES intervention ‘is not helping.’

UCU member Reshad Suffee, a lecturer at Bradford College, says that his Muslim students ‘now have to think twice before talking about issues prevailing in the Islamic world.’
Reshad also reacts as a postgraduate student himself. ‘The course I study requires me to be open and forthright on personal and political issues. If they had told me that my views were being monitored, I would not be able to continue with my counselling masters. Free speech is essential: metaphor and expression of anger are considered cathartic on such a course, the eliciting of honest and genuine feelings is vital for personal development.’
CAMPUS-WIDE The DfES guidance also goes beyond the classroom to cover discussion on the campus in general. David Packham, a materials scientist from Bath University and a long-time commentator on academic freedom, says the document is good on the central importance of free speech and open debate in universities, but fears that its application to outside speakers, advertising of meetings and use of rooms ‘in the hands of cautious officials, keen to err on the safe side, could easily act to dampen open discussion and vigorous debate.’
He points out that student debate on such issues as the Arab-Israeli tension, the Iraq war ‘and even the influence of commercial enterprises on university teaching and research’ has already been stifled by such attitudes. ‘Making oblique, but unspecific, reference to the 1994 Education Act and the students’ union’s charitable status, Bath students have been told they may not even use union photocopying facilities for “political” activities. Misreading by overcautious officials has clamped down on such educative activities. Rammell’s guidelines could easily have a similar effect nationally.’
NUS black students’ officer Ruqayyah Collector admits that some students’ unions are already keeping a watch on some member societies, and that NUS is encouraging students’ unions to have positive dialogues with their societies to avoid some of the problems inherent in the DfES guidance. ‘It’s not productive to hold certain communities under scrutiny,’ she says. ‘Open dialogue between societies is the best way of tackling problems.’
Meanwhile, for most Muslim students, there are more pressing day-to-day issues. Unbelievably, not all universities provide halal food and prayer facilities for their Muslim students and staff. Prayer rooms are also important as a welfare network, says Ruqayyah. ‘They are a chance for Muslim students to get together, as they can be so isolated, especially where there are few non-alcoholic student spaces.’
Muslim members’ network – if you would like to join, please contact Chris Nicholas on:
Guidance for higher education providers to help tackle violent extremism in the name of Islam on campuses – or phone 0207 925 5373/0207 925 5361

Promoting good campus relations: dealing with hate crimes and intolerance – or phone 020 7438 1010
Managing conflicting rights, Association of Colleges – Stephen Whitehead, 020 7827 4611

3. US attacks on critics of Israel are on the rise and academics and intellectuals are increasingly targeted:

a) A warm welcome for the new Muzzlewatch site, run by Jewish Voice for Peace, “a blog that tracks efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy”

Here you will find links to stories like:
* Israel’s Ynet reports that an internal Israeli Foreign Ministry document sent to Israel’s representatives across the US urges putting a stop to the embarrassing refusenik (conscientious objector) tours sponsored by US Jewish peace groups like Brit Tzedek.
On this see also Israeli Foreign Ministry smears Combatants for Peace US tour as bankrolled by Palestinians!
* “In May 2005, Jewish Voice for Peace held a sold-out fundraiser at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, the crown jewel of the Jewish community here in the city. Turns out that in February, shortly after it became public that we’d be holding our shindig there, but before the event was actually held, they rewrote their rental agreement to keep us out.” [ and scroll down]
* “Joel Beinin is a tenured Middle East history professor who is on leave from Stanford while he serves as the head of Middle East Studies at the American University in Cairo. Just today Beinin, who used to be the president of the Middle East Studies Association and is an outspoken critic of Israeli policies, was unceremoniously dumped as a speaker at an event tomorrow at San Jose’s elite Harker School, apparently due to pressure from a group of parents and an outside advocacy organization.” [ and scroll down]

b) Fighting Jewish anti-Semitism by Shulamit Reinharz, Jewish Advocate, January 14 2007

Shulamit Reinharz is the Jacob Potofsky Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University, where she founded the Women’s Studies Research Center and The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute ( [She is also married to the President of Brandeis, Jehuda Reinharz. – RK]

Anti-Semitism is an extremely old phenomenon that began, probably, about 50 years after the execution of Jesus by the Romans. Scholars have classified types of anti-Semitism, including racial, religious, economic and political, among others. But there is another form that flourishes today – Jewish anti-Semitism. It seems like a contradiction in terms, but it is not. In fact, Jewish anti-Semitism is particularly troublesome because it seems to corroborate the views of anti-Semitic non-Jews.

This month, the American Jewish Committee, founded 100 years ago and devoted, among other things, to combating anti-Semitism, published “‘Progressive’ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism,” an essay by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, professor of English and Jewish Studies and director of the Institute for Jewish Culture and the Arts at Indiana University.

Rosenfeld writes that Jewish anti-Semitism includes both disdain for fellow Jews and hatred for Israel. Contemporary communications vehicles make it particularly easy for anti-Semitic Jews to disseminate their ideas. They publish books. They use the web. They go on speaking tours. They seem to be respectable. Most would say that they are simply anti-Zionists, not anti-Semites. But I disagree, because in a world where there is only one Jewish state, to oppose it vehemently is to endanger Jews.

These are not stupid people. But which part of their smarts do you accept? In other words, if you accept Noam Chomsky’s linguistic theories, do you have to accept his Middle East theories? If you like Tony Kushner’s plays, do you have to like his book on Zionism? If you admire Adrienne Rich’s poetry, do you have to accept her view that “Zionism needs to dissolve”? Unfortunately, the kudos people such as these receive for their work gives their political views undeserved credibility.

This summer in Europe, I came face-to-face with Jewish anti-Zionism when a Jewish radio journalist for a Berlin-based broadcast interviewed me. After the interview turned into a conversation, I asked her about her own views as a European Jew. She told me that she had officially renounced her “Right to Return” in a public ceremony (The Law of Return, established in 1950, gives every Jew the right to immigrate to the Israel) in order to challenge the country’s Zionist ideology. I later learned that other so-called “progressive” Jews make this announcement for a son at the brit milah ceremony.

Jewish anti-Semitism/Zionism has major mouthpieces in England (Jacqueline Rose), Canada (Michael Neumann), the United States. (Tony Judt, Alisa Solomon, Seth Farber, Joel Kovel, and Sara Roy), and Israel (Yuval Yonay and Ilan Pappe), countries that protect freedom of expression.

Strangely, Pappe claims that “Israel silences those who attack the Zionist mythic narrative.” But Pappe is not silenced – he teaches in Israel, receives a salary from the University of Haifa (which is supported by the state), and speaks all over the world. Rosenfeld names and offers cited quotations of Jewish anti-Zionists who teach on American campuses and label themselves “progressive.” Among the group are Irena Klepfisz at Barnard College, Norman Finkelstein at DePaul University, and Marc Ellis at Baylor University. Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, a public intellectual, has consistently won the praises of scholars for her work about Jewish life, Jewish power, and lesbian issues. She also co-organized, with a Palestinian Arab, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, a public demonstration on the steps of the New York Public Library.

Rosenfeld mentions journalists, including Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, who wrote the following on July 18: “The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. “

What is to be done? Rosenfeld does not address this point. The only solutions I can imagine are to write back, speak back, teach back and fight back. Hand-wringing, inaction and silence will not help. Let all Jews who are truly progressive, liberal, not self-hating and not anti-Zionist develop a clear set of ideas to address these individuals specifically. Let organizations that fight anti-Semitism have special divisions to combat Jewish anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Address the books and lectures head on, as did when it refused to advertise Finkelstein’s “Beyond Chutzpah.” Sue for libel. Engage our fellow Jews and provide a new model of clarity, courage, and sanity.

c) Alvin H. Rosenfeld “Progressive” Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism

This is published by the American Jewish Committee

Rosenfeld – and the AJC – come as close as makes no difference to holding Jewish writers and academics responsible for current antisemitism:
“The cumulative effect of these hostile ideas, which have been moving steadily from the margins to the mainstream of “progressive” opinion, has been to reenergize ugly ideas and aggressive passions long considered to be dormant, if not dead… Far from slumbering, the age-old indictment of the Jews has reawakened and rediscovered its voice, which these days is inflected more and more with a Jewish accent.” (p.26)

d) Patricia Cohen, “Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor” New York Times, January 31, 2007

A rundown of responses to the Rosenfeld publication

4. University and College Union (UCU) – Conference resolutions

In the next months branches will be submitting resolutions to the first UCU National conference. it is highly likely that one or more resolutions will be submitted calling for an academic boycott of Israel.

To repeat what we said in the previous mailing:

We are concerned that any debate on this topic should not divert attention from other pressing issues of Palestinian academic freedom that the union should be asked to take up the following issues, all of which have direct implications for academic freedom in the occupied territories.

a) Residency Rights which have meant that foreign academics (including diaspora Palestinians) are being refused entry or being deported. The previous newsletter carried information about those working to protect Palestinian academic freedom, in particular Gisha and the Right to Enter campaign, which we believe UCU should actively support.

b) harassment of students going to university on the West Bank (from Gaza and elsewhere) AND harassment of Palestinian academics traveling abroad. Again, Gisha has done valuable work on this and should be supported by UCU as should Palestinians protesting against these totally unjustified restrictions of freedom of movement.

c) UCU should be asked to encourage twinning between universities in Britain and in Palestine and consider lending its support to “The Britain-Palestine Twinning Network” [ see ]

d) UCU should be asked to call on the Israeli academic unions to support Palestinian academic freedom and to protest vigorously against the restrictions mentioned above.

e) Finally, but not least, UCU should be asked to
i) take a firm stand against the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its de facto occupation of Gaza (despite the so-called withdrawal, Gaza is completely dependent on Israel which controls all access to and from the territory and which remains occupied under international law – see Gisha’s recent (January) report on Gaza at;
ii) lend its support to all those campaigning against the occupation in both Palestine and Israel – including that minority of Israeli academics who do so, often under considerable personal pressure.

5. Some articles of interest

a) Gideon Levy, Twilight zone/I’ve lost my heart

Gideon Levy reports on the death of the young child, Abir Aramin, daughter of Bassam Aramin, a founder member of the joint Israeli-Palesinian organisation Combatants for Peace. She was killed by a rubber bullet fired by the border police.

“The real question”, says Levy, “is why Border Policemen come almost daily to Anata, doing the devil’s work, as it were, just when children are on their way home from school? What are they looking for, for heaven’s sake, near a school in Anata, a West Bank town located northeast of Jerusalem?” The core of his article is given over to the extraordinarily moving account which Bassam Aramin give of his evolution from gunman to campaigner for peace.

b) Discussions on Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

Accusations of antisemitism have fallen thick and fast around former-President Jimmy Carter, mainly but not exclusively by any means, because of the provocative title of his book. There are also number of interesting – and sympathetic – discussions of the book, often from unlikely sources. The following are worth a read:

a) Henry Siegman, Hurricane Carter, The Nation, posted on line January 4, 2007 (January 22, 2007 issue). Siegman, a senior fellow and director at the Council on Foreign Relations U.S. and Middle East Project. is a former executive head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, and has served as general secretary of the American Association for Middle East Studies.

b) Yossi Beilin, The Case for Carter, The Jewish Daily Forward 16 January 2007 “[W]hat Carter says in his book about the Israeli occupation and our treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories – and perhaps no less important, how he says it – is entirely harmonious with the kind of criticism that Israelis themselves voice about their own country. There is nothing in the criticism that Carter has for Israel that has not been said by Israelis themselves.”

c) Yoram Kaniuk, Like the worst nations: Israeli actions in Territories corrupt Zionist dream, no better than Apartheid, YNetnews, 25 December 2006 “I haven’t been a leftist for years … and I believe in the Jews’ right to a national home and a state in our historic homeland. Yet what we’ve been doing with this dream borders on the criminal … “Our intelligent young people are leaving the country. For most of them the reality they see is a harsh one. Those who remain here are violent and indifferent, yet we, who do not wish to renounce the Zionist dream, see how with every passing day it becomes more wicked and cruel.”

d) Tony Karom, Israel and Apartheid: In Defense of Jimmy Carter “The point being that Jimmy Carter had to write this book precisely because Palestinian life and history is not accorded equal value in American discourse, far from it. And his use of the word apartheid is not only morally valid; it is essential, because it shakes the moral stupor that allows many liberals to rationalize away the daily, grinding horror being inflicted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.”

e) Kenneth W. Stein, one of the people who resigned from the Carter Foundation over the book has produced a critique which is actually very thin. As Jeffrey Stein of Jewish Voice for Peace puts it: “It appears that nearly all the so-called “errors” cited in Carter’s book are differences of interpretation and/or trivial disagreements over wording. In the few specific supposed “factual” errors or “distortions”, Carter’s account is at the very least defensible and the criticism mostly disingenuous.” But judge for yourself: My Problem with Jimmy Carter’s Book Middle East Forum, Spring 2007, Vol XIV/2

f) And for a swashbuckling tour of Carter’s critics see Norman Finkelstein, Carter’s Real Sin is Cutting to the Heart of the Problem: The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter’s Book, Counterpunch, 28 December 2006. “As Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid climbs the bestseller list, the reaction of Israel’s apologists scales new peaks of lunacy.”


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