Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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BSST

BSST is the leading charity focusing on small-scale grass roots cross community, anti poverty and humanitarian projects in Israel/Palestine
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JfJfP comments


2015:

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

Empty platitudes about peace drive students to BDS

American young people have been more reluctant to join demands for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel while it continues its occupation of Palestinian territory. But after decades of promises about peace deals, with absolutely no results, they are now taking up the demands, sure it is not driven by antisemites and drawing on a long history of opposition to colonialism.

Political and moral identities

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Born into a Zionist, Jewish family in Dublin, signatory Brian Robinson here looks back on ready-made political identities such as support for Sinn Fein or Israel, the discomfort they cause and their conflict with the requirement on us for civil behaviour. To his surprise, he finds himself supporting BDS which he once thought antisemitic.

Crying ‘antisemitism’ is Israel’s comfort blanket

And the lullaby is ‘the whole world is against us’. Having thus comforted themselves, the government side can sink back into sleep, wholly unaware of the seriousness of the ‘whole world’ refusal to be complicit with Israel’s colonial practice. As most of the world has gone through its own violent struggles to enforce, or resist, colonialism – a great driver of history – Netanyahu’s cry that it is all due to antisemitism is peculiarly obtuse and parochial.

Anti-Zionist hate is tantamount to antisemitism German court rules

Taylor Can, a protester in Germany who attended an anti-Israel demonstration in Essen last summer during Operation Protective Edge, maintains that his chants were ‘purely political. An appeals court has ruled otherwise. Germany’s history is obviously very sensitive when it comes to possible antisemitism, however a court case there highlights a larger debate about when anti-Israel or anti-Zionist sentiments become anti-Jewish .

Jews are our brothers, Zionists are our enemies says German Muslim

These two articles exploring antisemitism in Germany date from 2014; they are posted now because of the the recent court case, posting above, as well as very many reports in western media about German antisemitism. Reports say it is increasing, but interviews suggest that the sight and sound of angry protests about Israel are being read as antisemitic.

Settlements nurture anti-Zionism in many Jews

When President Obama appeared to define antisemitism as a denial of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish homeland he trampled on history. This is the argument being so actively promoted by pro-Israel propagandists. Even anti-Zionists may not question Israel’s existence – merely the actions it carries out in the name of the state’s god-given destiny. Anti-Zionism is growing in the US as elsewhere. Sometimes it is a cover for antisemitism. But generally it is in the tradition of solidarity with a people oppressed by rampant nationalism.

Preposterous proposal to make Canadian boycotters criminals

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is well-known as an Israeli groupie. Even Israelis will be surprised at his desire to introduce a law making boycott of Israeli goods an antisemitic hate crime. Robert Fisk asks if he would prefer critics of Israeli policies not to use such a peaceful means of protest and advocacy for Palestinian rights.

Pro-Palestinian hackers attack Israeli websites

‘Anonymous’ has threatened before to launch a cyber war against Israeli computers. This time it succeeded in hacking and suspending websites, though not in affecting any used by the Israeli state (or at least, that’s what the government says). This is, by and large, a peaceful protest. But it is tinged by antisemitism by reference to The Jews and a Holocaust (see Brian Klug below).

Historic error of claims of great rise in antisemitism

Brian Klug examines the claimed rise in antisemitism in Europe during last summer’s Israeli attack on Gaza. Looking at the contemporary usage of the word he argues that for it to be meaningful it must have the figure of ‘the Jew’ at the heart of it. Although for many Israel can represent The Jew, Klug argues they must be separated – and warns against the danger of supporting a ‘patently unjust military action’.

Israel policies at heart of Jewish-Muslim hostility

In his submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism Tony Klug recognises instances of classic antisemitism – hatred of Jews as Jews – but argues that Palestinians would have hated any religious group that created a state in their country and ruled over them. It is in Jews’ best interest to distance themselves from the propensity of the Israeli government to infringe Palestinian human and political rights.

Jewish protests force cancellation Atzmon gig

Gilad Atzmon is widely admired as a jazz saxophonist and more narrowly admired as a critic of Israeli policies. Although he himself is Jewish his criticisms depend on caricatures of Jewish identity which are indistinguishable from classic antisemitism. Following Jewish protests, his Manchester gig has been cancelled.

Antisemitism ‘resonates in discourse on Middle East’

The All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Antisemitism has issued the result of its inquiry saying that to dismiss its reality in the UK is ‘a sop to the antisemites’. It gives surprisingly short shrift to the argument that the degree of antisemitism is directly related to public awareness of the nature of Israeli power over Palestinians.

Jewish right tries to whip up storm about BBC antisemitism

Journalist Tim Willcox, in a live interview with a French Jewish woman at the march republicaine, commented “Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.” She had not identified herself as pro-Israeli and he should, of course, had said Palestinians suffered at the hands of Israeli Jews. But the attempt driven by paper tiger CAA to have both Willcox, and Ofcom – which refused to condemn the comment as either antisemitic or colluding with antisemitism – is again stoking fears which justify its own raison d’etre. Clip of interview included.

Antisemitism and criticism of Israel not the same thing

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In a submission last month to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, JfJfP’s executive committee carefully distinguishes between antisemitism – which has deep roots in Europe and is rising – and criticism of Israeli policies. which is necessary and commonplace in Israel itself.

Nationalism, not Islamism, is the threat in Europe

Nationalism can begin as a left- or right-wing movement, or neither; it is almost invariably populist-defined by finding an ‘other’ to be against. So whatever their potential for advancing democracy, nationalist movements carry the danger of harnessing racism. Anshel Pfeffer thinks nationalist movements are more of a threat to Europe than crazed jihadis.

JfJfP statement on antisemitism

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JfJfP’s executive committee has issued a statement on antisemitism to clarify the distinction between antisemitism, which exists and is always abhorrent, between the state of Israel and Jewish people round the world, and criticisms of the Israeli state. Jewish leaders who equate Jews with Israel do not help.

Left must oppose jihadism as well as Israel’s occupation

The lure of IS to some young men and the repugnance at Israel’s war on Gaza have both fuelled an increase in antisemitism says Larry Derfner, who argues that we should pay full attention to antisemitism and the threat of jihadism. Plus CST’s latest report on antisemitic incidents this summer and a note on antisemitism or Anti-Semitism.

International press coverage is a morality play about the familiar villain

This account of how news reporting about Israelis/Palestinians ignores the latter but attributes all agency, and fault, to the former is by former AP correspondent Matti Friedman, a Canadian domiciled in Jerusalem. Its mix of perceptive points and increasingly contentious argument provides an insight into the beleaguered feeling of Israeli Jews.

The deaf and blind hawkers of the ‘anti-Israel is antisemitic’ myth

There seems to be an expectation that when Israel is on the warpath, hostility to all Jews will burst out. Of course it doesn’t help that the Jewish establishments in Europe and the USA identify with Israel – but in the Anglophone world at least there are scores of Jewish groups which shout loudly Not in My Name. This is heard by fellow demonstrators and the two writers here who insist opposing Israeli policy is not antisemitic.

Consider the effects of Israeli actions on diaspora Jews.

There is historic antisemitism based on punitive Christian fantasies; there is modern antisemitism which is more often a response to actuality – punitive measures against Arab muslims carried out in the name of the state of all Jews, viz Israel. One Israeli think-tank has been warning of the effects of Israeli policies on Jews outside Israel since 2002 but it has yet to be grasped by the Israeli government.