Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters. 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


2016:

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

2015:

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

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

My Judaic values are not tribal but universal

The one-time hope that Jews would realise their true identity in Israel, and only there, is fading fast. Jewish identities in Israel have taken on harsh nationalistic and intolerant forms, inimical to the thousands of years of multifarious Jewish life-styles. An eloquent Brad Japhe says his identity comes from the universalism of Jewish values; it has nothing to do with Israel.

Millions to be given special Israeli status

In a sign of either unusual openness or desperation Israel’s Diaspora Affairs department is scouring the world for people with any connection to Jewishness who might be secured as special friends of Israel.

Living on a false foundation

Uri Avnery takes apart Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence delivered by David Ben-Gurion in which he flicked aside actual Jewish history – the ‘diaspora’ – and replaced it with a monolithic community which had ever yearned to live in ‘Israel’.

For diverse voices in Hebrew, come to diaspora

The virtual walls have gone up round Israel. Young Israelis who want to write freely in their own language often choose to emigrate – favourite destination Berlin. As a result, says Mati Shemoelof, these Hebrew writers are creating a new, cosmopolitan culture that challenges the patriotism and ethnocentricity which diminish Israeli culture.

Diasporas, help or hindrance?

In a week when many have re-engaged with the question of MidEast peace Jonathan Freedland asks if the Jewish ‘diaspora’ can, as the Irish diaspora did, play a positive role in ending the Palestine/Israel conflict. He thinks the answer is ‘yes’ if the pro-peace pro-Israel (pro-Palestine?) voices become dominant. Will the Israeli government be as welcoming of outside intervention as the UK was on Ireland?

Jews untied by Israel

There was a brief moment, after the six-day war in 1967, when Jews of the diaspora were roughly united in their support for Israel; then it could still stand for the socialism of the early kibbutzim as well as the military force it had become. Review of and excerpt from Keith Kahn-Harris’s book on fragments created by different, polemical, positions towards the Israeli state.

A Jewish state would be poison for the diaspora

The Jews who were the first citizens of Israel were choosing a civic identity. They hoped to leave behind religious separatism for a state where their Jewishness was not an issue. The embrace of the Basic Law, says Kai Bird, is an attack on secular equality in Israel and outside it.

Recover the tradition of Jews as bearers of the Enlightenment

For Jews in Europe and the USA, Israel no longer stands as either the sacred and redemptive destination or the only safe homeland. Outside Israel, argues Alan Wolfe, Jews can better continue their tradition as bearers of universal values and enlightened religion.

Jews wrest their identity back from Israel

montreal demo 2013 insignia

We’ve come a long way from the Holocaust, world war 2 and the founding of Israel. Millions of Jews have been born since then and more of them live outside Israel than inside it. By choice. Many of these value the identity and traditions that have developed over 2,600 years in which, obviously, the state of Israel played no part; report of a debate in Canada on how to create open discussion among Jews about Israel and Zionism.

Huge budget for converting diaspora Jews into ex-pat Israelites

Diaspora Jews, in our familiar European and American homelands, have always been subject to costly efforts to turn us into something else. The latest comes from Israel where anxiety about the shrinking of Israel as THE mark of Jewish identity (above custom and religion) has been growing for several years. Large sums have now been allocated, as the Prime Minister’s Initiative, into reversing this trend. It’s not about saving us, as the ‘diaspora’ but about saving israel as The Homeland.

Move to Israel – or lose another 6 million

Avigdor Lieberman has come up with another wonderful wheeze – persuade diaspora Jews to move to Israel (populating the West Bank presumably) on the grounds that outside Israel Jews are faced with annihilation by assimilation. Perhaps he would like a revival of the persecution that once made Jews such an inturned and protective community; freedom has made that sort of Jewishness redundant without special measures to ensure separateness – such as Jewish free schools.

Divorcing the diaspora

It was once the new Hebrew nation, turning its back on the diaspora to create a new identity as Israeli citizens with their own modern language and civic practices. Under today’s government, Israel has become The Jewish Nation, and home for all Jewish people, whether or not they want to live there, and underpinned by the Judaisation of people and place. Yet again, the Israeli state tries to strengthen links with the west rather than its neighbours.

Israel marches along its solitary path to world isolation

Firing back at all pressure, even from the best of friends, with cries of ‘antisemitism’, ‘delegitimisation’ and ‘existential threat’ governments of Israel have set the state on the road away from democracy and equal rights – and away from their one-time defenders who feel subverted by Israel’s racism. Zeev Sternhell has a long and distinguished intellectual history, giving weight to this deceptively simple and heartfelt article .

What the Jewish safe haven has lost on its way to becoming ‘the Jewish state’

Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent insistence that Israel be described and universally recognised as ‘the Jewish state’ has won him applause in Congress and left the PA indifferent. Colin Shindler traces the journey from Jewish ‘homeland’ through binational state to Jewish ‘state’ and asks what Netanyahu might expect to gain from the re-designation.

Jews in Israel and abroad respond to Occupation with empty words and feckless nonchalance

Antony Loewenstein, who has co-edited ‘After Zionism’ with Ahmed Moor, attacks those who mouth ‘two-state solution’ and ‘peace process’ thereby excusing themselves from the need to think or act to make a difference, in particular by supporting BDS and the proposal for one state.

The new need – and conditions – for defending Israel today

Being ‘pro-Israel’ means, for many, seeing the rest of the world as, at best, alien and at worst as consisting of ‘100s of millions’ who want to destroy the country. The views of 24 people, almost all Israeli or Jewish American men (what, no Christian evangelists?) were solicited by Moment magazine. They include critical and analytic, paranoid and racist and the view that ‘Jews who are anti-Israel’ have a genetic sickness

One becomes a Jew over one’s life

At Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year – 2011 the Jewish Chronicle gathered 5 people for a discussion on being Jewish in Britain. For our coming secular New Year, we post this round-table which ranges, calmly and crossly, over identity, Israel, God, anti-semitism, parenthood, judgmentalism, Palestine, the diaspora and much else.

Haven for Jews or for all its citizens: left-wing bloggers debate Israel

Last May, Larry Derfner wrote that he supported a Jewish state because, despite its unfairnesses, in the end it replaced something worse – anti-semitism. In response, Richard Silverstein argued that such objections would not apply to a democratic Israel and, moreover, classical zionism consigned diaspora Jewry to being a mere bank of money and people to keep Israel supplied

Timidity weakens voice of new ‘pro peace and Israel’ movement

Yachad, a new website at least, aims to speak for UK Jews, but at first sight seems to be lagging behind critical and unhappy opinions among Britain’s diaspora Jews writes Antony Lerman. And what’s with that name?

Rethinking Jewish Identity and Solidarity with Israel

A Time to Speak Out: Rethinking Jewish Identity and Solidarity with Israel Dr Brian Klug Published in the Jewish Quarterly (http://www.jewishquarterly.org/), No 188, Winter 2002-2003 Reprinted with permission of the author On 27 August 2002, the Guardian published an interview with Chief Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks. In the course of the interview, the Chief Rabbi […]