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

The value of victimhood

Netanyahu claims that the demand to end settlements is ‘ethnic cleansing’! Israel claims to be the victim (of Palestinians) because that is its founding and only narrative. Yet the point of Israel was that, for the first time, Jews would not be victims but the makers of history. Dina Matar, SOAS, on Israel’s appropriation of the victim story today.

Take the land, replace the people

‘ A slow and methodical acquisition of land, this time by means that are entirely illegal, coupled with strategic removal and confinement of the Palestinian population, resulted in settlement blocs – vast land areas that are largely Arab-free’ – Yair Svorai’s chilling account of replacing people.

Netanyahu’s canards revisited

netanyahu

Further comment on Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians won’t allow any Jews to live in the West Bank if they have their way, while ethnic cleansing is alien and abhorrent to Israeli Jews.

Just two problems: Jews in Palestine did precisely that in 1947-48 (according to historian Benny Morris, even the term they used to describe it was “cleansing”); and a substantial minority of Israeli Jews would currently do more of the same if they had half a chance. While Palestinian leaders have made it clear they don’t object to Jews but to settlers living in Palestine..

As Peter Beinart says: “The problem isn’t Jews in the West Bank. It’s Jews and Palestinians living in the same territory under a different law. Despite Netanyahu’s endless attempts at obfuscation, it’s not that hard to understand”.

Chutzpah!

pal-refugees

These articles address the twisted mirror in which Netanyahu looks to insist that it is Jews who are the victims of ethnic cleansing in the region he governs, rather than Palestinians. Gideon Levy argues that, by using the term ‘ethnic cleansing’, the Israeli Prime Minister parts company with any semblance of reality and historical fact. Matt Duss argues that it is hard to swallow Netanyahu’s claims of Israeli victimhood when Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed right now by means of ‘home demolition, land confiscation, and explusion’. Palestinians leaders have made it clear that Jewish people will be welcome to live in Palestine, he points out, but not in enclaves of Israeli Jewish privilege.

What singles out Israel is its lone pursuit of ethnic cleansing

Labour’s antisemitism row is nothing of the sort. It is, argues signatory Paul Keleman in Red Pepper, a weapon for protecting Israel against charges of settler colonialism. Most nations are born in violence – but most resolve rather than perpetuate it.

Destroying Bedouin habitat

Israel’s Nature and Parks authority have demolished small shelters, donated by the EU, for the Bedouin living in Issiwaya near Jerusalem. The aim is obvious – to clear all Bedouin out of the area so that Jewish settlements can be built there. It remains to be seen what the EU will do about this.

Duty of all states not to recognise as lawful Israel’s illegal acts

This is a very clear and useful publication from the law faculty at Birzeit university specifying the laws which Israel is (and is not) breaking in maintaining its rule over Palestinians. It argues that ‘occupation’ is the wrong term for Israeli rule (there are circumstances in which occupation may be, at least, not unlawful). More accurate is ‘settler colonialism’ which was outlawed in 1960 when the UN adopted the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Too late for the indigenous Australians and Americans.

Ilan Pappé on the duty to ask questions

Ilan Pappe’s next book is on the history of production of knowledge in Israel, and in this interview/conversation the question of why people know what they think they know often comes up. The beliefs that mask lack of knowledge, or curiosity, become the myths that keep things as they are in Israel – as elsewhere. Interview conducted by Frank and Florent Barat.

The sacking of Arab Lydda to make Jewish Lod

Lydda was a thriving Arab city in Palestine. In the summer of 1948 it was captured with maximum violence – against significant resistance – by the IDF. The population of c70,000 was either killed or driven out. Some of their houses were smashed, the rest emptied in a rampage of looting by Israelis. The city of Lydda became Lod and the surviving people of Lydda became permanent refugees. Report of article by Avi Shavit.

The six measures for displacing Palestinians

Displacing Palestinians from their homes and lands has been a continuous practice and defining policy of all Israeli governments since 1948. Munir Nuseibah describes the array of measures governments have used and argues that ‘transitional justice’, not narrow rights, is the only framework for exercising justice.

Europe’s own ethnic cleansings

In this article for JfJfP, Adam Keller (Gush Shalom) looks at two issues where Israel has been censured from outside: a lack of law on incitement to hatred, and ethnic cleansing. Remembering that ethnic cleansing was a term coined in Europe he looks at instances of ethnic cleansing, beyond the pale of Fortress Europe. He doesn’t need to mention the biggest ethnic cleansing of all – of Jews from Europe 1933-45.

‘Why bother and make Area C an official annexation if de facto, it is annexation?’

The IDF sets about clearing Palestinians from their homes in the South Hebron hills so they can use the land for a firing range – so they can practise firing at people and buildings in land like the South Hebron hills. Christian Science Monitor reports. 2nd, from National Public Radio an account of the clearance of Palestinians from Area C. Yossi Beilin, Israeli architect of the Oslo accords, says ‘Why bother and make it an official annexation if de facto, it is annexation?’

Nation-building that depends on the destruction of others

Controversial blogger Muhammad Jabali insists on recognizing the reality behind a right of return of all Arabs to all the states of the region whence they came and behind the Jewish Israeli myth of the new man in a secular society

Was 1948 a genocide?

forward

A battle among genocide scholars as to how to characterise the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948 is aired in the pages of the American paper, the Jewish Forward. It is an issue that has divided genocide scholars for some time, one of the factors that led to criticisms of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the formation of the International Network of Genocide Scholars in 2005.
The arguments are complex…

Israel as a Jewish state?

israeli-flag

This posting reproduces a number of articles on the theme of Israel as a Jewish state. Jerome Slater’s original piece ‘What’s wrong with a Jewish state?’ has elicited a passionate response, and responses by Ahmed Moor and Jeremiah Haber are reproduced here – with links to the wider comments made. The issues are central to Israel and its future and we hope this debate will contribute to some nuanced thinking on the topic.

Israel’s “Arab Problem” – continued

magneszionist

“Readers: This is a long post, so here it is in a nutshell: I argue that in his recent book, Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis, Senior Vice President at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, implicitly endorses the involuntary expulsion of Israeli Arab citizens in the future as a way to solving what he calls “Israel’s conundrum”, i.e., what to do about its Arab citizens. I try to understand what leads Dr. Gordis, a well-known rabbi and author with whom I agree on many things, to this conclusion…”

The academic boycott debate revisited once again

jfjfp

In a posting ‘The academic boycott of Israel revisited’ a fortnight ago, we carried part of a renewed debate on the topic, with a contribution by Ran Greenstein and a response by Robert Fine. Since then there have been many rejoinders and responses. A lot of the discussion and disagreement does not concern the academic boycott issue narrowly conceived but ranges widely, over the nature of Zionism as a national movement, the question of the nakba and the issue of ‘ethnic cleansing’, the extent to which Israel is being singled out, the nature of a ‘Jewish’ state, and much else besides. None of these issues in new but the Fine-Greenstein exchange casts fresh light on them and approaches them in challenging and respectful ways. We reproduce that debate in its entirety and provide links to the other contributions…

Israel’s “Arab problem”

magneszionist

Jeremiah Haber writes: “Israel’s ‘Arab Problem’ was not the inevitable creation of Zionism, or even of the Jewish state idea. It was created by the specific kind of Jewish state that was founded in 1948, a state that embodied the exclusivist ethnic nationalist ethos of the founders, who passed and implemented ethnically discriminatory laws and policies in the early years of the state – and in recent days.” In subsequent postings he will investigate the various solutions on offer from transfer to replacing the Jewish ethnic state with a liberal democratic state…

The fate of the Jordan valley is in the balance

cif

Ben White shows how Israeli land seizures, house demolitions and increased ethnic cleansing are affecting the Jordan valley. What is happening here, B’Tselem suggests “is not based on military-security needs, but is political: the de facto annexation of the Jordan Valley”…

Tom Segev reviews Benny Morris’s book on 1948

bennymorris

Tom Segev reviews Benny Morris’s book, “1948: A History of the first Arab-Israeli War”, first published in English in 2008 and now translated and published in Hebrew. Morris focuses on the fate of the Palestinians and presents his readers with a readable, well-edited story… but his attitude toward their tragedy is troublesome in terms of both humaneness and morality.