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Aug 2015: Call on Global leaders to lift the Gaza blockade



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

JfJfP comments


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



10th passenger on Gaza flotilla dies after four-year coma

The violent attack on the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship in a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza did more harm to Israel’s standing than any other single event. Despite vociferous Israeli claims about violent passengers, nine – and now ten – passengers were killed by the IDF. No soldier was killed by the peace activists. It was a miniature enactment of the disparity between Israeli violence against any form of support for Palestinians and that of the supporters. May 31 is the anniversary. Plus, restoring Gaza’s Ark after explosive sabotage.

Governments unite to block the people’s flotilla

Israel has the myth – all is well in Gaza – and it has the military power to persuade European and US establishments that the floitila must not sail. As this stance does not accord with fact or popular sentiment, it may be self-defeating suggests Miri Weingarten in this extensive review

Flotilla 4: flotilla sets sail on Thursday despite sabotage of Irish boat

The Stay Human flotilla to Gaza has either set sail or is about to depending on when you read this. Here there is an article about the threats to its departure, a piece from flotilla veterans of the Free Gaza movement which cites a Palestinian civil society petition, and the petition itself with its many signatories at the end of this post

Flotilla 3: Israeli Ministers fight back and wound themselves

Just announced – Netanyahu has overturned the threat to the media made by his director of the government press office if they cover the flotilla. The Israeli goverment has secured a series of own goals in its varied efforts to stop media coverage (with the many issues about Gaza and international law which the flotilla raises): 1) A review of Israel’s diplomatic efforts secures a notably ambivalent coverage in the normally supportive Bloomberg Business Week; 2) Josef Federman reports from Jerusalem on the response to the threatening letter from Oren Helman; 3) an Israeli video of a gay man denouncing the flotilla is revealed by electronic intifada to be a government hoax; 4) the letter of protest written by ACRI to Oren Helman, credited as one of the voices prompting Netanyahu’s change of mind

Freedom Riders of Gaza flotilla prepare for tough voyage

Author Alice Walker talks with Ali Abunimah about her impending passage on the ‘Stay Human’ flotilla and the echoes of the US’s Freedom Riders – and presidential indifference. Below, we publish the letter of American passengers on the ship Audacity of Hope, named in reference to Obama’s own 2006 book

US Boat to Gaza


The US Boat to Gaza campaign gives an update following the recent Madrid meeting of the international flotilla with representatives from 22 countries at the meeting. Current plans are for the flotilla to sail in the second half of May…

Turkey publishes its report on the Mavi Marmara


Last week Turkey made public its inquiry into the attack on the Gaza flotilla that resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and one American of Turkish origin. Tiny extract from the executive summary of the report: “The bodies of the deceased were completely washed and repatriated to Turkey without any accompanying medical and autopsy reports. The Mavi Marmara itself, when returned after being held for 66 days in Ashdod, had been scrubbed down thoroughly, blood stains completely washed off, bullet holes painted over; ship records, Captain’s log, computer hardware, ship documents seized, CCTV cameras smashed, all photographic footage seized and presumably destroyed or withheld.”
Plus: Richard Silverstein comments.

Amnesty International condemns the Turkel Commission report


In a hard-hitting statement, Amnesty International has condemned the findings of an Israeli inquiry into last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as a “whitewash” which failed to account for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. The Turkel Commission concluded that, of the 133 incidents of force used by the IDF during the raid on the Mavi Marmara that it examined, 127 were in conformity with international law, while it had “insufficient information” to make a determination on the other six… The report of the International Fact-Finding Mission – the Goldstone Report – came to diametrically opposite conclusions on every issue of substance and it has not been answered in any way.

Who says Israel can’t investigate itself?


Larry Derfner is shocked by the flotilla report to the UN Human Rights Council:
“Israeli soldiers,” it continues, “fired live ammunition both from the top deck at passengers on the bridge deck below and after they had moved down to the bridge deck. At least four passengers were killed, and at least nine injured (five with firearms injuries) during this phase. None of the four passengers who were killed, including a photographer who at the time of being shot was engaged in taking photographs and was shot by an Israeli soldier positioned on the top deck above, posed any threat to the Israeli forces. There was considerable live fire from Israeli soldiers on the top deck and a number of passengers were injured or killed whilst trying to take refuge inside the door or assisting others to do so.”

Report to the Human Right Council on the attack on the Flotilla


A devastatingly critical report on Israel’s handling of the flotilla at the end of May has been tabled at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. It concluldes:
“The Mission sincerely hopes that no impediment will be put in the way of those who suffered loss as a result of the unlawful actions of the Israeli military to be compensated adequately and promptly. It is hoped that there will be swift action by the Government of Israel. This will go a long way to reversing the regrettable reputation which that country has for impunity and intransigence in international affairs. It will also assist those who genuinely sympathise with their situation to support them without being stigmatised.”

Dismay over Netanyahu & Barak’s testimony to flotilla inquiry


Gisha comments on testimony to the Turkel Committee where Netanyahu readily acknowledged that Israel’s decisions on what to allow or prohibit into Gaza were based not on concern for the welfare of the population in Gaza but rather about Israel’s image in the international media. Haaretz says Netanyahu and Barak’s testimonies reveals “grave flaws about their judgment and discussions on the most sensitive diplomatic and security matters”…

Mark Steel mocks the Israeli enquiry into the Mavi Marmara massacre


Comedian Mark Steel writes: “One possible difficulty in proving the optically murderous gang’s intent could be that none of them had guns. But the IDF dealt with that by saying the ‘mercenaries’ preferred to use ‘bats, metal bars and knives, since opening fire would have made it blatantly clear they were terrorists and not peace activists’…”

A Jewish Boat to Gaza


Co-ordinated by JfJfP, European, UK and US Jewish groups are uniting in another effort to demonstrate that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is ineffectual in preserving Israeli security and a blunt instrument of collective punishment on the people of Gaza. We need to raise more funds to buy, outfit and stock the ship – please consider making a donation, however small (or large).

Forthcoming publication on the Mavi Marmara from OR Books


OR Books writes: “In these pages, a range of activists, journalists, and analysts piece together the events that occurred that May night, unpicking their meanings for Israel’s illegal, three-year-long blockade of Gaza and the decades-long Israel/Palestine conflict more generally. Mixing together first-hand testimony, documentary record, and illustration, with hard-headed analysis and historical overview, “Midnight on the Mavi Marmara” reveals why the attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla may just turn out to be Israel’s Selma, Alabama: the beginning of the end for an apartheid Palestine…”

Vengeful Knesset strips MK Hanan Zuabi of parliamentary privileges

You are punishing me out of vengeance,” Hanan Zuabi told fellow parliamentarians. “When you threaten the Arab MKs and the Arabs’ protectors, you threaten democracy and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.”
“I have the right and the duty to fight for my rights and my values,” she continued, adding that “my positions are often different from those of the Likud, Kadima and most of the MKs. That’s why I don’t represent Kadima, the Labor Party or the Likud, but those who voted for me and in my case I represent the consensus of the Arab MKs.”

Israel’s war against international humanitarian law


Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizman write: “With very few exceptions, direct and intentional attacks on aid workers or human rights advocates (even those who have forsaken the strict neutrality of humanitarianism) have mostly been the work of undisciplined militias, ragged armies, criminal gangs and police states… Now, with the lethal raid on the Mavi Marmara, is Israel following them? […]

A partial victory for Gush Shalom


On 29 June Gush Shalom announced that the Supreme Court was hearing an appeal from them the following day to dismantle the Turkel Committee of Inquiry into the Gaza flotilla disaster. At the last minute Netanyahu backed down and agreed to enlarge the powers of the commission, so that it will be able to summon witnesses. Not enough, but Uri Avnery argues that “a small victory is better than a defeat”…

Gush Shalom appeal to the Supreme Court re the Gaza Inquiry


A Gush Shalom appeal to the Supreme Court for the dismantling of the Tirkel Committee and its replacement with a Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be heard today…

Deputy PM Clegg on Israel-Palestine


There would seem to be a clear contradiction between Nick Clegg underlining the “need for a full, credible, impartial and independent investigation into the events of 31 May” and his statement that “Israel’s announcement of an inquiry headed by former Supreme Court judge Yaakov Tirkel is an important step forward. We welcome the appointment of Lord Trimble as an international observer. Clearly it is very important that this is a truly independent inquiry and a thorough investigation that the international community can respect.”

US political support for Israel


In the US both Congress and the Senate have shown strong, indeed uncritical, support for Israel in its actions against the Gaza flotilla. The Israel lobby clearly remains very powerful indeed in the United States…