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JfJfP comments


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



My Lesson from the Holocaust


Controversial columnist Yossi Klein, condemned last month by both Netanyahu and Lieberman for a previous op-ed, has produced a new hard-hitting provocation:

“The Holocaust was unique, terrible and happened only once, but not the processes that preceded it. They were so ordinary that their language of imagery fits into our language. The language of processes is always shallow; the images repeat themselves. There’s no need to be original, it’s all been said before. Long before Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, people referred to refugees as “a cancer” and talked about “domestic enemies” who “stab us in the back.” Whoever declares “One Bible, One Nation, One Homeland!” doesn’t know, or probably doesn’t care, that it’s a paraphrase of “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!” (“One People, One Empire, One Leader!”).”

Confident Rivlin rejects PM’s despair

Pres. Rivlin says Israelis must ask themselves if they should change their self-perception from that of a persecuted victim to one rooted in strength and self-confidence. The PM says enemies surround us and always will.

Poisonous ignorance

Trump and his team live in an alternative reality where facts are what they say are. But not taking the holocaust seriously or not having the curiosity to find out about the techniques of that worst mass killing seems unpardonable to many. Plus the Nazi ‘euthanasia’ programme in which the first ‘of their own people’ were killed.

Jews, Israel, what’s the difference?

The Nazis, SS and Action Groups had many enemies they wanted to obliterate, but only two whole peoples – Jews and Romany. Only the former were subject to mass, industrialised extinction – Judeocide. We know the US President doesn’t know European history but one might have thought this one fact would have got through. Trump’s Holocaust Day speech.

The danger of false history about Zionism

As we move towards the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration Robert Cohen advises us to prepare. The air will be filled with inventions, the ground with unseen pits of oblivion. To begin – propaganda that Zionism is and always has been part of Jewish life is simply make-believe.

Q: Why doesn’t Israel become the 51st state?

A: Because then, it would only have two senators. Jamie Stern-Weiner checks with Prof Finkelstein whether what we at this website have been saying for a week – that Naz Shah reposted the ‘antisemitic’ map from his website – is true. Unequivocally yes. And only the humourless don’t see it’s a joke. Those who have drummed up the Labour antisemitism crisis, and all those who have fallen into step are, QED, humourless as well as cynical. In a rich interview, he defends Naz Shah describes his direct family experience of the Holocaust and deplores any cynical misuse of that.

Israel’s Labour leader leaps for the bait

Which he swallows hook, line and sinker. Given Netanyahu’s use of the Zionist position that Israel exists as the homeland of all Jews, Herzog uses hearsay to claim an award for fighting for the Jewish state.

Take away the mask – the face is rude, stupid and very ugly

Two articles from Haaretz begin with the ugly display of the Knesset walk-out, led by Naftali Bennett last Wednesday. Carlo Strenger sees Bennet’s petulant rudeness as a evidence of his (and the right’s) total loss of contact with reality. Avraham Burg jumps over the politician’s impotence to an important new set of principles based on acceptance that neither Israeli Jews nor Palestinians have a surplus of rights or exclusive sovereignty over any part of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Forgetting the murderous ambition of the Nazis

“The term Holocaust refers to all victims of Nazi persecution… only Jews were targeted for complete extermination” is the lesson from Holocaust Education Trust to schools in England and Wales. In fact, Jews were the largest ethnic group so targeted. All gypsies/Sinti were also slated for extermination. Nazi hatred of Slavs/communists made Russians the largest single group of people destroyed by Nazis. Remembering the murderous ambition of Hitler’s regime, and the suffering caused, is a lesson we are in danger of not having understood or learned.

Shoah deaths and activism create strongest links to Jewish life

From the J Street conference to the Pew research Emily Hauser follows the trail to what creates Jewish identity for young and non-religious Jews. The fact that it is the holocaust, or shoah, is disturbing especially when it is mis-remembered as being a mass killing of Jews alone. Perhaps a defining sense of Jewish ethics and justice would be stronger and sense of always being the only victim would be weakened with better history.

Rouhani steps as far towards the West as old guard will let him

PM Netanyahau forbade all Israelis from listening to President Rouhani’s speech in New York. The rest of the UN General Assembly was very interested as Iran’s new President juggled tributes to the old hard line while opening new doors. He affirmed the Holocaust had taken place and was a crime, called terrorism a ‘violent scourge’ and did not once refer to the USA as an enemy. Netanyahu scorned the speech as a trick.

Muslim leaders shocked by visit to Auschwitz

“We acknowledge, as witnesses, that it is unacceptable to deny this historical reality and declare such denials or any justification of this tragedy as against the Islamic code of ethics” said a group of Muslim leaders on a visit to Auschwitz. (Numbers vary according to report). The trip was organised by the US Center for Interreligious Understanding or State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. More importantly, will the imams have the influence to challenge the denial and/or abuse of the Holocaust?

Remember that it’s over: Naomi Alderman on Anne Frank

Naomi Alderman, multi-talented writer, carries the heritage of Anne Frank and, of course the Holocaust and antisemitism. She reviews contemporary Jewish fictions – including one where a Palestinian boy demands of a settler that she renounces her ‘mythical claim’ – to find where that heritage has led. But it’s 2013, and life is as good as it has ever been for anyone in the history of the world. So without forgetting, we must stop looking in “the mesmerising mirror of victimhood”.

Israel’s warped mirror: the racist thug who sees himself as a vulnerable victim

Both Jews and non-Jews are often taken aback at how the powerful, racist and military-loving people who are dominant in Israeli politics see themselves as frail victims of – just about everyone else. A cartoon by Mysh found by Richard Silverstein expresses this paradox perfectly, leading him to meditate on the sort of psychosis which can create such a warped and deluded self-image.

Tomorrow’s IDF admire strong Nazis

The Holocaust is the one unifying thread in Israel and a remorseless part of all education. Yet in a Holocaust play teenagers jeered at the weak Jews and cheered the Nazi persecutors. Is this so surprising when the Ministry of Education holds up the settlers as brave pioneeers and demands the excision of a textbook quoting the Goldstone report from the school curriculum? Still, Adam Keller does not despair…

Culture and safety – why Jews flock to Germany

German citizenship is becoming the political identity of choice for thousands of Israelis as well as a growing number of American and Russian Jews. The reasons given are freedom, safety, cultural richness and cheap rents. And for some it is a way of of recovering a tradition that was stolen from them.

“The sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.”

In the week of the UK’s Holocaust memorial day (Friday January 27th) Robert Cohen writes a letter to Anne Frank’s spirit, wondering what she would make of a cruel legacy in which ‘The Holocaust has been used to explain and justify every aggression’, Palestinians have been dispossessed and every criticism of these acts has been called antisemitic.

Ultra-orthodox present themselves as ‘holocaust’ victims

Haredi Jews, whose pressure to confine women and girls has prompted strong disapproval in Israel, dressed their children in striped prison clothes and wore yellow patches in a demonstration on Saturday. The claim that they are the Jews and other Israelis are the Nazis has caused outrage

‘We who have fought for the two state solution must now regroup’

Carlo Strenger, liberal commentator on Haaretz, declares 2011 the year the two-state solution died. He takes hope from the community who share his values and will continue, at least, to stand for civil and human rights and stop their further erosion in Israel

Israel acknowledges another people’s holocaust

The uniqueness of the holocaust of Jews in Europe has long been the mainstay of Israeli ideology, beyond discussion or comparison. Now the Knesset is considering appointing another holocaust memorial day – for the Armenian people systematically killed by Turks 1915-18. Why? because Turkey is Israel’s ‘new enemy says Richard Silverstein.