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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



We are all Semites – the T-shirt

oD. Annabelle Sreberny examines these elements of identity: a reinvigorated Israeli anti-Arabism and its contradictions; Jewish antisemitism and the need to historicise socio-cultural categories; and a possible political recuperation of the ‘Semites’.

Enemies everywhere we look

Let’s get back to basics, who is really a Jew and how does she/he know? The title concern of this report from JPPI is finding a scientific test for Jewishness (why?). The substance of its report is the need to unite all Jews into one cohesive body but the ever-faithful US, supplier of true Jews, is becoming restive about Palestine.

I resign from being a Jew

Shlomo Sand, Israeli, intellectual, historian, controversialist, Jewish. Previously, he has disputed the idea of that one can be Jewish if one does not practise Judaism. Here he says he no longer considers himself Jewish because that means being identified with Israel’s racist policies. Psychologically, it seems unlikely that he can excise this aspect of his identity. Politically, it shows an odd ignorance of the life of non-Israeli Jews. Plus Bertell Ollman on the same theme.

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.

Confusions of Jewish identity

Netanyahu’s late demand that Palestinians recognise Israel as ‘the Jewish state’ has raised many questions and begged one in particular – what does ‘Jewish’ mean to people who so define themselves? It can define ethnicity, religion, cultural heritage; different groups have different rules on who is Jewish; the distinction between Hebrew as a polite word for the language and people (though not religion) has been lost to the all-encompassing, and thus confusing, term Jewish. The contradictory demands that Israel be accepted as any other nation state, and as the unique ‘state of all the Jews’ apart from all others, entrenches the confusion. Three writers from Haaretz give different views on what the terms mean to them.

American Jews losing the faith

A new survey of American Jews, commissioned by Jewish Forward, has found that non-Orthodox Jews are increasingly marrying out, assimilating and abandoning religious observance. (The same is true of British Jews.) Does this mean the non-religious are no longer Jewish in any meaningful way?

Bill to make preserving Jewish identity the exclusive right and duty of Israel

MK Ariv Levin has tabled an amendment to the Basic Law which would make preserving Jewish identity the exclusive and paramount property of the state of the Land of Israel. This would overrule the requirements of democracy. The presumable intent is to make non-Jews and the followers of the Enlightenment belief in the separation of church and state know that they have no place in the Jewish state. 2 articles plus Notes and links

Hunting identity: a Jewish fixation on genes

Here is a question begged by conflicting research on genetics– why do so many Jews seem so interested in ‘Jewish DNA’? For some, it ‘proves’ a right to claim Israel as a homeland/state/coloniser. For some it ‘proves’ intellectual superiority. For some it proves Belonging which religious belief no longer provides. Although DNA can show that some Jews have a Middle Eastern origin it hardly explains a predilection for science any more than it explains the preponderance of financiers and property managers who head Britain’s Zionist Federation and Jewish Leadership Council. Apart from some fine distinctions of interest to medics and genetic scientists, the surest thing we know is that we all came out of Africa.

Keeping it in the family – but whose family?

A sobering discussion by Adam Horowitz on what it is to be Jewish and who still counts as family, what transgressions are acceptable and what unpardonable.

“Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists”

New York academic and activist Bruce Robbins is making a film about how people have changed their minds: “what they were told about Israel and their Jewish identity as they were growing up, what they went through as they started looking at things differently, what Israel and Jewish identity mean to them now…”

Eli Valley, artist in residence at the Jewish Daily Forward

Ghoulish gazers get to ogle a horrifying Halloween history from the Forward’s Artist in Residence, Eli Valley. Gasp at the graphics and view the visceral video if you dare, dear reader.

Valley’s latest work for Halloween pokes fun at Zionists for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity… And there is more.

Update on Brandeis


Pressure grows on the Brandeis Hillel Student Board (BHSB) to reconsider their ban on Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). On the latter’s web site it states,” Hillel at Brandeis University provides a rich and vibrant Jewish life on campus“. A thousand students and faculty members have petitioned the BHSB to reconsider but till now unavailingly. The author’s tip to JVP: get yourselves elected to the governing body of BHSB. (There was a previous posting on this theme on 10th March.)

Are the settlers annexing Israel?


Uri Avnery reflects on “two obnoxious racist laws” that the Knesset has finally adopted, both directed against Israels’ Palestinian citizens. But he reserves his most vitriolic for a third bill, that to outlaw the boycott of Israel – which includes “the boycott of Israeli institutions and enterprises in all territories controlled by Israel”. This includes, of course, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Divisions in the US Jewish community surface at Brandeis


Hillel provides a home for Jewish student groups without consideration of their denomination, but not, it would appear, independently of their politics on Israel. At Brandeis university the Jewish Voice for Peace chapter was rejected for admission to Hillel. “The board effectively said to JVP, ‘Even though we recognize that you express your Judaism politically, and even though we admit other Jewish political groups here, your vision of Judaism and your political vision of Israel has no place in Hillel. Unless you say the magic words ,’Jewish and democratic’ and mean by them what we say you should mean, your organization is treif.'”

J Street Conference


J Street’s conference opened last Saturday night. We carry some reports and analyses.
Media and public affairs strategist Dan Fleshler writes in advance of the conference as to “Why the Jewish Right Is Terrified by J Street’s Conference”; Natasha Mozgovaya reports for Haaretz on the opening razzamatazz; and Richard Silverstein injects a note of discord, calling J Street “an empty shell…Where are they on the issues? All over the place.”

2nd March: links to all the speeches at the conference added. 5th March: final update with more links to analytical and critical articles.

American right-wing Jews behave like fascists

Chandler Color Poster

Fascist behaviour by right-wing Zionists in Los Angeles is another example of the hatred being expressed towards Jewish Voice for Peace as it roots itself ever-more deeply in American Jewish life. Estee Chandler writes: “Throughout history, every movement for freedom has faced backlash, threats, and violence.” These threats are now coming from other American Jews…

Jewish Voice for Peace in the NYT


The New York Times publishes an article with the Bay Citizen on the role of Jewish Voice for Peace: “Hundreds of people, mostly Arab-Americans, are expected to gather Saturday in downtown San Francisco to support anti-government protests in Egypt, and a large contingent of Jews representing a Bay Area peace-advocacy group will join them, one of its leaders says….”

Open letter to the Board of Deputies


Last week the Board of Deputies of British Jews voted down a resolution declaring support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same meeting the Board also affirmed that, “in particular’, it stood completely “behind the courageous stand of the present government as formulated by Prime Minister Netanyahu.” A petition has been raised making the point that a majority of the Jewish community in Britain is in favour of a two-state solution and therefore urging the Board to reconsider its decision.

JNews launches a bloggers’ corner


JNews has launched a bloggers’ corner.

In the first posting Israeli Eyal Clyne ponders his first encounter with Jews in London discussing a meeting about ‘ashamed to be Jewish': “I quickly came to realize that the discussion had little to do with how Jews feel about Judaism or their identity, and that it had no relevance to questions of pride or shame; rather it was code for gauging attitudes towards Israel… I sat in the audience for a few hours, confused and embarrassed. In front of me others were debating politely, arguing, asking questions, and applauding – about what (they think) is happening in my country. And I insist: MY COUNTRY, not theirs…”
30 January: a response by Brian Klug, one of the original speakers, has been posted as well.