At our table a small selection of items: warm greetings from JfJfP to signatories, friends and supporters; messages from Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human RIghts and Freedom Seder and links to other sites; a truncated article dissing the myth that matzah is eaten at passover to remind us that in the flight from Egypt there was no time to let the dough rise. Wrong.
One-time leftie Alan Johnson, now at BICOM, fired loudly in the general direction of the left, critics of Israel, those wanting to destroy Israel, supporters of BDS, antisemites and anti-Zionists – indistinguishable it seems to him and the Jewish Chronicle which published it. Richard Kuper wrote a calm piece in response – which the JC has refused to publish – eventually saying that was for lack of space. Richard tells the tale of those who can’t hear what critics are saying for their own noisy attacks.
Jennifer Langer visits Palestine – and despite the knowledge that led her to become a JfJfP signatory, felt estranged as a Jew and ‘profoundly uncomfortable bearing witness to the oppression and dystopian existence inflicted on the Palestinians. ‘
In a submission last month to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, JfJfP’s executive committee carefully distinguishes between antisemitism – which has deep roots in Europe and is rising – and criticism of Israeli policies. which is necessary and commonplace in Israel itself.
Zionism was once a lively, argumentative movement in Britain but over the years it has morphed, under Zionist Federation leadership, into a hardline, exclusionary body whose only function is to demand uncritical support for Israel. Antony Lerman traces its decline into irrelevance for most British Jews.
On April 9th, Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee announced it was holding an enquiry into the human rights work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It invited submissions and, on behalf of JfJfP Arthur Goodman submitted a report, It emphasises the human rights which Israel abrogates, argues that the ‘even-handed’ approach of the FCO covers up the reality of Israel’s occupation and power (including its use of violence) and proposes stronger measures to be taken.
So terrible is the situation in Gaza – no fuel, scant drinking water, thousands flooded out of their homes, economy shattered by the collusive blockages of Israel and Egypt, that JfJfP is appealing for emergency aid. The plight of the people of Gaza has been ignored by the media and is unknown to most people. 29 MPs (Commons and Lords) have published a letter demanding an end to the Gaza siege. Plus what you can do including Saturday January 18th Protest Vigil: Cast Lead 5 Years On. Latest update- Israeli and Egyptian barriers.
As we know, so shocked was the Israeli government at the EC guidelines forbidding EU funds and financial instruments being given to Israeli entities in the oPt that it demanded an inquiry. These Guidelines are the single most important step the EU has taken against the economic and political viability of the Occupation. We post four letters sent by JfJFP’s campaigning diplomat Arthur Goodman and by the EJJP to EC and American diplomats urging them to understand, take seriously and enforce those Guidelines.
On behalf of JfJfP Diana Neslen and Arthur Goodman write to Foreign Secretary William Hague objecting to his assertion that Hamas bears the main responsibility for the current crisis and citing the many Israeli assaults on Palestinian life and the truce potential preceding the barrage on Gaza.
We include this story only for its last line. Here Joy Wolfe, ‘media response activist’ and chairman of Israel advocates StandWith Us, claims that ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians were on hand to gloat’ at the acquittal of a student of the charge of biting a pro-Israeli campaigner.Vivien Lichtenstein wrote to the Jewish Chronicle to point out that JfJfP had no presence at the court hearing. We hope that Ms Wolfe, who spots antisemites all over the place, is spared any more horrible hallucinations of JfJfP popping up in strange places and gloating at her.
Join the demonstration on 27 December to call for an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza, let the people of Gaza know they are not forgotten, and remind the world of the deadly Operation Cast Lead which began on this date 3 years ago. JfJfP, PSC, CND and British Muslim Initiative are among the organizations calling for thedemonstration.
The drive for solidarity with Paletinians has created many Jewish solidarity groups, like JfJfP. David Landy, former chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign explores what solidarity demands and how this affects the political identity of Diaspora Jews
Bedouin villagers have documented claims to land in the Negev – which the Israel Land Administration wants for a forest and so repeatedly destroys their village. Amnesty International is running a campaign to help the Bedouin which JfJfP fully supports. Go to Amnesty’s web-page to find out how you can add your support
Statement from JfJfP welcomes unity agreement as essential step towards Palestinian self-determination and deplores Netanyahu’s response
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).
Clare Short spoke at the recent Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-UK annual general meeting, where she said (among other things): “The Muslim communities feel very upset and angry about this. And when we work in solidarity, they’re not isolated, and there isn’t that division in our society. When we had the demonstrations during the attack […]
Update: JfJfP signatory Ivor Dembina will perform his terrific one man show “This is Not a Subject for Comedy” in Parliament next Monday. Arranged by JfJfP, you can read all about the gestation of the show and the importance of Jewish comedy in the Guardian’s G2 – and now in the Independent and the Jewish Telegraph.
Hamed Qawasmeh, Palestinian humanitarian worker, Hebron, and Erella Dunayevsky from Kibbutz Shoval dialogue facilitator and activist in the Villages Project, South Hebron hills, will be talking at the Mongague Centre on 19th November on “Working Together for Justice and Peace”…
8 November 2009: This link [http://jfjfp.com/?p=7185] will take you to a number of solidarity actions we would like you to consider taking:
1. November is the month to lobby your MP and prospective parliamentary candidates
A how-to guide
* Berlanty Azzam – a Palestinian student deported from West Bank
* The new wave of School-leaver Refuseniks
On page 30 of its print edition, the JC (7 August) reported on its poll the previous week
Are Jews for Justice for Palestinians a threat to Israel?
61% Yes 39% no
On its website you will find the figures almost, but not quite, reversed!