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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




The games Netanyahu plays

This is an interview with Yossi Alpher who has held many senior positions in Israeli security. The reason for the moves which are further destabilising the MidEast are not clear to anyone but Alpher pinpoints the Saudi-Trump ‘love fest’ as a key agent of change as well as Netanyahu’s machinations. Alpher is APN’s regular man in the know.

Sending Kerry, naked, into the chamber

Nahum Barnea, Ynet’s editorial writer, looks at the legacy of the indefatigable Kerry and argues that he failed to make headway because he did not have the backing of Pres. Obama and thus lacked the power he needed. Meanwhile the Israeli PM and the American president-elect are well stuck into a tweeting relationship.

Kerry questions what Israel’s policy really is

In a recent speech to a MidEast policy centre at the Brookings Institute, the US secretary of state has clearly given up on reaching a 2-state agreement. For the Israelis, he says, it is just a ‘slogan’ a ‘throw away remark’ contradicted by their practices of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes.
ban center

US block on taking Israel to ICC gives green light to more law-breaking

Weeks after it became evident that US-brokered peace talks had produced nothing and that the intransigent Netanyahu is in fact on the diplomatic wing of his party, the US is still opposing Palestine going to the ICC on the grounds that – it would damage the peace talks. Eh? And Israel remains unaccountable and above the law.

No place for a reasonable discussion about Israel in Washington

There has been more reaction in the US to John Kerry’s use of the word ‘apartheid’, and his apology for that use, than there has been to the failure of the peace talks. Josh Rogin says he was ‘damn right’ to have taped the speech. John Cassidy (Kerry was wrong), and Ben White (he was right to defy the thought police), comment.

Eternal peace talks, eternal Palestinian subjugation

The absence of any realistic ‘peace process’ may be a vacuum which pulls in any moving body, such as John Kerry. Or Kerry may be ‘addicted’ to the process, as Foreign Policy’s Aaron David Miller suggests. Or the Peace Process is emptied of all meaning because for Israelis the only peace is unconditional Palestinian surrender as Zeev Sternhell argues. Israeli supremacy will rule.

Palestinians will join UN bodies if talks don’t turn serious

pro-abbas rally 2014

Some Palestinians remained hopeful that Kerry’s efforts would force Israel to be serious. But the failure to release prisoners, as promised, and the announcement of new settlements, show they are not – despite Kerry’s last minute offer of Jonathan Pollard. The PA is now preparing to apply to join up to 15 UN bodies, despite US and Israeli pressure not to, in a demonstration of their statehood.

‘Jewish state’ demand is deviation from agreed path says Arab League

As Mahmoud Abbas points out, Israel did not demand that the governments of Jordan or Egypt recognise Israel as ‘the Jewish state’ before reaching peace agreements with them. Why demand it of the Palestinians? By suddenly making this demand, the Israeli government has, in the judgment of the Arab League, tried to foil the talks. It certaianly hasn’t won the Israelis any friends, outside AIPAC.

Israel is panicking – its power lies only with governments and corporate elites

Susan Abulhawa puts her finger on it: if the Palestinians accede to the seemingly absurd – and trivial – demand that they recognise Israel as ‘the Jewish state’ they thereby renounce their rightful claim to their historic homeland in Palestine, an act of treason. But – apart from Kerry’s drive for a framework agreement – what Palestinians have on their side is a growing popular movement to cement their rights, supported by civil BDS action.

Only Palestinians can save themselves – if they get it together

Norman Finkelstein, in an interview with New Left Project, gives a very bleak assessment of the current Kerry-created negotiations. He echoes the judgment made frequently in the last few months – that neither Hamas nor Fatah/the PA can provide national leadership for an independent state, that Palestine has lost salience in the Arab world as their own national states take pre-eminence.

The only story Americans know about Palestine is the Jewish one

John Kerry is admired for his indefatigable effort to stir a peace dialogue out of its embalmment. Yet, says Uri Avnery, he and his American advisers have all been fed on the one narrative about Palestine/Israel – a land once belonging to Jews who had to return because of Christian persecution and Nazi extermination. They have no story of the Palestinians – indeed, the American fallacy that ‘Palestinians’ are an invention is a popular annihilatory story. So how can they be ‘neutral’ makers of a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians?

Saudis, vying to to be regional masters, prod USA to strike Syria

The Middle East, in some views, will never be at peace until one state has regional hegemony, hence the wars. Israel only has weapons, not influence. So will it be Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran? The USA and Russia vie to be the Godfather. Follow the money – it leads to Saudi Arabia, the USA’s well-armed friend.

Kerry pulls Israel’s nuts out of the fire/UPDATED

The announcement of new negotiations in Washington is excellent news for President Obama & John Kerry. It doesn’t seem like good news for the Palestinians who, having dropped the precondition of ’67 borders, are now forced to follow Israel’s agenda – which means entrenching the occupation, just when boycott and UN status seemed to moving things Palestine’s way. +972 analysis.UPDATE: security bodies have always negotiated – Abdul Sattar Qassem, Asmaa al-Ghoul, Moshe Machover – same old no-change.

Is John Kerry the lone ranger in MidEast talks?

While the US press hoorays its secretary of state, John Kerry, for getting an agreement for talks between Palestinians and Israelis, only the Arab League seems to share his hope that such talks can change the course of politics over the last decades. Here is a selection of articles – and cartoons – in which the writers try to work out whether or not something of real significance has been effected.

Netanyahu bends to blame EU for Kerry’s failure

Netanyahu’s rigidity/ indifference about talks with Palestinians has caused a defeated despair among those hoping for a Palestinian state. John Kerry had fared no better than other intermediaries – until now. Within hours of news of the EU’s decision to exclude Israeli bodies in occupied land from grants etc, Peres and Netanayahu loudly declare the EU is putting Kerry’s mission at risk. They are now hastily working their EU contacts.

Say not what they should do, ask rather what we can do.

The goal of achieving an acceptable settlement between Israel and Palestine has so often been put aside in favour of ‘being right’, getting international kudos or waiting for the American lead. Tony Klug looks back at the history of initiatives and argues that the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 holds out the best prospect for achieving the goal – and avoiding calamity or wallowing in inertia.

Peace would be M.A.D.

The latest joint Palestinian/Israeli opinion poll shows that Kerry’s shuttles are having no impact and neither Israelis nor Palestinians think negotiations will start; both suspect that any settlement would lead to their own destruction as a national entity. Which means that the only positive outcome would be for Kerry to report back that if the US wants the status quo to shift it has to stop its exclusive backing for Israel.

Bibi just wants The Meeting – photos, praise, then nothing

There can be no substantive talks unless Obama confronts Congress and the Israel lobby. Kerry does not have the power to force Israel into meaningful negotiations. All else is flurry and chutzpah writes Uri Avnery.

Conflict in EU over backing Kerry’s mission

A by-product of Kerry’s mission to to Israel/Palestine is disarray in the EU. The EU has remained consistent in the policy of supporting two states, opposing settlements, and supporting the labelling of settlement products. The US thinks the EU should stay still while Kerry pursues his mission, a position which Lady Ashton agrees with.

Israeli actions fuel antisemitism – a tragic irony

It would be wrong to ‘excuse’ antisemitism by blaming Israel – everyone has a responsibility to distinguish between that state’s policy and Jewish people. But the unjust status quo, enforced by Israel and supported by the US doesn’t help. TA Ridout on how emotions cloud and distort efforts to get justice for Palestinians and any sort of peace.