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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




Foreign minister berates comfortable US Jews

Acting foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely this week launched an extraordinary attack on American Jews for not having the same militarised youth as Israelis. Decadent in body they are also decadent in mind, neglecting the proper religious observances as well. Bibi tries to smooth it over.

Ultra-Orthodox refuse all state duties

Haredi Jews seem an oddity amongst the diverse congregation of Jews. Many Haredim think Israel should not exist and they should not perform state duties, especially military service. It’s a growing problem -Haredim have by far the fastest birth rate amongst Jews at just below 12%. The national average is 2%.

Teenage girls lead the refusers

In a country where people are born ‘with a gun in their hands’ and a spell in the IDF is the necessary prelude to being a good citizen there is no space for political conscientious objection. But the number of Israelis refusing to enforce the occupation is growing and getting organised with teenage girls setting the example.

‘I see only more trauma and pain. Enough!’

The steadfast refusal of 19-year-old Tair Kaminer to do military service has made her a cause célèbre. Altogether she has served more than 170 days in prison. Objection to the occupation is not classed as a matter of conscience.

Defiant CO goes to gaol

A hallmark of Israel was that all its citizens willingly did a period of military service – an idealised citizen army. In fact many Israelis do not want to police Palestinians – the main job of the IDF. Conscientious objector (CO) Tair Kaminer gained publicity because she had the extra courage to denounce the role of the IDF in Palestine.

‘I did not want to spread more hatred and fear’

Tair Kaminer was never going to go quietly. She went with a group of friends to the IDF induction centre for conscripts to declare her refusal to do military service. She was sent to prison. Mesarvot organised daily protests while she served her term. She has issued an eloquent statement about her decision.

Take responsibility for your choices urges refusenik

Yaron Kaplan joins a long line of young Israelis who have refused to do military service for reasons of conscience. Most end up in prison which Yaron is expecting. He is unusual because his refusal came mid-way through his service, after his experience of the extreme violence embedded in the IDF’s training and the impossibility of asking Palestinians to co-operate when he was imposing a military regime on them.

Israeli Christians awarded with honour of not being classed as Arabs

Father (-ex) Gabriel Nadaf has received more publicity in the west than has the whole of the Melkite Greek Catholic church. That is because of his one-man mission to recruit (?, he’s a spiritual minister) Palestinian Christians into the IDF. He is doing what the Israeli state wants – dividing Palestinians and making Christianity a cheerleader for ‘the Jewish state’. Jonathan Cook explores the fault-lines.

Israel recruits its Christian citizens for war against ‘the barbarians’

Since its formation, Israel has exempted non-Jewish citizens from military service. Now beset by problems of exemption, Netanyahu set up a forum to consider recruiting Christians. Fr. Nadaf leads the lobby to bring Christians into the IDF to exemplify their loyalty to the Israeli state (rather than to, for instance, Pax Christi or to Kairos Palestine). One effect is to demonize even further Israel’s Palestinian/Arab citizens who are critical of Israel’s militarism.

Anti-zionist activists join with Haredi in protest against conscription

Once upon a time the IDF and all the Israeli citizens who had to serve in their citizen army were seen as the ideal embodiment of Israeli vigour, civic commitment and egalitarianism. Now that the primary role of the conscripts is to police the occupation many see military service as ignoble, troubling and morally dubious. Hostility to the Haredim ‘get out of conscription free card’ boosted Naftali Bennett’s vote in the January election. Perhaps the recent support given to the Haredim by non-Zionist Israelis will just prove the point of his Jewish Home party.

The laws that enshrine Israel as a racist state

These are the facts that provide the evidence that Israel is a racist state – the more than 50 laws, many passed by the last Knesset, that ensure Palestinians living in Israel are second-class citizens – and a few laws that confirm the lack of rights of Palestinians in the oPt. The new settler government will build on these.

I, Palestinian Druze, refuse your army and all violence

Omar Saad, a young viola player from al-Mughar in Galilee has been summoned to enlist in the IDF. He is Druze, a religion of Islamic origin which took in aspects of Judaism, and other monotheistic beliefs. Druze have been subject to military call-up since 1956. He has refused. He opposes conscription saying ‘ I am a man of peace and I hate all forms of violence’.

The Occupation is anti-God, anti-Love and staggeringly, constantly violent.

Moriel Zachariah Rothman, a young Israeli Jew, explains why he is refusing military service although he finds he is talking to ‘a culture of radical denial, of a knee-jerk ear-and-heart closing to most discussions of Israel’s occupation’. He believes he should obey God’s commandment to love and do justice to strangers.

Israel’s Arab citizens split over national service

The question of integrating Arab citizens into Israeli society — should they be, could they be? — has been there since the beginning but became more urgent with the setting up of the Plesner committee to examine the obligation to do some form of national service. Its report split the government and divides Arab opinion. Adalah summarises the situation in its latest newsletter.

Israel’s coalition breaks on issue of drafting ultra-Orthodox

Kadima has left the ruling coalition in Israel because of Likud’s refusal to proceed with calling the ultra-Orthodox for military service. Avigdor Lieberman, leader of coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu, demands Arabs should be drafted into the IDF. Netanyahu’s seeming choice of the haredim over Kadima will create a government that is more right-wing and obdurate on the Palestinians, but it may now be more precarious,

If all Palestinian Israelis voted, what would be the effect?

Voting by Arab citizens of Israel has fallen from a high of 90% in 1950 to under 50% today. Some liberal Zionists argue that if most Arab citizens voted, and did military service, this would transform Israel and the status of Arabs. Others, including Jerry Haber, argue that neither Arab votes nor compulsory ‘participation’ can change the Jewish ethnocracy that is Israel.

Plan to make military service truly universal pushes Israel into crisis

Almost half young children in Israel come from groups (Haredim and Arabs) who are not called for military service. This destroys a core tenet of Israel – all citizens bear arms. It causes great resentment amongst those who do serve while avoiding the problem of conscripting Arabs. A committee headed by Yohanan Plesner to propose reform was disbanded by Netanyahu last week under threat from coalition partners.