Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Leon Rosselson, letter to the Guardian, 28 July 2014

“Before the current round of violence, the West Bank had been relatively quiet for years,” writes Jonathan Freedland (Israel’s fears are real, but this war is utterly self-defeating, 26 July). According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights centre, 90 West Bank Palestinians were killed, 16 of them children, by the IDF or by settlers between January 2009 and May 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been 2,100 settler attacks since 2006, involving beatings, shootings, vandalising schools, homes, mosques, churches and destroying olive groves. According to Amnesty International, between January 2011 and December 2013, Israeli violence resulted in injuries to 1,500 Palestinian children. “Relatively quiet” for whom?
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Posts

What would you do? Start by treating Palestinians as humans

Daniel Levy, policy adviser and diplomat, answers Israel’s belligerent question – what would you – by saying self-defence does not include the right to kill civilians and upbraids Israelis for pushing Palestinians into a corner, for offering nothing but more occupation in return for their own demands for ‘security’.

What has Israel done with the people it took over in ’67 but brutalise them?

For 47 years Palestinians have been living with a catastrophe (the 2nd one) – and Israelis with a curse. Unlike old colonisers, Israel denies it is an occupying power or that it has any duty to protect of provide for its subjects. JfJfP signatory Prof. Avi Shlaim reviews a thorough account of failed (US) efforts to get a peace deal and the consequences of that failure. Plus a more sceptical view from The Economist.

Naming Israeli rule: Occupartheid?

A word has been coined to step forward from the arguments about whether the governance of the Palestinians is apartheid, S. Africa-style, colonialism, European-style or occupation, war-time style. An editorial in the Abu Dhabi-owned The National calls it Occupartheid to name the unique means of dispossessing Palestinians.

Call it ‘occupation’ – it annihilates more than apartheid did

beit jala settlement

Two writers from +972, one from Haaretz take up the debate on whether ‘apartheid’ is the correct name for Israel’s form of rule over non-Jews. In Israel, the separation is less absolute than it was in S.Africa; in the oPt the Palestinians are wholly alien, never to have their national political identity put into effect. Even colonialism – in which the ruled were thought to be in training for nationhood – is too kind a word. And occupation, as has been ruled, is assumed to be temporary. Lost for words?

Zionism is nationalism – why pick it out?

It is a testament to the growth of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) that – if we leave aside the claim that it is by nature antisemitic – the arguments about the aims of the campaign have become more precise. Here we post a critique by Ran Greenstein and speeches by 2 JfJfP signatories for and against academic boycott. Jonathan Rosenhead checks off the objections, Bob Fine introduces nationalism into the mix.

The Palestinian water problem

A discussion of water discrimination in Israel-Palestine. Both the New York Times and Ha’aretz carried reports on the Palestinian water problem. Guess which one was impartial? And in case of doubt, we also reproduce B’tselem’s latest factsheet which asks: Is there discrimination in terms of the quantity of water available to Israelis and Palestinians? The answer is yes. Are there gaps in water consumption between Israelis and Palestinians? Absolutely.

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink…

A new report published by Al Haq – Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT – focuses on the control of water as an instrument of exploitation and subordination along colonial, racial lines in the Occupied Territories. It is – surprise, surprise – in violation of International Humanitarian Law.

New York Times hurriedly removes dirty word from headline

A sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted a surprisingly direct headline about Palestine and took a screen shot of it; and then a few hours later noticed it had become unsurprisingly bland and euphemistic. Guess which word the New York Times readers may not read or hear? Ali Abuminah provides the evidence.

Occupation and military rule

Oded Na’aman writes: “As you stand at the checkpoint, you must constantly consider the various ways in which you may be attacked: Where are they going to come from? What will their strategy be? Is that child as innocent as he seems, or is he smuggling a weapon? Is that ambulance really rushing a woman to the hospital to give birth, or are there enemies hiding inside? Is that old man harmless…
These are the instructions soldiers receive before beginning their principle combat mission in the IDF: enforcement of military rule in the West Bank.”

More on the Levy report

See our earlier posting “Defiance of law, case for one state, proof of apartheid: responses to Levy” (at http://jfjfp.com/?p=32416) which contains 9 items on the Levy report. Here we include a new statement from Acri (1); an analytical piece by Jonathan Cook suggesting that the report might open the way to annexation of Area C of the West Bank (2); and an opinion piece by human-rights advocate Sari Bashi, executive director of Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement in Israel (3).

Defiance of law, case for one state, proof of apartheid: responses to Levy

Outrage, arguments for one state, silence. These are the responses to the Levy panel’s proposition that the West Bank is not ‘occupied’. The silence is from the Palestinian media, where there has been little reaction. The outrage is obvious. The arguments that this makes the case for one state, making West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizens, or Zionist apartheid, also follow. Nine reactions.

Social justice protesters who won’t see the injustice behind the wall

“I don’t want to continue through another summer of protest to be partner to the lie” writes Gershon Baskin, a negotiator for the release of Gilad Schalit. Fellow protesters don’t want to talk ‘politics’, meaning the occupation. But that refusal gives them the mere illusion of accomplishing something.

US Methodists urged to divest from profits from occupation

Delegates from the US Methodist Church are in conference this week. A decision they have to make is whether or not to divest from companies that profit from the occupation. Like the Co-op (see posting below) they have a history of ethical investment. Here they are urged, in Mondoweiss and The Magnes Zionist, to have the courage to divest.UPDATE: voted against divestment, e.i. and NY Times report

Reactionaries, not Arabs, are enemies within Israel’s democracy

Democracies are frail systems for they always contain people who would rather get their own way than abide by principles of equality and inclusion. In Israel, democracy is under peculiar stress, argues David Remnick, because of the belligerent occupation – and protection of that occupation – of Palestinian territories.

Can the ugly settlers be cut cleanly out of Israel’s body?

The refusal by American author Paul Auster to visit Turkey because it lacked free speech, in contrast to Israel, has created a bloggers’ flurry. At heart is how one regards the occupation: an aberration which could be put right by serious negotiations, something that begun in 1967 since when it has been damaging Palestinians and Israeli politics or that ‘the Occupation IS Israel’ and has been since its foundation.

Bending the law to make occupation look legal

A film that won the best documentary prize at the 2011 Jerusalem film festival — shown last week at the Sundance film festival — tracks the laws and precedents discovered which turned temporary settlement into permanent colonisation. If Israel does live under the rule of law, it is either military or apartheid law as far as Palestinians in the OPT are concerned

Tent protest tests old alliance with anti-occupation activists

In a controverial article Yossi Gurvitz attacks the left outside Israel for seeing the protesters as middle class who won’t go outside their comfort zone and take on the Occupation. Can (pro)Palestinians be allies if they see Israelis as guilty of original sin? In response, Noam Sheizaf remains hopeful of progress, but chides non-Israelis for accepting his Jewishness but not his Israeli-ness

Refusal of occupation plus Partnership with Palestinians = future for tent protestors

At a public meeting for the tent protestors to discuss the ‘Palestinian September’, the sound was of hope for a common civil struggle and the crumbling of the old divisions – the people versus the Left, Jews v Arabs- which have shored up the reign of the right. Haggai Matar reports

‘No more fairy tales of terrorism so we tolerate everything’

‘Is it actually useful for them to “demand their country back from the oligarchs”, without the slightest sense that it is Israel itself that owes the Palestinians “their country back”?’ asks Rachel Lever in this report from Tent City? Yes, because desire for political organisation across ethnic and religious divides is growing in size and clarity

‘We are doing the right thing, finally doing the right thing’

‘Every rational discussion was smothered in a melange of sentimental, patriotic, and nationalistic kitsch whipped up with self-righteousness and victimhood’ writes David Grossman, who discovers a fresh and open togetherness on the J14 march after the post-Occupation years of silent acquiescence in which one weak group after another was picked off.