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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



Right wing fears secret Trump-Bibi deal

Ben Caspit, Israel Pulse, throws into the ring the ‘conspiracy theory’ that Trump or his envoy Greenblatt has done a deal forcing Bibi to restart negotiations with Palestinians which will force Jewish Home out of his coalition and Labour in.

Why the peace talks always fail…

tzabar_new design for the israeli flat 2002

In this Guardian Long Read Nathan Thrall tackles the myth of two willing sides wanting peace – with extremists somehow hijacking the agenda. The truth is that Israel is pretty happy with the current situation and has no real desire for peace. Until the US and Europe formulate a strategy to make Israel’s circumstances less desirable than the concessions it would make in a peace agreement, they will shoulder responsibility for the oppressive military regime they continue to preserve and fund…

Kerry: what blocked his efforts to start negotiations

There are two articles here about John Kerry who worked assiduously to start negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The second is a revealing speech Kerry gave about his efforts, thwarted by the Israeli government’s insistence on establishing Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory. Here he admits Israel ignored USA pressure.

The final nail in the coffin


Wielding his scalpel, Uri Avnery dissects the twists, turns and contradictions of Israeli logic which have argued anything in order to avoid serious negotiation. He puts the blame for the failure this time squarely on Israeli shoulders but notes along the way how pitiful John Kerry’s contribution has been. A witty – and sobering – assessment.

Summary of the 9-Months Talks: Unprecedented Settlement Development

settlement watch

Peace Now’s Settlement Watch presents the bare facts of settlement expansion during the peace talks. As Peace Now says, they show:
“Not only that the construction and the announcements of settlements were destructive for the American efforts and for the faith between the two sides, it also created facts on the ground that proved more than anything else that the Netanyahu Government did not mean to go for a two states solution but rather acted in order to strengthen the Israeli control over the Occupied Territories.”

The aftermath of the peace talks

palestine flag

Further comments and reflection on the end of the peace talks: PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erekat’s statement on the end of the nine months negotiations period; Faysal Mikdadi’s moving reflections “Betrayal Tinged with Greed and Stupidity”; a Ha’aretz piece “Kerry: Israel risks turning into an ‘apartheid state'”; and Richard Silverstein’s “Kerry Says the ‘A-word’ and Abbas says the ‘H-Word'”

What the UN can do for a Palestinian country

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, has delivered his last report to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. In it, he returned to the issue of corporate responsibility for Israel’s power to maintain the occupation and break international law. Diplomats don’t have the answer; opposition to complicit corporations plus popular resistance and with UN backing may be the only way.

Right wing moves to ban any talk of Jerusalem in peace talks

A Safeguarding Jerusalem Bill, which stipulated that 66% of Knesset members must agree to negotiations before the status of Jerusalem may even be mentioned, has gone before the Knesset. It has been proposed by the tiny United Torah Judaism faction but has picked up support from Cabinet members. It seems improbable that it will progress, but this Knesset has passed more improbable bills.

Prospects for the peace talks – 1

An interview with Norman Finkelstein provides an informed, thoughtful, hard-headed and provocative perspective on what he agrees is “a potentially historic moment”. International public hostility to Israel’s occupation, backed by an international legal consensus, coincides with the Palestinians now being “the weakest they have ever been…” And yet, Finkelstein finds room for optimism and wonders if a popular Palestinian movement can yet arise to force a positive outcome.

Prospects for the peace talks – 2

Nicola Nasser reports on the immense pressure Kerry has exerted on the Palestinians to force them to the “peace” talks. Uri Avnery, on the other hand, despite all the difficulties and sheer imbalance of power between the sides, focuses on Kerry’s ability to inspire trust and is cautiously optimistic. “The alternative is too dismal to contemplate,” he says. But that, of course, is no guarantee of anything…

Obama’s visit to Israel – two commentators find at least some room for hope…

Tony Klug argues that President Obama’s visit may not be quite the disaster from a Palestinian point of view that so many feel it was. By appealing to ordinary Israelis over the heads of their leaders he emulated what Sadat did thirty-five years earlier. Maybe it will prove an important step in a changing the mood in Israel. Uri Avnery shares the optimism about Obama’s speech – “perfect” from an Israeli point of view – but he sees it as utterly lacking in empathy for the Palestinians

PA wants to start negotiations with Israel

Saeb Erekat, negotiator for the PA, said at the weekend that they will work with international officials to restart negotiations with Israel, strengthened by their new UN status. Meanwhile, President Abbas says they will ask the ICC to prosecute Israel if it continues to violate agreements and Hamas vows to go its own way (see post below) .

Remains of 91 Palestinians returned from Israel

The return of Palestinians killed in Israel was part of the deal to end the mass hunger strike, although PM Netanyahu now presents it as a humanitarian move which will help the peace process. Mahmoud Abbas has reminded him that it is the continued building of settlements which is the obstacle to talks. Reports from BBC news and Al Jazeera.

The inescapable truth is that all actors are now engaged in a game of make-believe

Fig-leaves for the institutional players, a naked emperor for the wishful thinkers, all metaphors for the ‘peace process’ convey it is not real. The ICG focuses on new forces, like religion, on possible new actors , Palestinian diaspora, settlers, and on agents, like the Quartet, to be discarded.

Going it alone to leap over the peace block

The dead-locked status quo in Israel/Palestine relations is forcing new tactics. 1) Some Palestinians have opted for a stategy of separatism (though no national liberation movement has succeeded without allies). 2) The ICG suggests new partners including settlers and Palestinian diaspora while Blue White Future advocates “constructive unilateralism”

Right-wing Americans paid millions to destroy me and peace plan says Olmert

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, CNN, broadcast last Friday, Ehud Olmert says “I had to fight against superior powers, including millions and millions of dollars that were transferred from this country (the U.S.) by figures which were from the extreme right wing that were aimed to topple me as prime minister of Israel. There is no question about it.” When will he name names?

PA asks UN for formal inquiry into impact of settlements

The Palestinian Authority has asked the UN Human Rights Council to conduct a formal inquiry into the impact of the settlements on Palestinians. Egypt has added its voice to this request. Israel has dismissed it as a move by the PA to avoid negotiations.

Rulers take refuge under dome

The second headline here – ‘200 rockets hit Israel’ – is misleading; it should be ‘200 rockets reach Israeli airspace’, where they were quickly detonated by Iron Dome (see post below). Meanwhile, the Dome provides the Haaretz editorial team with a good metaphor for the position of the Israeli government – sheltering behind its mega-expensive military system rather than engaging with political reality.

Calling Netanyahu’s bluff with ten clear questions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Canada’s Stephen Harper on March 2nd on his way to meet President Obama. The group Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East has prepared this list of ten questions that should be put to him there – or anywhere.

“We are sliding towards confederation”

Another proposal on the website this week for the future of Israel/Palestine in sharp disagreement with Wolman and Halper but sharing the view that the political status quo is intolerable. Here Sari Nusseibeh, President of Al-Quds unversity and former representative of the Palestinian National Authority, argues the best plan is a confederation of ethnic communities under Israeli rule in which Palestinians have full civic rights and freedoms.