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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



Spin and rumour cloud Cairo talks

Peace talks between the Israeli government and PLO are suddenly at the front of business for Egypt and France. Secret meetings are reported, and denied. Netanyahu insists it is no business of any foreign government and the PLO says the reports are false. We’ll wait and see.

Secret PA talks offer denied

Saeb Erekat, former negotiator, now PLO secretary general denies that he proposed secret talks with Israel. But former Israeli negotiator Silvan Shalom, says the PLO proposal was rejected by Israel, in secret, so the US would blame Palestinians, not Israel, for no negotiations.

Palestinian leaders should quell intifada to get Israeli concessions

The US consultancy group Stratfor here gives its analysis of the cause and effects of the ‘knife intifada’. They accept that it is in part a product of the complete absence of hope in any peace talks but suggest, as IDF leaders already have, that Israel could afford to make concessions – if asked nicely.

What has Blair got to offer Hamas?

We don’t know if Tony Blair greeted Hamas officials in Doha as ‘my friends’ – he could have if the spirit moved him – but the political officers of Israel, the PA, the UK and Israel know he has greeted them. Israel does not want another war – too costly in terms of money and reputation. Palestinians fear he will sell their birthright – a unified Palestinian state – by treating Gaza as a separate entity.

“Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United Nations”

Henry Siegman, former executive director of the American Jewish Congress (one of the nation’s “big three” Jewish organizations) has become a scourge of Israel in recent years. Here is his interview with Amy Goodman of DEMOCRACY NOW, in which he advocates giving up on Netanyahu and going to the UN to enforce a peaceful solution.

Third parties sidle into the peace gap

Palestinian / Israeli distrust, the starting Palestinian demand – Israel must define its borders, and Israel’s – Palestine must recognise us as The Jewish State – block any start in talks. But such is the frustration, that there are many talks going on between third parties, mainly other Arab countries whose own fear of Iran has created some common ground with Israel.  So Iran may rescue Israel from growing international frustration and threats.

No leadership, no borders, no strategy – what future for Israel?

How absurd and cynical it is to maintain an occupation for 47 years and expect the Palestinians to simply obey and feel sanguine about it says Alon Ben-Meir. Netanyahu has no strategy, only a tactic of torpedoing any peace talks. It’s a master-class in losing friends. Will he be surprised or pleased if the Palestinians rebel?

Bringing in the religious right

The headline refers to Israel’s religious right, the subject of Ofer Zalzberg’s article though it could be applied to all religious dogmatics including Muslim ones, also excluded from any peace talks. Those involved in the peace-making business for the last decades have excluded the religious as too irrational or extreme to join in. Given their domestic sway, this may be a grave strategic error (if excluding of all women).

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.

Israeli PMs always have the last laugh

This might be self-hating- or self-loving-Jew corner. Like Groucho Marx, Bibi does not want to talk with anyone who wants to talk with him, eg anyone from the PNA or John Kerry’s team. He definitely does not want to be in the club which takes negotiating with Palestinians seriously. He wants to have the last laugh. B.Michael makes the link.

A winning strategy for Palestine: popular non-violent resistance

al manatir

Since the Israelis reneged on the prisoner release agreement, the PA has adopted a new strategy: to gather ever greater legitimacy for statehood in the international arena, slowly turning Israel into a pariah nation for refusing to end the occupation. The PA itself is a vehicle that cannot get Abbas to his destination. Jonathan Cook assesses their options.

With one ‘poof’ the US leaves the stage. What’s the next scene?

In their view, the Obama administration had no choice but to believe that hard work and good will would produce observable change in Palestine/Israel relations. They were wrong. Kerry saw Israeli intransigence and ‘poof’, hope went. Israeli hardliners crow at the failure of this ‘Arab lapdog’. With the US no longer a player, who, if anyone, will make the first move to break the status-quo?

Prisoner release becomes ‘red line’ demand

prisoner release 2013

A stop to settlement building was the first demand of the PA in the current negotiations with the Israelis who responded with an announcement of 1400 new tenders for housing in the West Bank . Netanyahu linked it to the release of Palestinian prisoners which he has failed to deliver. Abbas now has little choice but to make that release his final stand.

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.

Obama – enough already

Netanyahu prevaricates and redraws his red lines (even the NY Times thinks pushing for ‘the Jewish state’ recognition is a step too far); Abbas is pressed by demands he cannot meet and keep the people on side, Kerry is run off his feet what with the Syria and now Ukraine crises to deal with as well. Obama wants these talks to go ahead. He cannot make them happen.

‘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.

Bennett sets out his pitch for power with threat of Jewish extermination

Naftali Bennett is a very ambitious politician. Gambling on outpacing Likud in picking up fearful Israeli votes he announces that Jews will be killed in any area governed by Palestinians and blood-hungry Palestinians would flood any territory conceded to them. He is speaking to unnamed ‘international actors’ who are using Palestine/Israel as an ‘experiment’. Those are his triggers. What effect is he hoping for?

Skewering Palestinians with ‘Jewish state’ demand – an OCD

During decades of talks about talks between Palestinian and Israeli representatives, the Israelis had not demanded recognition as a ‘Jewish state’. Palestinian negotiators stated their recognition of the state of Israel at Oslo – so what’s new? The demand diverts attention from the key issues of borders, refugees and a Palestinian state; it invites international acceptance of racial discrimination inside Israel – who cares as long as Jewishness is hegemonic? It might scupper the Kerry talks. At the same time, evidence inexorably emerged that the Israeli state was created by extreme, illegal violence.

Finding the fault lines

The Guardian newspaper began the New Year with an editorial acknowledging difficulties in negotiations with Palestinian leaders but saying the obstacle to successful negotiation was Israel’s display of willingness to talk while while reusing to make any decision that will alter the status quo. Letters were published which both supported and disagreed with the editorial.

Two tough Zionists for peace with Palestinians

Both Mick Davis, multi-milionaire former CEO of Xstrata and Avigdor Lieberman have reputations for aggressive zionism – though in the case of Davis, this meant calling for open criticism of Israel if Anglo-Zionists were to have a future. Both have recently had humbling experiences – Davis losing control of X-Strata and Lieberman suspended from office while he was investigated – then cleared – of fraud charges. Time off seems to have added a sense of urgency about getting other Jews to accept the need for a peace deal with the Palestinians under Kerry’s leadership.