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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



So torture is still widely used in Israel

In milestone Supreme Court hearings in Israel recently a serious debate was held about what constitutes torture and its use in interrogation. The result: a declaration that torture is unacceptable in Israel. The Court brought state representatives who reiterated in public that torture is forbidden. All sides in the hearing agreed that even the “necessary defense” claim – known as the “ticking time bomb” – cannot justify torture. Rachel Stroumsa, executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, reports.

Striking prisoners disappear from view

Israel’s PM hoped the hunger strike would be over by the time of Trump’s visit; short of that he wanted it out of sight. Judging by the silence of the broadcasting media in Israel and the UK, he seems to have got his way – but for the activists in western Europe, NY, Palestine and Israel who are asked to spread the news.

Palestinian hunger Strikers – an update

barghouti_17apr17, nyt

Around 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have entered their second month of a hunger strike over conditions and medical rights. Their demands include better and consistent access to healthcare; more liberal family visit policies; and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention.

Added to them now are demands for proper access to adequate medical treatment for those on hunger strike. Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations – Addameer, Adalah, the Arab Association for Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel – issued a joint statment last week urging Israel to “cease its ongoing, systematic human rights violations against the hunger-strikers”.

New strategy for Hamas?

The many months in which Hamas was engaged in consultations for their new charter have had wider effects. The election of Ismail Haniyeh to take over political leadership from Meshaal has been widely welcomed. Haniyeh is known and liked in Gaza and is seen as less doctrinaire. Also video of Barghouti ‘eating’. Make up your own mind.

Mass arrests, instant imprisonment

There has been more coverage of Palestinian prisoners this year than in any other. These accounts of cruel treatment when there is no pretence of judicial due process – children are sent direct to prison by the military courts – were published by Al Jazeera last week.

Every Palestinian act is ‘terrorism’

Amira Hass hopes the resistance of prisoners will inspire collective action by Palestinians outside; James Zogby says Israel provokes violence by the deplorable way it treats Palestinians.

All drawn in by hunger strike

There hasn’t yet been an article to repost on what makes this hunger strike different but prisoners and supporters have an air of confidence: they can’t lose. Either they get concessions or they die. Either way the Israeli state loses. Some witty, grave and number-crunching pieces.

Our hunger spreads our message

Israel has made Marwan Barghouti an iconic and exemplary figure amongst Palestinians. He was a leader in the first intifada (for which he was imprisoned after his ‘show trial’) and has constantly urged non-violent resistance. His intelligence and integrity have won him many admirers. He tells us here why he and thousands of Palestinian prisoners have embarked on a hunger strike.

Political prisoners, the hero-martyrs of Palestine

A spell in an Israeli prison is a rite of passage for young Palestinian activists. Two-fifths of all Palestinian men have endured it. Israel has created a cadre of angry activists by locking up so many for such flimsy reasons.

Palestinians organise for Bilal and all political prisoners

The detention without charge or trial of Palestinians thought to be enemies of the Israeli state has long been a crude Israeli weapon. Protest about its use – here focusing on Bilal Kayed – is now quicker and more widespread than it was at the start.

Al-Qiq ends longest hunger strike against administrative detention

Mohammad al-Qiq, the Palestinian journalist held under ‘administrative detention’ for over 3 months has ended his protest hunger strike after 94 days. He existed only on tap water. The Israeli Prison Service feared he was about to die under their ‘care’. There was no evidence that he was an imminent threat to Israeli security when he was arrested – the only possible justification for an otherwise unlawful act of wrongful imprisonent.

Palestinian journalist nears death on hunger strike


Like 700 other Palestinians, Mohammad Al-Qiq is being held under administrative detention – no charge, no evidence, no trial. He has been on hunger strike for three months and is on the edge of organ failure. Many bodies have taken up his case. His employer, Saudi-owned Al-Majd Television, is not known to have lifted a finger on his behalf.

In the spotlight – Palestinian political prisoners


If Israeli security forces hoped that imprisoning Palestinian political activists would ‘disappear’ them from public life they were wrong. The more there are, the longer they languish inside, the more who die from their treatment in prison the louder the demand that they be freed. Today, April 17th, is Palestinian Political Prisoners Day when public voices say freedom will pave the way for peace.

MEPs snubbed by Israel on visit to prisoners and Gaza

ofer prison

Four Members of the European Parliament visited Israel last week to look into the condition of prisoners held on administrative detention, that is, without due process of law. This followed a resolution of the EU parliament in 2013 following the death in custody of Arafat Jaradat. The resolution has been sent on to all bodies concerned with due process by states. The delegation was denied access to any prisoners and to the Israeli Ministries of Justice, the Interior and Foreign Affairs.

Outside the law: Israel’s political prisoners

It doesn’t take much for a Palestinian to end up in an Israeli jail, often without being charged, tried or convicted of any crime. Throwing stones, speaking in public against the occupation, being a leader of a political party or a member of Palestine’s legislative council – any of these is enough for the IDF to abduct you and lock you in an Israeli prison. Say the word ‘security’ and due process dies. A global week of action started October 17th.

Hunger strike wins again

Israeli authorities, reportedy including PM Netanyahu, Shin Bet and the prison service, have struck a deal with the lawyers of the gravely ill Samer Issawi, who has been on hunger strike since August 1. The deal renews the potency of the hunger strike, not least because of the symbolic and potent role that political prisoners have amongst Palestinians.

The fate of Samer Issawi

On 9th April 2013 political prisoner Samer Issawi, now in his eight month on hunger strike and perilously weak, issued a moving call to Israelis to visit him in hospital. Two who tried were immediately arrested. One group of Israeli authors and scholars including Amos Oz responded, not by calling for his release but for him to call off his hunger strike. Another group responded in the spirit Issawi wished for, expressing their profound solidarity with him and the cause he is willing and ready to die for.

Israelis – Jews and Palestinians – in daily protest for prisoners

Jaffa/Yaffa is a rare Israeli town where Jews and Palestinians campaign together. They have been holding daily protests against adminstrative detention and, in particular, for prisoner Samer Issawi for the last few weeks. Most Jewish Israelis ignore the issue and prefer to assume all Palestinian prisoners are terrorists.

‘The goal of torture is to subjugate an entire people’

The death of Arafat Jadarat in prison, death of Ashraf Abu Thare shortly after release from prison, the hunger strikes of Samer Issawi and hundreds of others have returned the treatment of political prisoners in Israel (and the oPt), especially the use of torture, to the leading edge of political activity. Comments and reports on the use of torture in Israel, 2008-13.

‘Israel can detain us in a cell, but under occupation it feels like prison anyway’

IRIN provides a usefully factual report on Israel’s prison system for Palestinians, and on the physical and political effects of the mass hunger strike. There are no political prisoners – only ‘security prisoners’. Mahmoud al-Sarsak is the only one detained as an ‘unlawful combatant’.