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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



Let Abbas spring free from the jaws of Fatah and technocrats

This is an unusual article from Ma’an news. Usually their articles are unsigned and unopionated. Here the editor-in-chief makes a strong case for President Abbas extricating himself from the conflicting pressures of Fatah politicos and the technocrats to urge an alliance with popular unions.

Women press demand for Palestinian unity

“It is not us women who created the division; it was created by a patriarchal system” said Hanan Ashrawi at the “Women’s Call: One Country, One People, One Flag” conference organised by MIFTAH and a group of civil society organizations. National unity is our priority they said. They are backed by the UN Development Programme but it’s hard to tell what influence they have given the absence of media coverage by local publications.

An end to the charade called PA

Only the Palestinian people, who are politically impotent, have a profound interest in ending the rift between Fatah and Hamas. To the Israelis in particular, and most other actors, the rift is a Godsend. As long as Fatah and Hamas are at war, they need do nothing. Here Daoud Kuttab gives his usual intelligent strategic ideas of the way forward for the PA. In the same issue of Al Monitor is an account of the bitter rivalry with Hamas, where the military wing has gained the upper hand. The Ramallah leaders are not the innocent victim of this – if they had authorised elections, movement might have taken place.

Hamas cedes control of Gaza to PA to allow reconstruction

Many attributed Israel’s war on Gaza not to the kidnapping of the Israeli boys but to the formation of a Palestinian Unity Gov’t which Netanyahu wanted to scupper. Now the attack has produced the very result it was meant to destroy – the reinforcement of the unity government’s control over Gaza as well as the West Bank in order to facilitate the reconstruction of Gaza.

1: recognise Gazans as humans with the same need for security and dignity

And in the process of learning from its mistakes, Avi Shlaim argues 2) Israel should stop labelling Hamas as terrorist – it’s an elected government, now working under the PA aegis and has nothing in common with ISIL; 3) recognise this unity government as a negotiating partner and negotiate. And stop flouting international law.

Failure of the siege and separation route

As a means of denying Palestinian statehood and the Oslo Accords , the strategy of keeping Gaza as a locked-in enclave, separate from the West Bank has had partial success. Longer-term it is unsustainable as the proportion of unemployed, angry young men increases. The economic warnings are being ignored by Israel’s security chiefs; their interests would be best served by the very thing they are trying to destroy – a unity government whose writ runs throughout Palestine.

The choice for Hamas – war, or slow strangulation

Nathan Thrall reviews the options that faced Hamas after former allies in Egypt, Iran and Syria demanded unacceptable terms for their continued support. One of these is trying to make the unity government work, something which Israel will also have to consider.

The West could have brought Hamas into the fold

The creation of the Palestinian Unity Government meant Hamas was willing to cede power in Gaza. Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group sets out the steps the US and Israel could have taken to further this movement. Instead, they blocked it. What else could Hamas then do when Israel attacked?

Netanyahu cannot crush popular Palestinian outrage

An isolated Mahmoud Abbas, shored up by his goons and henchmen, should be as much a target of growing Palestinian anger as Israel’s occupying forces writes Ramzy Baroud. The violence of IDF and settlers in the West Bank and the barrage against Gaza is creating the one thing Netanyahu most dreads – a unifying of Palestinian anger.

Israel’s target: its partner for peace

The Israeli government no doubt knows that it is not going to crush Hamas in its latest military offensive given the failure of every previous attempt. What has incited it is the Palestinian unity government which now composes the PNA and thus its partner for peace. As peace would mean giving up land and control that’s the last thing it wants. Analysis by Idan Landau. Plus photo caption on 4 boys killed on beach.

Accusing Hamas serves Israel’s purpose, but not the facts

So far, there has been a token quality to the exchange of fire between Gaza and Israel. Hamas definitely wants to prevent a full-scale engagement and has offered a truce, brokered by Egyptian officials. Given the unusually high level of anger amongst Palestinians, following Operation Brother’s Keeper and the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdair, Israel appears to be deciding whether or not it wants to provoke a major confrontation.

The clan that sabotages every Hamas truce

The tragic irony of right-wing calls to destroy Hamas – and thus the unity government – is that the control Hamas has exercised over dissident factions has been entirely to the benefit of safety in Israel. But one or two clans remain out of reach. Strengthening that reach would have been to Israel’s benefit. Now Israeli security is in danger of unleashing chaos.

Operation Brother’s Keeper morphs into operation destroy Hamas

The focus on turning over Hamas premises, the lacklustre coverage of the search for the lost Israeli boys, confirm Richard Silverstein’s reports – that the boys are known to be dead. Shin Bet has produced two names – which may or may not relate to the search. The UN has warned against the unrestrained nature of the operation.

The big search

On Thursday 12th June, 3 boys from a yeshiva in a West Bank settlement disappeared when they were hitchhiking home, assumed abducted following a phone call from one of the boys (treated at the time as a hoax). Since then, this has been, in essence, the only subject of news and comment in Israeli and, to a lesser extent, Palestinian media. As has been pointed out, the abduction of young men is a routine practice by Israeli security. It’s called ‘administrative detention’, the cause of the current hunger strike in Israeli prisons. What news outlet broadcasts its outrage at such kidnappings or the need for such desperate protests? The profound media distortions compound the injustice. As B’Tselem and JfJfP state, the abduction of any person is an absolute violation of their human rights; it seems more grievous when those abducted are more frail through age (as here) or sex or health or disability, than usual. The search for the boys has been added to a planned extirpation of Hamas from the West Bank. This posting provides an index, by category, to the many postings this week on these issues.

Israel cries ‘havoc’ and lets slip the dogs of hate and lies

Operation brother’s keeper: In pursuit of its attempt to destroy Hamas – for which the lost boys are an excuse – the IDF makes military preparations for further strikes into Gaza, the Israeli press whips up hatred with false use of photos, Hamas and Fatah are pulling apart and Israeli youth spew calls for murder on Facebook. It is all extremely ugly.

Violence is the only language Israel understands (in public)

The disappearance of three Israeli boys has produced almost universal shock – presumably the aim if it was an act of kidnap. On Netanyahu’s side there are calls for revenge, punishment and the once-and-for-all destruction of Hamas (and thus the Palestinian Unity Gov’t) – Richard SIlverstein predicts an attack on Gaza; on his critics’ side there are sad and angry comments about what does Bibi expect when he will not dignify Palestinians with serious talks, let alone the right to live freely.

The Hamas Charter – reform or junk it?

The Palestinian unity government is having to deal with terrorist attacks against Israel by jihadist groups and at the same time develop working relationships with the US, Israel and EU. The Hamas charter – an antisemitic document – is being held up by Netanyahu as an insuperable block to change. No senior Hamas figure now defends it.

Is it good for the Jews?

safe passage

Ignore what political leaders say especially those who see Hamasniks under every bed advises Uri Avnery in this cutting account of Israel’s structures of divide and rule; judge them by their acts of sealing off Gaza and the West Bank.

Bibi’s cries of terror ignored in USA

The establishment of the new Palestinian Unity government has proceeded remarkably smoothly everywhere except in Jerusalem where Netanyahu has been loudly denouncing Abbas for including terrorists in his new government. His view has been rebuffed in Washington.