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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



Warm embrace of Christians at Al Aqsa protest

Those whose religion in Palestine/Israel advocates love, humility and respect for the holy places of all religions have won revered status in the Al Aqsa conflict. That notion of religion is unifying and security forces find it hard to find a justification for attacking them.

Jerusalem: the sick city

Amjad Iraqi argues that “the only permanent cure to Jerusalem’s sickness lies not just in ending the occupation (the foremost and most urgent step), but in ending the nationalist-religious mantras of ownership of the city in both Israeli and Palestinian social and political thought.”

Rabbis rule OK!

Avirama Golan reports on dark developments in Israeli society as rabbis undermine the legitimacy of the secular courts; for instance Rabbi Shlomo Aviner writing in support to disgraced President Katsav and telling his students that Katsav was subject to a rigged kangaroo trial: that the women who testified that he committed sexual offenses were lying, the media created undue pressure and the judge wasn’t Jewish…
In a separate case, Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, head of the Zomet Institute dedicated to merging Halachic Judaism with modern life, has launched a scathing attack on a Knesset Member of the Independence faction – over her marriage to a non-Jewish man!

Anglican bishop faces deportation from East Jerusalem


Israel’s Interior Ministry has revoked the permit for the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, to live in Jerusalem, and has refused requests to reinstate it, in spite of protests by Anglican authorities in the West specifically the United States..

More on the Rabbis…


More and more people, including religious leaders, have come out against the fanatical rabbis’ fatwa calling on Israeli Jews not to let or sell property to Israeli Palestinians. But Jeremiah Haber is not happy with the assumptions that many of them make and is particularly critical of an advertisement sponsored by forty-two Jewish organizations that promote the study of Jewish religion in Israel, or are guided by it. Under the good title, “No to Racism in the Name of Judaism,” it sees the rabbinic manifesto as part of a struggle against humanistic values, and the love of humanity. But it goes on to call for love of resident strangers (“for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”) – in effect treating the Israeli Palestinians as resident aliens. Haber argues that “here in a nutshell we see the moral limitations of a Judaism informed by liberal statist Zionism”. Two more petitions against the rabbinical manifesto appeared shortly after, both originating from modern orthodox Jewish circles, one from Israel; the other from America. Haber comments on these as well.
And Lawrence Davidson in Tikkun Magazine finds the sentiment expressed by the rabbis’ ‘decree’ as “not unusual. It is, in fact, uncomfortably mainstream. This sort of discrimination is a structural part of the Israeli public and private practice…”

Rabbinical racism too much even for Netanyahu


Dozens of top municipal rabbis, their salaries paid by the state, signed a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles – a move particularly aimed against Arabs – and defended their decision with the declaration that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, who heads the Ashdod Yeshiva. “The land of Israel is designated for the people of Israel. This is what the Holy One Blessed Be He intended…” Prime Minister Netanyahu harshly condemned them and said such declarations were unacceptable. It will be interesting to see what he does about it…
PLUS: A late addition (posted 12 Dec): Richard Silverstein writes: “I couldn’t have made this up myself if I’d tried: the rabbis of the largely Yemenite city of Rosh Ha-Ayin, including the chief rabbi, declared a ban on hiring Arabs at stores which employ Jewish girls. I swear to you, it’s true…
And the Magnes Zionist writes of the “downhill slide of much of modern orthodox Jewry into what one may call ‘Kahanism lite’.”

The state of Israel at the mercy of the Orthodox-national-religious bloc


Uri Avnery writes about how Zionism was, “among other things, a secular nationalist rebellion against the Jewish religion”. But the failure to separate religion and state, Ben-Gurion’s cooption of the “national-religious” camp with the establishment of its own separate educational system, and the emergence of Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful) following the occupation, has changed all that. Today we have a virtual fusion of the Orthodox and the national-religious into one bloc bearing little resemblance to the Orthodox or the Reform models of the diaspora. “It must be said: the Jewish religion in Israel is a mutation of Judaism, a tribal, racist, extreme nationalist and anti-democratic creed”…

Israel rates low in terms of religious freedom


The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports: “The International Religious Freedom Report 2009 [produced by the U.S. State Department] released Wednesday placed Israel in the section with countries “where violations of religious freedom have been noteworthy.” Israel is in the same section as such countries as Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq and Sudan. Another section of the report highlights countries, some in the violators group, where positive developments have been seen; Israel does not appear in that category.”

Feuding between Haredim and secular in Israel reaches new levels of intensity


J.J.Goldberg writes about the intensifying conflict between the religious and the secular in Israel: “Bluntly put, how many Haredim is too many? How long can Israel sustain a rapidly expanding subculture that mostly shuns the work force, lives on public funds and doesn’t serve in the military?… Not surprisingly, most Haredi spokesmen view the entire demographic discussion as rank bigotry. “

Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?


Daniel Estrin writes: “The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew,” write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar…“The King’s Torah (Torat Hamelech), Part One: Laws of Life and Death between Israel and the Nations,” a 230-page compendium of Halacha, or Jewish religious law, published by the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, garnered a front-page exposé in the Israeli tabloid Ma’ariv, which called it the stuff of “Jewish terror.”…Yet, both [Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona] Metzger and his Sephardic counterpart, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have declined to comment on the book, which debuted in November, while other prominent rabbis have endorsed it […]