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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




Not a right and not a return

In theory, anyone who has a Jewish parent can emigrate to Israel. That so-called right made Israel what it is. The myth of ‘return’ gives a spurious validity to a decision to move to Israel. ONE JJ has started a register of all who reject the ‘Law of Return’. No Palestinian has a ‘right of return’.

No refugee return – ever

Avigdor Lieberman tells the Herzliya conference that no Palestinian refugee will ever be allowed to return to family land or home. The bombastic defence minister is in no position to make that promise. The right of return is fundamental to Palestinian political culture and has a role in his PM’s effort to forge an anti-Iran alliance with the Gulf states- none of which accepts refugees.

BDS does not promote peace

What’s the point of the BDS movement if it does not enable Israeli Jews and Palestinians to live in peace with each other? And, asks Uri Avnery, what’s the point if it encourages a train of antisemites and Israel-haters?

France struggles to take lead on ending Palestine/Israel conflict

‘When Europe dares raise its head against the occupation, history and hysterics have always been on Israel’s side’ writes Akiva Eldar, quoting Netanyahu’s view that the French resolution on ending the Israel/Palestine conflict is antisemitic, as is ANY European move. That is predictable. If the Holocaust is the benchmark, France comes second to Germany in dispatching Jews to their death. Ali Abuminah, however, damns the resolution as a denial of Palestinian rights. Will the US use its veto on the UN Security Council to dispatch the French attempt to make a difference?

Abandoning politics for the mantra of ‘return’

key of return

In a thoughtful and admiring review of Diana Allan’s account of Palestinian life in Shatila refugee camp, Max Ijl recounts how the struggle for power lines has replaced the struggle for political power under the shelter of the rhetoric of return.

Facing up to Palestinians’ demand to return

Uri Avnery, Irgun member turned peace activist debates with old friend Salman Abu Sitta, Palestinian refugee become successful businessman. While Uri sees no choice in fighting for the land in 1947-48 he asks – why could the refugees not return? Palestinian Salman is relentless: we were dispossessed – this is the one cause that matters and on which all else will be judged.

Spain gives Jews the right of return

Spain has given the descendants of Sephardi Jews the right of return, half a millenium after their expulsion. In so doing it is causing Israel considerable embarrassment because of how the Rabbinate deal with the issue of allowing descendants of “conversos” into Israel. And Khaled Diab points out that it was not just Jews who were expelled from Spain. Muslims, too, were given the option of converting or leaving. But even the converts – Moriscos – were forced out a century later. Spain has yet to address this historic wrong.

Right of return must also be choice to return

The Palestinian right of return is an absolute slogan for most Palestinians and Israelis – an idealised dream for one and an image of terrifying loss and revenge for the other. Behind the absolutes, Zochrot and academics have been exploring what it might mean in practice.To begin with, suggests Danny Rabinowitz, it should be the freedom to return – implying choice – rather than right.

Speak it aloud: Palestinian return

The very word ‘return’ attached to the word ‘Palestinian’ has been unspeakable and unthinkable – except as a nightmare – amongst all fearful defenders of the Israeli state. For a start, it means that someone once had a home in the place to which they will return. Which in turn means acknowledging the nakba. Yet at a Zochrot conference 2 weeks ago, Palestinians and Israelis discussed it sensibly, without exaggeration or hysteria, and worked out how this most precious of demands by Palestinians could actually be implemented.

Nakba remembered as ongoing disaster

Almost half of all Palestinians are refugees (some estimates are higher). Continuing seizures of Palestinian land and demolition of their homes consolidate their exclusion from their own homeland. Nakba day, May 15th, links them all in memory of why they are where they are.

Jews urged to give up the right of ‘return’ to Israel

Israeli propaganda which insists that Israel is the one and proper home for all Jews and true representative of Jewish interests has prompted more and more people to argue the opposite; our homes are in the countries we live in, we have no right to live in Israel, ‘diaspora’ life has a long, rich history which we value.

The real BDS dispute is who has the right to self-determination

BDS is a two-target tactic – aiding Palestinian self-determination and engaging supporters in their campaign. Liberal Zionist opponents have found many reasons to justify their stance, from ‘it will lead to the extermination of Israel’ to the Palestinian right of return is totally unacceptable..

BDS drives the future of Liberal Zionism/UPDATE Conference news

Many Liberal Zionists support the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions directed against products from the illegal settlements and products and companies which maintain the settlements. They are divided when BDS is pushed further to take in its principle of a Palestinian right of return. The issue may determine Liberal Zionism’s future. Jerry Haber and Peter Beinart set out their arguments. UPDATE:
Conferences on BDS and Reclaiming alternative Jewish culture and identity

Staying under idiots’ rule – or the courage to make our own peace

In the second part of his essay Faysal Mikdadi puts forward his modest proposal for peace. It begins with both Palestinians and Israelis accepting that the other is not going to go away. It means having the courage to make yourself by forgetting. And then the details of what sort of state, what sort of right of return, might work so as to end over 60 years of misery. Unless both Palestinians and Israelis prefer the status quo.

Polls find no sign of life in Israeli politics

Countless polls, countless results, same contradiction: Voters want vigorous economic life and peace with Palestinians. They will vote for parties and leaders who offer neither, speak of neither. Why? Adam Keller, 1) and Uri Avnery 2) offer their interpretations of a country so paralysed by the thought of disturbing its peace (sic) that preserving the status quo is the only option. Only outside action can effect change.

Pushing Jewish refugees from Arab countries centre stage

Three Jewish organisations are holding conferences on the rights of Jews who left Arab countries for Israel in the years after its foundation, an event which broke the Ottoman tradition of peaceful co-existence.. This new campaign appears to be a counter to the issue of Palestinian refugees, an equalisation of victimhood. An account of the 1941 Nazi-inspired pogrom in Baghdad follows the report from JTA.

Exile: voices of loss and longing – and hate

The contrast between Israel as the home to which every Jew has a birthright and the Palestinian land it occupies, to which no Palestinian has a right of return is extreme. Palestinian refugees are the responsibility of the UN Relief and Works Agency. Two reports on their work (Reuters, UNWRA); a vituperative attack on them from Right Turn in Washington Post and an AFP story of the Indian Jews waiting to go ‘home’ to Israel.

What has Israel given Jews? Not refuge, not culture

Jerry Haber takes up the new myths about Israel — that it is a nest, a safe place for Jews and the nursery of Jewish culture – and finds they are without merit. The revival of Hebrew predates Zionism and if Israel is under existential threat, nowhere is less safe for Jews. The myth does not justify the refusal of Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland.

IDF gears up to repel ‘global march’ to Jerusalem

Friday, 30th March, is Land Day, commemorating protests in 1976 at the Israeli government’s announcement of the expropriation of much Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes”. A Global March on Jerusalem aims to arrive in Jerusalem on that day (1). Mustafa Barghouti explains why he supports it (3) The IDF plans to repel it (2).

Beinart writes requiem of liberal Zionism

Richard Silverstein takes issue with Peter Beinart’s Op-Ed (posting below) in more ways than he can count but at heart it is Beinart’s inability to call oppression and occupation by the right names and his misnaming of BDS and right of return as moves to destroy Israel rather than empower Palestinians.