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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



Ultra-Orthodox make their new power felt

A year ago, PM Netanyahu approved the creation of a space at the Western Wall where men and women could pray equally and together. On June 25 this year he rescinded that decision, preferring to face the anger of women, especially in the US, rather than lose the Orthodox Jews who maintain his coalition. As in other religions, the rule that women must bear as many children as possible while men pursue the higher things has become sacrosanct for the orthodox.

Religious extremism ‘poisons’ Israel

Danielle Berrin is an Israel-loving Jew who is shocked by the Ultra-Orthodox revival of ancient practices – presented as the true Judaism – which are centred on policing women’s ‘modesty’, perhaps to stop men succumbing to sexual mania. Here she defends the validity of criticism of Israel where sexist habits are entrenched.

Ultra-Orthodox refuse all state duties

Haredi Jews seem an oddity amongst the diverse congregation of Jews. Many Haredim think Israel should not exist and they should not perform state duties, especially military service. It’s a growing problem -Haredim have by far the fastest birth rate amongst Jews at just below 12%. The national average is 2%.

Small Jewish sect enjoys its new power

It is fanciful to imagine that any consensus on the Western/Wailing Wall can be made between Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox and all other Jews. Netanyahu has left their power intact. He can do a deal with them but not with progressive Jews not least because they are not recognised as Jews by the Israeli Rabbinate. The ties binding Jews round the world – where the Ultra-Orthodox are a small minority – to Israel continue to fray.

The secret life of the Ultra-Orthodox: selling arms to Iran

This is a very strange story, first reported by a Greek newspaper then picked up by Richard Silverstein who identified the men caught trying to break the sanctions against Iran by smuggling spare parts to them, thus increasing the existential threat to Israel. The two ultra-Orthodox Israelis appear to have been long-known by Israeli authorities – and with Mossad’s boasting of its knowledge of Iran weaponry how could they not be?

Farewell to the People’s Army

From the beginning, the IDF has been lauded as Israel’s greatest creation – not just an effective fighting force but symbol of an egalitarian willingness to fight and die in the service of country. No more. An attempt to conscript the burgeoning population of the Ultra-Orthodox has been diluted because they are also seen as the protector of Israel’s religious soul. To the secular, it is now the Ultra-Orthodox who provide ‘the existential threat’ to Israel.

Anger at the ‘deadweights’ gave Lapid his vote

Adam Keller did his civic duty by manning a polling booth, from where he observes that the social movement of 2011 was a protest at the unequal burdens Israelis carry; but while some raged at the well-connected tycoons who twist things in their favour, others focussed on the exemptions from most civic duties of the ultra-Orthodox. It was the latter group who gave Lapid his votes. Can he go beyond this grievance?

Bad press for ultra-Orthodox sexism shocks Netanyahu into plea for help

Since 1988 Israeli women have defied the rules at the Western Wall by reading from the Torah or wearing prayer shawls and have often been arrested with no demur from government. Two weeks ago British teenagers were arrested there, with great publicity. So Netanyahu has sprung into action asking the go-to agency, the Jewish Agency, to sort out this embarrassment for the ‘modern’ state.

Women against the patriarchs: from victims to frontierwomen

The assertion of control over Jewish holy sites by the Ultra-Orthodox has many challengers. Women of the Wall are amongst the most active in claiming their own right to perform Jewish rituals at the Western Wall. As the haredim ‘schmooze’ with the police, the women are frequently arrested, though not charged. Anat Hofman tells +972 her story.

When 1 and 1 don’t make 2

Shaul Arieli takes a sardonic look at the mathematics of Israeli society and its occupation.

Ultra-orthodox soldiers say will leave IDF over women singing

Rabbi Moshe Ravad, Chief Rabbi of the Israel Air Force, resigned his position because haredi soldiers have not been exempted from events with women singing. Some soldiers have said they will put halachic law before state law and leave the armed forces

Ultra-orthodox present themselves as ‘holocaust’ victims

Haredi Jews, whose pressure to confine women and girls has prompted strong disapproval in Israel, dressed their children in striped prison clothes and wore yellow patches in a demonstration on Saturday. The claim that they are the Jews and other Israelis are the Nazis has caused outrage

Dancers protest at men who can’t bear the sight of them

This seems a skimpy story: men in Jerusalem demand a shield against the sight of dancers’ feet but, like the fulminations of the Taliban and Iranian police who want all women enclosed in cloth bags, it signifies what sort of society the (increasingly powerful and numerous) ultra-religious want in Israel

Women lead fight against segregated public space

Sex is not ‘dirty’ in traditional Judaism, But in the name of a truer Judaism the ultra-Orthodox are doing all they can to enforce the absence of women in body and image from the places religious men occupy. IRAC is fighting back against this latest in a series of separations that divide Israel into exclusive groups