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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



The myth of exile


In another tour down memory lane, we revisit the Magnes Zionist’s 2007 contribution on the forced exile of the Jews after the failure of their revolts against the Romans in 70 and 135CE.

To this day, writes Jeremiah Haber, most lay people, Jews and non-Jews, accept the myth of the exile, whereas no historian, Jew or non-Jew, takes it seriously. Drawing on the work of Prof Yisrael Yuval, Haber looks at “the disconnect between popular and scholarly belief and tr[ies] to examine the origin of the myth several centuries after the event occurred”.

Who made the desert bloom?

Palestine grain harvest

In a relatively quiet week, we are revisiting some interesting analyses and interventions from the past. Here is Diane Mason’s entertaining piece from 2010, Tell Me Again, Who Made The Desert Bloom?. In December 1945 and January 1946, the British Mandate authorities carried out an extensive survey of Palestine. Mason draws on it extensively in her account of the productivity of Palestinian agriculture at the time. Yet another Zionist myth bites the dust…

Calm report launched into stormy waters

Since the first accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party to this week’s party internecine wars British poiitics has been vituperative, vengeful and solipsistic. Dropping into this dangerous storm, Chakrabarti’s report is a halcyon of calm suggestion about mutual courtesy. Keith Kahn-Harris has some quibbles – he wishes she would have teased some clarity into the definitions of Zionism and antisemitsm. Can Labour party members follow her lead in listening and responding civilly to each other?

When I found Zionism was paranoia

Ray Filar grew up in a Zionist household imbibing all the arguments about Jews’ need for security. Then he discovered the reality of life for those Palestinian threats and saw Zionism as an obsession with ethnic purity.

Drop the use of ‘Zionism’

‘Zionist’ is short-hand for many things. Different groups use the same word, with different meanings and moral positions. This much in Prof. Herman’s article is uncontentious. Ironically, the same could be said of her use of the term ‘the Left’ and ‘left-wing’ scholars’.

A letter to the anti-Zionist left

Since the 2009 Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s violent treatment of Palestinians has been a major left-wing cause. But that left wing must act to help Palestinians. If instead that morphs into attacks on ‘Zionism’ then, says Robert Cohen, the left is on unstable ground. (We apologise for the belated posting of this clear and succinct article.)

When ‘Zionism’ was made a Judaic religious belief

Ramzy Baroud, syndicated Palestinian journalist, founder of Palestine Chronicle and vocal critic of Jew-hatred chooses the row over Corbyn and antisemitism as the subject of his latest column. He looks at the uses and abuses of antisemitism and, in particular how the secular idea of Zionism was kidnapped and incorporated into Jewish religiosity.

Students’ choice of president attacked as antisemitic

The NUS choice of a black, Muslim woman president has had the rightwing press scurrying to find bits in her past to discredit her. Saying that media is ‘Zionist-led’ is something she should have checked out – and not said. Hannah Weisfeld sticks the boot in in one of the 3 articles plus some notes on Zionism to help you decide.

Gilad Atzmon – attention-seeking Jew

A lot of people will give a sigh of irritation at another posting about Israeli Gilad Atzmon. He’s not interesting, he seems intellectually childish, (there is no generic Jew) and he has a fervour for attention. And it’s very sad. In his favour he’s an admired sax player. But his repudiation of [his and others’] Jewishness seems like his problem, not a useful political argument. Real News has a go.

Israelis accept apartheid – outsiders must act

issawiyeh checkpoint 22.10.15

Amos Schocken, publisher of Haaretz, unequivocally defines Israel as an apartheid society. Israelis accept this. But apartheid is a betrayal of the Zionist project which Schocken believes in. It would recognise Palestinian national rights as apartheid never can.

Depending on American philanthropy

From the start, Israel has depended on foreign funding especially from the US. Then, the money was given to Zionist bodies who were active in denying knowledge of the native Palestinians. That is now changing as young American Jews do not want to fund anything which perpetuates the conflict. Two openDemocracy articles.

Settler terrorism – it made Israel

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.52.21

The Journal of Palestine Studies has made a special issue out of Zionist terrorism. Its main point is that terrorism has been engrained in the Jewish settling of Palestine/Israel from the start.

The irresistible coming together of Zionism and first sex

In an article that reads like a short story Liz Rose describes how an adolescent is delighted to discover meaning in the Israel and Zionism she learns about at summer camp along with its erotic companion, discovering one’s own and another’s body in teenage utopia.

‘We must return to a creative, innovative and energetic Zionism’

This is the second batch of articles from Haaretz that are related to their peace conference this week. Several of them focus on the continued need, and possibility, of the 2-state solution, not least because the two peoples are not going anywhere else and Israel’s continued, costly subjection of Palestinians is corrupting its own ideals of a sovereign Jewish democracy.

Islamophobia is becoming ‘the defining condition of the new Europe’

oD. Hilary Aked investigates links between Islamophobia and the ‘war on terror’ against which Israel is the foremost fighter. Money flows into groups combatting ‘Islamic terror’ and into Israel. Muslims and Zionists may share an ideology of dominance, but in the West, Muslims are the barbarian outcasts.

Zionism, then and now


In his usual iconoclastic fashion, Uri Avnery argues that from the 1950s Zionism “became a cynical slogan, to be used by anyone to push his or her agenda. Mainly it became an instrument of the Israeli leadership to subjugate world Jewry and mobilize it for their national, partisan or personal aims.” Instead, we must return to A. B. Yehoshua’s distinction between nationalism and Zionism, two different entities in constant conflict with each other. It is time, not for separation, but for recognition that, whatever their “natural bonds”, Israel’s future lies in peace with its citizens and neighbours and the future of Jews throughout the world within their own nations.

Islamophobia passes unremarked

This is a response to Michael Walzer’s essay in Dissent by the Lebanese-American scholar As’ad AbuKhalil. In all the contributions to this debate there seems more heat than light, more fear and anger than curiosity about the other. But if they encourage thought about the replacement of secular politics by religion or by how religion or religious conflicts have shaped our civilisations, all to the good.

A strange history of British Zionism

A history of Zionism in Britain has much useful information but this particular history, published by CounterPunch, seems to have come from the school of Zionist conspiracies. Evan Jones does not distinguish between how ‘Zionist’ is used today – one who believes Jews alone are destined to rule a greater Israel – and how it was used pre-Israel: one with an aspiration for a Jewish homeland. He also sees Zionists at work in the UK without any evidence, defined purpose or names (or footnotes). Read with discrimination.

The myth of exile


Revisiting the Magnes Zionist’s 2007 contribution on the forced exile of the Jews after the failure of their revolts against the Romans in 70 and 135CE.

To this day, writes Jeremiah Haber, most lay people, Jews and non-Jews, accept the myth of the exile, whereas no historian, Jew or non-Jew, takes it seriously. Drawing on the work of Prof Yisrael Yuval, Haber looks at “the disconnect between popular and scholarly belief and tr[ies] to examine the origin of the myth several centuries after the event occurred”.

Happy holiday reading!

“Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United Nations”


Henry Siegman, former executive director of the American Jewish Congress (one of the nation’s “big three” Jewish organizations) has become a scourge of Israel in recent years. Here is his interview with Amy Goodman of DEMOCRACY NOW, in which he advocates giving up on Netanyahu and going to the UN to enforce a peaceful solution.