Edinburgh sees Syria – the Vigil

We gave out 250 copies of the flyer at the vigil.

image-4 cropped

We felt it was important to highlight the desperate situation of Palestinian refugees, already displaced from their homeland, once again having to flee from military occupation. The vigil was unlike most demonstrations, with no organised shouting and marching but rather a peaceful sense of determination to change policy and to welcome refugees to Edinburgh and to Scotland.

Israel Independence Day celebration in the Scottish Parliament

On 30th April Ken Macintosh, Labour MSP for Glasgow Eastwood, is hosting a celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) in the Scottish Parliament. A protest will be held outside the Parliament, and an online petition has 1300 signatures at the time of writing. SJJP has also protested in writing against the celebration, with an explanation from our own viewpoint of why it should not be taking place. This letter was sent on 29th April to Ken Macintosh, to the Presiding Officer of the Parliament, and to the press:

Scottish Jews for a Just Peace (SJJP) Statement on Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration at the Scottish Parliament

SJJP notes that on 30th April Ken Macintosh MSP is hosting a 2015 Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) event at the Scottish Parliament in conjunction with representatives of the Israeli Government.

Of course, we support the right of Jews to celebrate religious festivals and events—whether connected or not to the State of Israel—in any way they choose. But we also recognize that Yom Ha’Atzmaut is not a religious event but a celebration of Israeli statehood, and we oppose a celebration that recognises only the official Israeli narrative of the creation of the state while ignoring the disastrous impact it has had on the Palestinians now living in the Occupied Territories, Gaza and refugee camps in the region.

SJJP argues for a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict based on peace and equal rights for all, regardless of their ethnic or religious identity. So we see the recent debate in the Scottish Parliament about recognition of a Palestinian State as a stimulus towards a negotiated solution between Israel and the Palestinians. By contrast, an unbalanced celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut hosted in the Scottish Parliament provides tacit support for the State of Israel while ignoring the claims for statehood and political rights of Palestinians. The Scottish Parliament can play a positive role in fostering constructive and peaceful relationships between communities in Scotland; and in contributing towards peace in the Middle East. But hosting this Yom Ha’Atzmaut event is not the way to achieve these aims.

(Signed) Lisa Barcan, Alex Benchimol, Liz Elkind, Marion Hersh, Naomi Junnor, Laura Kandle, Barrie Levine, Catherine Lyons, Henry Maitles, John McArdle, Maurice Naftalin, Suzanne Senior, Mark Symonds, Philip Wadler

Hilda Meers z”l

SJJP recently lost our oldest member, Hilda Meers, who died last month. The following eulogy is composed from the heartfelt tributes of several of our members:

Hilda was a committed anti-fascist with a long history of fighting against fascism in the north-east and elsewhere.  She was an author who amongst other things had written about resistance in the Nazi concentration camps; she was a firm believer in the strength of the trade union movement and in its role as the core of anti-fascism; and she was a committed campaigner for human rights in Israel/Palestine. She was proud to be a Jewish campaigner for peace and against injustice, and enthusiastically took part while she was able, even in her motorised scooter, in SJJP activities and events. As such, she stood in a long and honourable tradition of Jewish values rooted in challenging oppression and fighting for social justice. In person, she was a hugely sympathetic person with a strong sense of justice that she combined with a political understanding that brought together head and heart.

Hilda’s passing is a huge loss to the movement and though she will be sadly missed, we know that she would certainly have echoed Joe Hill’s last words: ‘don’t mourn, organise!’

The Aberdeen Press and Journal published an excellent obituary.

Israel/Palestine and the General Election

I started to write this post in reaction to a piece in Ha’Aretz that begins

The very real prospect of David Cameron’s Conservative Party losing Britain’s general election on May 7 is causing a shudder of dread to pass through Israeli diplomats and lobbyists in London. Officially, of course, they are not involved in the United Kingdom’s internal politics. But the consensus is that “we have never had such a pro-Israel prime minister.”

and goes on to list some of the ways in which Cameron has personally intervened to ensure that British government policies over the last five years have been closely aligned with Netanyahu’s aims. These include, amongst others

  • the effective ending of universal jurisdiction, which allowed arrest warrants to be issued in Britain against anyone suspected of alleged war crimes if there was no reasonable prospect of them being investigated by their own government;
  • taking advantage of London’s status as a global financial centre to cut off Iran’s banking system from the world, making it extremely difficult for the Iranian oil industry to arrange insurance for its tankers;
  • steadfastly resisting Lib-Dem demands to end Israeli bombardment of civilian targeting during last summer’s Gaza war. He’s still defending them now, even as the UN releases a report documenting the deliberate targeting of schools and shelters used by civilians.

The article concludes that people who know Cameron’s views believe that he sees the Middle East “very similarly to Netanyahu”.

Of course, I shouldn’t be giving this any space; nothing could be more irrelevant to an SJJP blog post than the Conservative leader’s position on Israel/Palestine—I’m sure that no readers of this blog will decide whether or not to vote Conservative on this basis! So what about the candidates that you might actually consider voting for? The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has written to Parliamentary candidates to find out their attitude to Palestinian human rights. It’s interesting to see who has taken the trouble to respond, and very interesting to see what each one says, not always in line with their party policy. You can check the responses, constituency by constituency, here.

The formal policies of the main parties don’t help much. Party manifestos have to play it safe, of course, and the (nearly universal) formula of pressing for a “return to meaningful negotiations” for “a two-state solution” doesn’t suggest that they think voters attach much importance to the matter, or know much about it. The outstanding exception (possibly excluding the smaller left-wing parties) seems to be the Green Party, whose policy actually shows some understanding of the situation. They call for repeal of the Law of Return, for dismantling of the separation barrier, for equal sharing of water resources, and for Israel to abandon its claim to exclusive possession of Jerusalem. And they actually suggest using, in the interests of Palestinian human rights, the most significant lever that a British government has (or could have) in the conflict: the European Union Association Agreement with Israel, which is worth more than £1 billion a year.

I know that, in deciding how to vote, everyone takes into account many issues, and a party’s position on the Middle East is not usually high on the list. And if you know anything about the situation there, you aren’t likely to find any British party with whom you’ll agree on very many points. But I would like to reserve a special place in purgatory for anyone who asks me to be interested in reviving the grisly corpse of “the peace process” and, by the same token, I give a little more credit—and perhaps even a vote—to people who at least aren’t consciously lying to me on an issue that I care about.

Writing Practices

Seafood, especially cold water fish, is certainly proven to help with heart health.

Zoology was considered as a research after Aristotle published “Background of pets”. These listed below are the most effective twenty zoologist of all time. Darwin Charles Robert Darwin naturalist- He is distinctive for that medical theory. He revealed his principle On Species’ Origin with persuasive evidence for progression in his 1859 guide, eliminating controlled rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. Continue reading Writing Practices

SJJP meeting 15th March 2015

We met a fortnight ago, for the first time in nearly two years. The atmosphere was very positive, with a lot of energy and determination to go forward. This entry provides a brief record of the meeting.

Barrie, as the current convenor, introduced newer members to the history of the group. The group has been active since 2004, but came together with its current supporters during the Lebanon War of 2006. We have good relations with our sister English group (and original inspiration) Jews for Justice for Palestinians. SJJP gets frequent invitations to speak at demonstrations and meetings. About 30 people are signatories to the SJJP statement—more than are active—which implies potential for much greater activity.

We then discussed immediate prospects for the group. The proposal before the meeting was to adopt a constitution (previously circulated) with the aim of transforming SJJP from a loose grouping into a membership organisation capable of handling funds and operating in a more organised way than has been possible until now. This was agreed, and detailed discussion of the constitution followed. The key issues were:

  • Whether SJJP should have a steering group. This had been opposed on the grounds of exclusivity; while appreciating the dangers of this, the meeting decided that the advantages outweighed them;
  • What the threshold should be for amending the constitution or the statement. The decision was to maintain the compromise proposed in the draft constitution (two-thirds of a meeting composing 10 members or 25% of the membership).
  • We agreed to call a meeting on May 17th to inaugurate the renewed group. Until then, our campaigning will be relatively limited, but we can increase our profile immediately:

  • Develop our presence on Twitter and Facebook;
  • Publish a fortnightly newsletter, together with regular posts to this blog, submitted by members as individuals.

Meanwhile we will continue with current campaigning activity, in particular joint actions with other members of the Scottish Palestinian Forum (though we can’t proceed with formal affiliation until we are constituted).

Winners and losers in the Israeli election

In responding to the Israeli election results, I’ve seen an almost complete disconnect between my friends in Edinburgh and the media commentators who I read and respect. Almost everyone I know is downcast at Netanyahu’s electoral victory and its predictable consequence—a continuation of the policies that have prolonged and worsened the occupation and all its miseries, including periodic wars (or, more accurately, massacres) in Gaza.

Even more depressing than the victory were the means by which it was achieved: Netanyahu’s last-minute total rejection of a Palestinian state and his openly racist calls to his supporters. It’s impossible to resist the conclusion that if this is how to win elections in Israel, Israel is clearly a right-wing country: a depressing conclusion indeed for liberal Zionists, or indeed for anyone hoping for real progress towards peace in the region. As the Magnes Zionist remarked:

This is not a state that is presided over by a unpopular tyrant. This is a state run by a very popular Jewish bigot, who gets elected by telling his supporters that there will be no Palestinian state, and that they must get out and vote in order to stop the Arab citizens of Israel “who are voting in droves.”

“This is your god, O Israel” Aaron said to the Israelites, as they worshipped the golden calf of bigotry, deceit, and self-centeredness.

Still, it’s not necessary to be totally downcast about the outcome. Here are three different lines of thinking about the result; while none is exactly cheering, each one contains an element of hope and encouragement. Continue reading Winners and losers in the Israeli election

Double standards on freedom of speech?

I represented SJJP at a public meeting last night organised by Amina, the Muslim Women’s Resource Centre in Glasgow. Under the title ‘The War on Islam and the Double Standards of Freedom of Speech’, the panel consisted of Aamer Anwar — Scotland’s leading Human rights lawyer, Amal Azzudin — one of the ‘Glasgow Girls’ who is a community activist and campaigner, and Shaykh Abdal-Aziz Ahmed — an Islamic Scholar and teacher. Around sixty people attended and participated in a lively discussion about the impact of the Charlie Hebdo killings and related attacks on Jewish people in Paris and Copenhagen. The panel focused on the implications for minority communities in the wake of the attacks and the consequences for greater levels of Islamophobia within a context of growing racism in Europe. The audience raised questions ranging from how to tackle racism to the challenges of achieving community integration with panel members responding about the need for unity and avoiding wedges being driven between Muslim and Jewish communities as a consequence of the attacks. Continue reading Double standards on freedom of speech?

ICAHD in Scotland

Edinburgh Liberal Jewish CommunityNot many people here have heard of ICAHD, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. That’s a pity, because although their name makes them sound like a niche campaign, in fact ICAHD is a very dynamic and effective peace group; although they take house demolitions in the Occupied Territories as their primary campaigning focus, they are active on many issues, and have succeeded—unusually for an Israeli peace group—in building something of an international network in Europe and the USA: I’m aware of this because I attended the ICAHD-UK national conference two years ago, and was very impressed by the breadth and enthusiasm of their support in the UK. The first event of our Sukkat Shalom 2013 Israel/Palestine human rights trip was an extremely informative orientation tour of East Jerusalem conducted by Jeff Halper, ICAHD’s director. Continue reading ICAHD in Scotland

Gaza update

Gaza tends to drop out of the news when there isn’t a shooting war on. An exception during the last week was the resignation of the head of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) enquiry into the 2014 Gaza war. As Gideon Levy wrote in Ha’aretz:

Through persistent surveillance, Israel’s intelligence and propaganda branches revealed that Schabas had once received a $1,300 fee from the PLO. Conclusion: he sold his soul to the devil. The ref sucks. Q.E.D.

So the ref is gone, according to himself “in order to prevent Israel’s accusations against him from distracting attention from the writing of the report and publication of its findings.” He emphasised that the commission had largely finished gathering evidence and had begun writing the report and he did not want the issue to overshadow the work of the inquiry that “is at a decisive stage.” Continue reading Gaza update

Conscience, the fatal flaw in the intelligence machine

The commander of the Israeli army’s highly prestigious 8200 intelligence unit yesterday dismissed 43 of his reservists. This is big news in Israel, because Unit 8200 is responsible for signals intelligence, nowadays known both as the cutting-edge of technology and one of the most powerful instruments of government control. If you doubt this, read the letter, written last September, that led to the reservists’ dismissal. In it they say:

The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. While there are severe limitations on the surveillance of Israeli citizens, the Palestinians are not afforded this protection. There’s no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence.
Information that is collected and stored harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.
Intelligence allows for the continued control over millions of people through thorough and intrusive supervision and invasion of most areas of life. This does not allow for people to lead normal lives, and fuels more violence further distancing us from the end of the conflict. [my emphasis]

972 Magazine quotes the reservists giving examples of their routine army duties:

…revealing the sexual preferences of Palestinians in order to blackmail them and thereby recruit them as collaborators. That, or by exploiting economic hardships or medical needs of Palestinians who need treatment in Israel. The other main examples deal with … assassinations and bombings of Gaza since Cast Lead, including targets that [the signatories] say were unjustified, caused unnecessary harm to innocents and didn’t contribute to the security of residents of Israel.

The letter ends by saying that the signatories “refuse to take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians” and, believing that Israel’s future depends on opposition to “these injustices”, call on other Intelligence Corps soldiers to do the same.

You might think that a few dozen reservists don’t count for very much in the great scheme of things. But in fact, the military and political establishment are seriously concerned about their letter. Its publication met with condemnation from senior figures, including Netanyahu himself. Unit 8200’s strongest reputation is as a high-tech incubator, a major source of the control and monitoring technology that Israel sells around the world. If opposition to the most important methods of the Occupation can arise here, in the very heart of the privilege that sustains it, where can it be safe from that most dangerous of enemies, conscience?

Netanyahu in Paris

The shootings in Paris, at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and in a kosher supermarket, have naturally started far-reaching debates about freedom of expression, the boundary between satirical comment and hate speech, and the place of Islam in European society. These questions deserve serious attention, and I would rather say nothing about them than produce a glib self-serving soundbite in response. It’s difficult, though, to resist commenting on the behaviour of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who invited himself to the massive demonstration in Paris that followed the attacks.

Ha’aretz reports that the French Prime Minister François Hollande asked both Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to attend, so that the event would focus on solidarity with the citizens of France rather than importing the Middle East conflict. Both agreed, but Netanyahu changed his mind when he heard that two of his rivals in the government coalition intended to go. With elections in Israel less than two months away, no-one can afford to miss a grandstanding opportunity like that; true, nearly twenty people died, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, right? Netanyahu pushed into to the front line of dignitaries and marched, waving and beaming to the people on the balconies along the way.

For the French authorities, desperate both to reassure Jews that they have a safe future in France and to manage the threat of radicalisation without alienating all French Muslims, nothing could have been less welcome than Netanyahu’s lectures on how to fight “Islamic terror”—the Israeli way, of course, with extreme repression—coupled with the message to France’s Jews that they will never be safe anyway unless they come to Israel. It is curious that no-one ever seems to notice the contradiction in the calls to make aliyah: while we are being told never to give in to terrorism, whose aim is primarily to terrify us, we are simultaneously being told to give in to terror and flee for safety.

But this kind of reasoning is irrelevant outside the real context of Netanyahu’s comments. Right now, his only concern is to make headline material for HaYom, the Israeli freesheet owned by his American billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson. We can expect more stunts like this—including military provocations—in the next two months and the closer the polls run, the more desperate will be the search for favourable publicity.

Now 363 Israelis write to my MP

Gush Shalom Press Release, October 13, 2014

Hundreds of Israeli public figures call upon Members of the British Parliament to vote in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine

363 Israeli public figures have signed a letter to the Members of the British Parliament, calling upon them to vote in favor of British recognition of a Palestinian State, to be created side-by-side with Israel.

The letter was handed on Sunday noon to representatives of the British MPs supporting the motion, due to be voted tomorrow (Monday). The Israeli letter was initiated by Dr. Alon Liel, former Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry; Prof. Amiram Goldblum, a founder of the Peace Now movement; and Yehuda Shaul of “Breaking the Silence”.

The letter reads: “We, Israelis who worry and care for the well-being of the state of Israel, believe that the long-term existence and security of Israel depends on the long-term existence and security of a Palestinian state. For this reason we, the undersigned, urge members of the UK Parliament to vote in favor of the motion to be debated on Monday 13th October 2014, calling on the British Government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel”.

Signatories include:

Nobel Prize Laureate (Economics) Daniel Kahneman

Six Laureates of the Israel Prize – Professors Alice Levy, David Harel, Shimon Sandbank, Yehoshua Kolodny, Yona Rosenfeld and Yoram Bilu;

Two former ministers – Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, as well as four former Knesset Members – Uri Avnery, Yael Dayan, Mossi Raz and Naomi Chazan;

Former Ambassador and Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Dr. Alon Liel, as well as former Ambassador Ilan Baruch;

Gen. (ret.) Emanuel Shaked, former of the Paratooper Corps;

Former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair;

Four writers – Yehoshua Sobol, Yehudit Kafri, Savyon Liebrecht and Amos Mokadi;

Professor Rafi Walden, Deputy Ditector of the Shiba Hospital and Chair of “Physicians for Human Rights”

Yuval Rahamim, Co-Chair of “Bereaved Families for Palestinian-Israeli Peace” and the group’s founder Yitzhak Frankenthal;

As well as many residents of Gaza border communities and other peace and social rights activists.

The Board of Deputies asks me to write to my MP

The Board of Deputies wrote to me asking me to contact my MP regarding the vote in Parliament on recognising a Palestinian state. So I did. Here is the text of my letter:

10th October 2014

Dear —

As you know, tomorrow there will be a vote on a motion ‘That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel’.

I have received an e-mail from the Board of Deputies of British Jews asking me to contact you on the following points. I have a different view of the situation from the BoD, which I have inserted after each of their points:

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, the representative body of the UK Jewish community, advocates for a permanent, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.

Actually, the BoD advocates for a faithful adherence to the policy of the Israeli government, which I would argue is leading in the opposite direction from a “permanent comprehensive” solution that includes a “viable” Palestinian state. While the BoD is formally the representative body of the UK Jewish community, in practice the representation is highly imperfect. In particular, the BoD provides no reflection and gives no voice to the considerable debate and disquiet in the Jewish community about the actions of the Israeli government.

Siding with one party in this conflict does not lead to fruitful negotiations. If the UK endorses the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic campaign for recognition in lieu of settlement, this will discourage both sides from making the necessary compromises.

This is completely hypocritical—the BoD and the Israeli government never make the slightest objection to anyone siding with them, although in fact their argument that supporting one side makes them more intransigent could well be applied to them.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his commitment to two-state solution and Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni has called for the resumption of negotiations.

At the end of August, following the latest Gaza war, the Civil Administration (that is, the military government of the West Bank) announced the appropriation of nearly a thousand acres of Palestinian land in the Etzion area for new settlements. Even the US government and prominent US Jewish leaders condemned this move as highly provocative (I can provide links for these statements). This and other settlement expansions run directly counter to the “expressions of commitment” to a two-state solution, in fact they make it impossible. I can’t help quoting Chico Marx: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

Previous unilateral moves, including the recognition of “Palestine” as a UN observer state and Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza have not improved the prospects for a negotiated solution.

Nothing has so far improved the prospects for a negotiated solution, including the toleration and frequently the support of the US and the EU for Israel’s continual infractions of international law in respect of many aspects of the Occupation. It is time to try a genuinely balanced approach.

Previous negotiated settlements including the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan have shown that negotiations are the only way forward in this region.

Of course genuine negotiations are the way forward. But for twenty years negotiations have been used by the Israeli government as a delaying tactic while the West Bank continues to disappear under settlements that hem the Palestinians into non-viable disconnected islands. Most recently, the Kerry-led initiative collapsed, leaving no way forward. There is transparently no commitment on the Israeli side to genuine Palestinian statehood. Negotiations between occupier and occupied, one overwhelmingly more powerful than the other, have unsurprisingly gone nowhere.

It’s time to redress the balance. Just last month, at Labour Party Conference, the shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, reiterated that support for recognition saying ‘recognition of Palestine is not a gift to be given, but a right to be had.’ The amendment that recognition should be awarded “only on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority” clearly negates the motion entirely. Please oppose it.

I realise that backbench debates are not subject to Party discipline, so you will vote according to the wishes of your conscience and your constituents. I trust that you will make the right choice and vote ‘yes’ to the motion and against any amendments.

Yours sincerely

Uri Avnery on Israel and Mandela

Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom is a phenomenon: a fighter in the 1948 war, he has been involved in Israeli politics ever since, as a pioneering advocate of peace and partnership with the Palestinians (he was the first Israeli ever to meet Arafat, crossing the lines during the Siege of Beirut to to do so). His weekly columns are always incisive and perceptive, even if you don’t always agree with his conclusions.

This week, he is writing about Netanyahu’s refusal to attend Mandela’s funeral, supposedly on the ridiculous grounds of cost. He suggests that one real reason might have been Netanyahu’s expectation of an unfriendly reception, given Israel’s long and close alliance with apartheid South Africa and Mandela’s solidarity with the Palestinians. He concludes that by being absent from the world community at Mandela’s funeral, Israel’s leaders have now themselves joined the boycott movement!

He goes on to tie this to Netanyahu’s announcement this week that Israel cannot give up the West Bank as long as Iran has nuclear capabilities, though he recognises that of course if this objection is overcome another will immediately appear in its place. He traces this never-ending stream of preconditions to the fundamental view that “almost all” Israelis hold, that peace is not possible. From his knowledge of the Palestinians he is confident that peace is indeed possible. But, he concludes:

… it is not an automatic process. One has to work for it, invest in it, wage peace as one wages war.
Nelson Mandela did. That’s why the entire world attended his funeral. That’s, perhaps, why our leaders chose to be absent.

Read the whole piece here.

Scottish Defence League demonstration, 17th August

SJJP members joined representatives of the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community (ELJC) on 17th August, to march in protest against the Scottish Defence League demonstration in Edinburgh City Centre. The following statement from ELJC was read out on the march:

Sukkat Shalom, the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community, supports the rally on 17th August against the march through Edinburgh by the Scottish Defence League.
It beggars belief that the march has been permitted at all, and particularly during the Edinburgh Festival, when our city is teeming with visitors. It underlines the need for us to be ever vigilant, so that the ugly head of of fascism is not raised again in this way.
The Festival becomes home, for a while, to performers and visitors from many countries and backgrounds. What are they to make of the narrow-minded and hostile bigotry of the SDL ?
It is essential, also for our own sakes, for those of us who live here in Edinburgh to make a stand against the insidious hatred that the SDL is trying to stir up. Edinburgh is a City where people of different faith groups and ethnic backgrounds try their utmost to live and work together in harmony. We must strive to ensure that the SDL does not harm these efforts.
We Jews, small in number in Edinburgh, know only too well from other times and other places what can happen if the small voice of unreason is allowed to swell so that communities become endangered. So I would like to add the voice of this Jewish Community in the stand against the SDL march and the fascists responsible for it.

St Andrews JSoc Ball

St. Andrew’s Jewish Society Ball, held on 26th April, included amongst its beneficiaries the Jewish National Fund and Friends of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force). SJJP issued this statement:

We are deeply saddened and concerned that St Andrews Jewish society has been persuaded to use its charity ball to raise money for the Jewish National Fund and Friends of the Israel Defence Forces. The JNF takes over Palestinian land—including homes of Palestinian refugees and land in the occupied territories—and will not lease or sell land to non-Jews. And FIDF gives solidarity to an army whose attacks on Palestinian civilians have become increasingly persistent, violent and brazen. We urge everyone of conscience, Jew and non-Jew, not to go to this event. St Andrews Jewish Society claims to be friendly, welcoming and non-political. We ask it to live up to that description.

‘That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary’ Rabbi Hillel (1st Century BCE)