Posts Categorized: 2017 News

Yachad lobbying campaign marks ’50 years of Israeli occupation’ since Six Day War

May 16, 2017 – The Jewish News “British Jewish group Yachad has launched a campaign urging community members to contact their MPs and sign a declaration calling for an end to the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank 50 years after it began. “Supporters are being encouraged to ask their local parliamentarians about their views on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.” Read the full article on The Jewish News website Learn more about the campaign and take part here  

Israel’s BDS ban embraces logic of the boycott movement

Ethan Schwartz, The Jewish News, 9 March 2017 Another week, another highly contentious offering from Israel’s governing coalition. Last time, it was a law retroactively legalising the theft of privately-owned Palestinian land in the West Bank. This time, it’s a new law preventing entry to Israel by anyone who publicly calls for boycotts of Israel or any territory under Israel’s control (emphasis mine), which, by definition, includes the West Bank Settlements. The results of this new ban are personal for diaspora Jews. Anyone who publicly calls for people to avoid buying products from settlements in the West Bank, a view not uncommon… READ MORE »

Burying the two-state solution with common theft

Ethan Schwartz, The Jewish News, 8 February 2017 If you want to bury the two-state solution, this is the way to do it. In the two and a half weeks since Donald Trump’s inauguration as US President, the Israeli government has approved 5500 new homes in settlements across the West Bank, and a further 500 in East Jerusalem. Now, they’ve forced through what’s variously been described as the “land regularisation”, “legalisation”, and “outpost” bill. “Common theft” seems more appropriate. The effects of this new law are startling. In one fell swoop, the Knesset has retroactively OK’d the seizure by Israeli… READ MORE »

UK Jewish groups join government in condemning Israeli settlement law

7 February 2017, The Jewish News Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld said: “This is a disastrous step, taken in blatant disregard for both Israeli and international law. It will do significant damage, both to the possibility of a political resolution to the conflict and to the rule of law in Israel.” Echoing Livni, she added: “The Knesset has now legalised the theft of land owned by non-citizens in territory outside its legal jurisdiction. This demonstrates that the commitment to peace Benjamin Netanyahu made in his meeting this morning with Theresa May was nothing more than lip service.” Read the full article… READ MORE »

Knesset votes to ‘legalise’ settler homes

February 7, 2017, The Jewish Chronicle “Yachad, the British group campaigning for a two-state solution, condemned the legalisation law as “disastrous”, echoing former Israeli Foreign minister Tzipi Livni who described it as “legitimising theft”. The British government also criticised the new law.” Read the full article on the Jewish Chronicle website

Evening Standard, Friday 27 January

Our letter in the Evening Standard on the importance of the two-state solution: The conflict between Israel and Palestine is back in the headlines after recent reports claimed President Trump may be shifting US policy away from promoting the two-state solution. As a response to this, Israel’s government has seized the opportunity and in the past week, announced thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements. Before proclaiming its imminent demise, though, it is important to recognise why the two-state solution has become the international consensus. The fact is that the only way for the rights of both Israeli and Palestinian… READ MORE »

Israel approves 2,500 new settlement homes in West Bank

The Jewish News, 24 January 2017 Israel has approved 2,500 new settlement homes in the West Bank. Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said he and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed on the approval “in response to housing needs”. He said the majority of the housing units will be built in settlement blocs, areas where most settlers live and whichIsrael wants to keep under its control under any future peace deal with the Palestinians. The election of US president Donald Trump has emboldened pro-settlement politicians, including Mr Lieberman and Mr Netanyahu. Mr Trump has indicated that he will be more sympathetic to… READ MORE »

Israel announces 2,500 new settler homes to be built in the West Bank

Marcus Dysch, Jewish Chronicle, 24 January 2017 Israel has announced it will build 2,500 new homes for settlers in the West Bank. The decision was confirmed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, Defence Minister, this afternoon. Mr Netanyahu said it was a sign that Israel would not change its policy in the West Bank. “I have agreed with the defence minister on 2,500 units in Judea and Samaria. We are building, and will continue to build,” he tweeted. Mr Lieberman said a new Palestinian industrial park would also be constructed in Tarkumiya, north of Hebron. He said it would… READ MORE »

Trump: Key questions for the new president

The Jewish News, 19 January 2017 As America prepares for a new president, analysts and Jewish figures in the UK admit to being ‘stumped by Trump’, with more questions than answers on what he might mean for Israel… In a forecasting report on the Middle East, published this week by BICOM, the UK-Israel think-tank said: “The policy direction of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration in the Middle East is the big unknown for the Middle East in 2017.” Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson agreed, saying Trump “has no legislative background and has so far been hard to predict, so… READ MORE »

What really motivated Israel’s allies to pass the UN settlement resolution

Hannah Weisfeld, Jewish News, January 15 2017 If one takes a bell-weather reading of Israel’s relationships with some of its closest allies, the lay of the land looks solid. The UK is Israel’s second largest trading partner, the worth of bilateral trade having doubled in the last decade to US$5 billion. In September 2016 the USA agreed a military aid package to Israel of US$38 billion, the biggest aid package ever pledged by the Americans to another country. President Obama has refrained from using the US veto at the Security Council once, paling into insignificance in comparison to all other US… READ MORE »