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Statement of Principles


Antisemitism in contemporary Great Britain: a new report

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research has published one of the most comprehensive studies of antisemitism every conducted in Britain. “It finds that only a small proportion of British adults can be categorised as ‘hard-core’ antisemites – approximately 2% – yet antisemitic ideas can be found at varying degrees of intensity across 30% of British society.” It draws important distinctions between anti-Israelism and antisemitism but finds some correlation between them in some contexts. “Yet, importantly, most of the antisemitism found in British society exists outside of these three groups – the far-left, far-right and Muslims; even at its most heightened levels of intensity, only about 15% of it can be accounted for by them.” [Blurb crossposted from the Jews for Justice for Palestinians website] […]

Sarah Glynn unpicks the fine lines between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. An organisation calling itself Jewish Human Rights Watch has just published a report that purports to show that the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is motivated, not by concern for the plight of the Palestinians, but by hatred of Jews. As Glynn makes clear: “As an attack on SPSC it cannot be taken seriously, but it still makes for some uncomfortable reading.” […]

“Trust me, I was once a first-year Jewish student too.”

Robert Cohen, blogger extraordinaire in his Writing From the Edge: Rescuing the Hebrew Covenant One Blogpost at a Time remembers what it was like to be a Jewish fresher at university 30 years and gives good advice to others just entering now. […]

Three Major Conferences on the Centenary of Balfour Declaration and its Consequences

Three impressive-looking conferences on the Balfour Declaration are coming up in October, one in Liverpool and two in London (the latter, most unfortunately,on the same day). […]

Report of the Jewish Labour Movement conference

Shlomo Anker gives a mixed report on the annual conference of the Jewish Labour Movement on 3 September. “[Y]ou won’t be surprised to hear that being a Momentum member I felt quite uncomfortable. However there were some positive sessions and overall it was worth going to… […]

From the archives: Bund Election Poster, Kiev c.1918

The General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia (Yiddish: אַלגעמײַנער ײדישער אַרבעטער בּונד אין ליטע פוילין און רוסלאַנד‎, Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Litah, Poyln un Rusland), generally called The Bund (Yiddish: בונד‎, cognate to German: Bund, meaning federation or union) or the Jewish Labour Bund, was a secular Jewish socialist party.

“Right there where we live — that’s where our country is!” […]

Jewish land trumps Jewish God

In May 2015 Robert Cohen, blogger at Micah’s Paradigm Shift, wrote a blogpost for JfJfP reflecting on the need to reclaim the language of Jewish identity: “I want to criticise Israel not to do down the tribe but to stay loyal to it. I want to uphold the values and teaching that I think of as mine by birth and by upbringing. Jewish nationalism, and a blind loyalty to all things Israeli, has stolen my identity and my religion. Now I’m taking it back, one blog post at a time.” […]

JVL defends Derby MP who criticised “politically motivated antisemitism smears”

Jewish Voice for Labour has expressed its support for Chris Williamson MP, the latest leading Labour Leftwinger who supports justice for Palestine to face attacks from the pro-Israel lobby. The Derby North MP has been attacked by Marie van der Zyl, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, for suggesting that many people in the Jewish community are appalled at the misuse of antisemitism allegations for political ends. People, Williamson said, “have stopped listening to the smears and lies and dirty tricks.” […]

Leon Rosselson: what does it mean to be Jewish?

“For my parents and grandparents, Jewish identity, in religion, culture and language, was a given. Not so for me. I’m not religious, not a Zionist, so in what consists my Jewishness? Is a love of chopped liver and a belief that chicken soup cures all ills enough? And does it matter? This is the story of my search for answers. It is an argument with myself, with song lyrics to embellish the argument.” […]

On Questioning the Jewish State

Joseph Levine, a professor of philosophy and member of Jewish Voice for Peace in the US asks the questions it is taboo to raise: what does it mean to question Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state; what is it for a people to have a state “of their own”? He argues that “the very idea of a Jewish state is undemocratic” involving a violation of the self-determination rights of its non-Jewish citizens. […]