The Left

Who Is Behind JNews?

JNews – another “alternative” Jewish campaign group “specialising in human rights in Israel and Palestine” – has launched:

Founded by a group of British Jews and headed by an Israeli human rights activist, the centre provides the media with news, comment and analysis from a human rights perspective.

The JNews website carries news from Israeli and Palestinian organisations and individuals, as well as other outlets with access to vital information. Comment and analysis is provided by a pool of prominent expert contributors.

Here’s what they will do:

“A key theme of JNews’s output will therefore be the provision of information, views and comment from alternative Jewish sources, which will demonstrate that it is perfectly possible maintain a critical Jewish perspective, but one that arises out of deep empathy for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

You will recognise all the names of those involved in this project, and so you can predict its output. I have to confess, however, I didn’t know anything about the Amiel and Melburn Trust, which is its source of funding. I wonder how long it will be before the influence of the Communist Party finally dies out altogether.

Here is Israelinurse’s take on the project:

As an Israeli and someone who through marriage has come into contact with the experiences of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews who were forced to leave their homes in Arab lands – in the case of my mother-in-law, literally at knife-point – I have to say that I find the approach of people such as Lerman, Kuper and the assorted Klugs to be incredibly parochial. Here we have a group of people who do not want to live in Israel, do not speak its language, are not familiar on a personal level with the day to day demands and dilemmas of life there and are not part of its democratic process. And yet (in my view purely out of self-interest) they appear to think that from on high in their ivory towers thousands of miles away, they have some sort of right to judge the decisions and actions of the people who do live the often difficult and challenging Israeli experience every day. More than that, they form their opinions based on a Jewish experience which has no relevance in the place about which they pontificate and totally ignore the many other Jewish viewpoints which are the product of hands-on experience of life with neighbours who are not quite as amicable as those in Islington or Oxford. The members of IJV and other such organisations may very well wish to distance themselves from Israelis and Zionists in order to avoid some of the opprobrium we receive; that’s more than fine by me and the feeling is definitely mutual, but they have absolutely no moral right to interfere in and endanger the existence of my country.

IJV and similar groups are incredibly quick to jump on the bandwagon of Palestinian Human Rights which is undoubtedly an important and legitimate subject. However, in their rush to do so and in the populist style they adopt, they become complicit in undermining and denying the Human Rights of another group of people – Israelis. To me it is quite obvious that any successful solution to the problems of the Middle East can only be based upon respect for and preservation of the rights of all parties involved, which is why I find groups such as ‘Jews for Justice for Palestinians’ and IJV so offensive. Their blatant one-sidedness is far from being a recipe for peace and reconciliation and this latest project going under the name of JNews shows no potential for being any different.

I can’t fault that.