Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The ZF today expressed its deep concern over comments made by Jack Straw, Labour MP for Blackburn. Straw, who was previously Foreign Secretary, stated during a meeting in the House of Commons that the “unlimited” funds of Jewish organisations, supposedly used to control American foreign policy, are one of the biggest obstacles to peace in the Middle East.

ZF Chairman Paul Charney argues that:

“Mr Straw’s comments echo some of the oldest and ugliest prejudices about ‘Jewish power’, and go far beyond mere criticism of Israel. They would be unacceptable in any context, but for a sitting Member of Parliament to do so in the House of Commons is especially troubling, given that his status will give credence and respectability to beliefs that would otherwise be dismissed as bigoted nonsense.

“That the statements he made are woefully untrue should be obvious given a moment’s thought about the current state of the Middle East. It has only been through the applied pressure of the American government that Israelis and Palestinians have finally been brought back to the negotiating table. Despite several arguably more pressing concerns, such as instability in Egypt and the civil war in Syria, the US has remained resolute in its commitment to a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict – a resolution which is supported, not opposed, by the organisations he chose to smear.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The ZF is calling for wider recognition of the implications of the newly-discovered tunnel running from Gaza into Israel. The tunnel, which was built by Hamas, was reinforced with concrete and reportedly 2 and half kilometres long. It’s most likely purpose was to facilitate the kidnapping of Israelis, as suggested by the subsequent statement by a senior Hamas figure:

“The tunnel which was revealed was extremely costly in terms of money, effort and blood. All of this is meaningless when it comes to freeing our heroic prisoners. It would not have been possible to free hundreds of our prisoners without the [Gilad] Shalit tunnel.”

ZF Chairman, Paul Charney, explained the significance:

“Any time there is condemnation of the Gaza blockade, the critics of Israel need to acknowledge that this is the reason why goods cannot be allowed to pass freely into the area. This is the true face of Hamas – an organisation that cares more about kidnapping Israelis than looking after Palestinians. Israel has no interest in denying ordinary Gazans access to everyday materials, which is why it maintains a dedicated border crossing for this purpose. But those who ceaselessly demand that the blockade be dropped altogether must answer how else Israel is supposed to defend its citizens.”

This is especially relevant given that kidnapping attempts by Islamic extremists often prompt fresh bouts of violence. Paul Charney explains:

“Pro-Palestinian supporters should be the first to thank the Israel Defence Forces for uncovering this tunnel, thereby avoiding a terrorist attack and any subsequent response.  Attempts by Hamas to kill, kidnap or otherwise harm Israelis frequently trigger escalations, causing hardship and suffering on both sides. Let’s see if any of them are willing to condemn the construction of this tunnel by Hamas, or if they’ll maintain their silence over its actions as they always do.”