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Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel

Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel

An abridged version of this letter calling for the UN and governments to impose a military embargo on Israel was published in the Guardian on July 19 2014.

The letter is signed by six Nobel peace laureates: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams. 

Other signatories include Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, playwright Caryl Churchill, US rapper Boots Riley, João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions. 

TAKE ACTION NOW – add your name to the call for a military embargo

Nobel laureates, artists and public intellectuals call for immediate military embargo on Israel

“With the establishment of a relationship of oppression, violence has already begun. Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed. …There would be no oppressed had there been no prior of violence to establish their subjugation.” –Paulo Freire

Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression. Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza has so far killed scores of Palestinian civilians, injured hundreds and devastated the civilian infrastructure, including the health sector, which is facing severe shortages.

Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.

Over the period 2009-2019, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars. In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros worth of weapons to Israel, and the European Union has furnished Israeli military companies and universities with military-related research grants worth hundreds of millions.

Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and Chile, are rapidly increasing their military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights.

By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Israel is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of militarized drones. Israel’s military technology, developed to maintain decades of oppression, is marketed as “field tested” and exported across the world.

Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel’s system of occupation, colonisation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights.

We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.

Governments that express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza, facing the brunt of Israel’s militarism, atrocities and impunity, must start with cutting all military relations with Israel. Palestinians today need effective solidarity, not charity.

Signed by:

Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Nobel Peace Laureate, Argentina

Ahdaf Soueif , Author, Egypt/UK

Ahmed Abbas, Academic, France

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki , film director, Finland

Alexi Sayle, Comedian, UK

Alice Walker, Writer, US

Alison Phipps, Academic, Scotland

Andrew Ross, Academic, US

Andrew Smith, Academic, Scotland

Arch. Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, South Africa

Ascanio Celestini, actor and author, Italy

Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, Northern Ireland

Boots Riley, Rapper, poet, arts producer, US

Brian Eno, Composer/musician, UK

Brigid Keenan, Author, UK

Caryl Churchill, playwright, UK

China Mieville, Writer, UK

Chris Hedges , Journalist, Pulitzer Prize 2002, US

Christiane Hessel, , France

Cynthia McKinney, Politician, activist, US

David Graeber, Academic, UK

David Palumbo-Liu, Academic, US

Eleni Varikas, Academic, France

Eliza Robertson, Author,

Elwira Grossman, Academic, Scotland

Etienne Balibar, philosopher, France

Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Former UNESCO Director General, Spain

Felim Egan, Painter, Ireland

Frei Betto, Liberation theologian, Brazil

Gerard Toulouse, Academic, France

Ghada Karmi , Academic , Palestine

Gillian Slovo, Writer, Former president of PEN (UK), UK/South Africa

Githa Hariharan, Writer, India

Giulio Marcon, MP (SEL), Italy

ary Rose, Academic, UK

Ian Shaw, Academic, Scotland

Ilan Pappe, Historian, author, Israel

Ismail Coovadia, former South African Ambassador to Israel

Ivar Ekeland, Academic, France

James Kelman, Writer, Scotland

Janne Teller, Writer, Denmark

Jeremy Corbyn, MP (Labour), UK

Joanna Rajkowska, Artist, Poland

Joao Felicio, President of ITUC, Brazil

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate, US

John Berger, artist, UK

John Dugard, Former ICJ judge, South Africa

John McDonnell, MP (Labour), UK

John Pilger, journalist and filmmaker , Australia

Judith Butler, Academic, philosopher, US

Juliane House, Academic, Germany

Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University, UK/Palestine

Keith Hammond, Academic, Scotland

Ken Loach, Filmmaker, UK

Kool A.D. (Victor Vazquez), Musician, US

Liz Lochhead, national poet for Scotland, UK

Liz Spalding, Author,

Luisa Morgantini, former vice president of the European Parliament, Italy

Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, Ireland

Marcia Lynx Qualey, Blogger and Critic, US

Michael Lowy, Academic, France

Michael Mansfield, Barrister, UK

Michael Ondaatje, Author, Canada/Sri Lanka

Mike Leigh, writer and director, UK

Mira Nair, filmmaker, India

Monika Strzępka, theatre director, Poland

Naomi Wallace, Playwright, screenwriter, poet, US

Nathan Hamilton, Poet ,

Noam Chomsky, Academic, author, US

Nur Masalha, Academic, UK/Palestine

Nurit Peled, Academic, Israel

Paola Bacchetta, Academic, US

Phyllis Bennis, Policy analyst, commentator, US

Prabhat Patnaik, Economist, India

Przemyslaw Wielgosz, Chief editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Polish edition, Poland

Rachel Holmes, Author, UK

Raja Shehadeh, Author and Lawyer, Palestine

Rashid Khalidi, Academic, author, Palestine/US

Rebecca Kay, Academic, Scotland

Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestinian Territories, US

Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Laureate, Guatemala

Robin D.G. Kelley, Academic, US

Roger Waters, Musician, UK

Robin Yassin-Kassab, Writer, UK

Roman Kurkiewicz, journalist, Poland

Ronnie Kasrils, Former minister in Mandela’s gov’t, South Africa

Rose Fenton, Director, the Free Word Centre, UK

Sabrina Mahfouz, Author, UK

Saleh Bakri, Actor, Palestine

Selma Dabbagh, Author, UK/Palestine

Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Lawyer, UK

Slavoj Zizek, Philosopher, author, Slovenia

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, Academic, France

Steven Rose, Academic, UK

Tom Leonard, Writer, Scotland

Tunde Adebimpe, Musician, US

Victoria Brittain, Playwright and journalist, UK

Willie van Peer, Academic, Germany

Zwelinzima Vavi, Secretary General of Cosatu, South Africa

– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/nobel-celebrities-call-for-military-embargo-12316#sthash.pE3KPT2x.dpuf

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