Occupied Palestine – On the eve of the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, 52 international notables issued a statement calling for “urgent … international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel.” Though directly motivated by Israel’s latest war of aggression against the 1.6 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip, the statement is also a reaction to Israel’s decades-old military occupation and persistent denial of the UN-sanctioned rights of the Palestinian people. Expressing horror at Israel’s latest bloodbath in Gaza which claimed 160 Palestinian lives, including 34 children, the statement argues that this recurring brutality has been allowed to continue due to the impunity Israel enjoys. It highlighted the particular complicity of the US, the EU, India, Brazil and South Korea, as Israel’s key military partners and enablers.
The statement signed by Nobel Peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez Esquível, former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters, Directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, international best-seller Naomi Klein and co-drafter of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Holocaust survivor Stéphane Hessel, among others, adds that “Israel’s attempt to justify this kind of illegal use of belligerent and disproportionate military force as “self-defence” does not stand up to legal — or moral — scrutiny, as states cannot invoke self-defence for acts that serve to defend an unlawful situation which they have created in the first place.”
This appeal echoes the Palestinian civil society call for a military embargo on Israel issued last year and draws parallels to the effective action taken against apartheid South Africa as a practical means to pressure Israel to fall in line with international law.
Read the letter with full list of signatories here.