Fifty-two Nobel peace prize-winners, activists and others today called for an international military boycott of Israel after its latest deadly assault against Palestine earlier this month.
Issued on the eve of the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, according to the Middle East Monitor, the statement is signed by US academic Noam Chomsky; Nobel peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; former French diplomat and Holocaust survivor Stéphane Hessel; and film directors, authors and musicians, among others. It denounces the US, European Union and several developing countries for complicity through weapons sales and other military support in the attacks that killed 160 Palestinians, including civilians and 35 children, The Guardian reports.
It calls for "urgent ... and international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel," the Middle East Monitor reports.
The Middle East Monitor continues:
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.
The statement, published in full in the Middle East Monitor, charges, in part:
Horrified at the latest round of Israeli aggression against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip and conscious of the impunity that has enabled this new chapter in Israel's decades-old violations of international law and Palestinian rights, we believe there is an urgent need for international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel.
Such a measure has been subject to several UN resolutions and is similar to the arms embargo imposed against apartheid South Africa in the past.
The authors charge that the US has supplied billions of dollars of "advanced military hardware every year" to Israel, and the EU has provided subsidies through its research programs.
The authors of the statement also include John Dugard, a South African jurist and former UN special rapporteur in the occupied territories; Luisa Morgantini, former president of the European parliament; Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the US Congress; Ronnie Kasrils, a South African former cabinet minister; and the dramatist Caryl Churchill.
"Similarly, the growing military ties between Israel and the emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Korea are unconscionable given their nominal support for Palestinian freedom," the statement notes.
Military ties with Israel have fueled relentless acts of aggression. Israel continues to entrench its subjugation of Palestinians while provoking or initiating armed conflict with its neighbors in the region. [...]
We therefore support the call from Palestinian civil society for an urgent and comprehensive military embargo on Israel as an effective, non-violent measure to stop Israel's wars and repression and to bring about Israel's compliance with its obligations under international law. This is now a moral and legal imperative to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.
According to the Middle East Monitor, the initial list of signatories of the statement includes:
Udi Aloni, filmmaker, Israel
Anthony Arnove, editor and writer, US
Etienne Balibar, academic, France
Robert Ballagh, artist and president of the Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies, Ireland
Walden Bello, academic, author and member of Senate, Philippines
Shyam Benegal, director and screenwriter, India
John Berger, author, critic, UK
Howard Brenton, playwright and screenwriter, UK
Judith Butler, academic, United States
Clayborne Carson, Director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, USA
Noam Chomsky, academic, USA
Caryl Churchill, dramatist, UK
Angela Davis, scholar and author, US
Raymond Deane, composer, Ireland
Danilo Dolci, sociologist, Italy
John Dugard, professor of international law, South Africa
Felim Egan, artist, Ireland
Adolfo Perez Esquível, Nobel Peace Laureate 1980, Argentina
Dror Feiler, musician and artist, Sweden
Don Andrea Gallo, presbyter, Italy
Charles Glass, journalist, US
Margherita Hack, astrophysicist, Italy
Denis J. Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary-General (1994-98), Ireland
Stéphane Hessel, diplomat, Holocaust survivor and co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, France
Tor B Jørgensen, Bishop, Norway
Christian Juhl, member of Parliament, Denmark
Ronnie Kasrils, politician, South Africa
Aki Kaurismäki, screenwriter and film director, Finland
Marcel Khalife, musician, Lebanon
Naomi Klein, writer and activist, Canada
Paul Laverty, filmmaker, UK
Taeho Lee, Secretary General, People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, South Korea
Ken Loach, filmmaker, UK
Vibeke Løkkeberg, actress and director, Norway
Mike Leigh OBE, Director, UK (Palm D'Or 1996)
Jean-Marc Levy-Leblond, academic, France
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate 1976, Ireland
Michael Mansfield, lawyer, UK
Miriam Margolyes, actress, UK
Cynthia McKinney, politician, United States
Saeed Mirza, filmmaker, India
Luisa Morgantini, former president of the European Parliament
Bjørnar Moxnes, member of Oslo city council
Suzanne Osten, writer and director, Sweden
Nurit Peled, professor of language, Israel
John Pilger, journalist, author, filmmaker, Australia
Ahdaf Soueif, writer, Egypt/UK
Alice Walker, author, US
Roger Waters, musician, UK
John Williams, musician, UK
Vincenzo Vita, senator, Italy
Slavoj Zizek, philosopher, Slovenia