UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion 1Dec13 December 1, 2013

Letter to The Guardian   -   The Guardian   -   30 November 2013
Earlier this year, the Israeli knesset approved the Prawer-Begin plan. If implemented, this plan will result in the destruction of more than 35 Palestinian towns and villages in Al-Naqab (Negev) in the south of Israel and the expulsion and confinement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins. It means forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation. The Israeli government is pushing ahead with this plan despite the Palestinian Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan, and condemnation from human rights groups.

Palestinians are holding mass demonstrations in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory to oppose the Prawer plan and urge international governments to take action capable of pressuring Israel to abandon the plan. The UK government emphasises that it has raised concerns about the forced displacement of Bedouin Palestinians “at the highest levels”. Yet such statements ring hollow when the UK government continues to export arms to Israel and continues its ties with the Israeli government and industry. It is time for the UK government to make its relationship with Israel conditional on respect for human rights and international law and take concrete action to hold Israel to account.
John Akomfrah OBE Artist, film director, writer
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Author, journalist
Rodney Bickerstaffe
Bidisha writer Broadcaster
Howard Brenton Playwright
David Calder Actor
Professor Michael Chanan Author
Julie Christie Actor
Jeremy Corbyn MP
William Dalrymple Historian, author, broadcaster
Andy de la Tour Actor
Jeremy Deller Artist
Brian Eno Musician
Bella Freud Fashion designer
Peter Gabriel Musician
Antony Gormley
Trevor Griffiths Playwright
Betty Hunter
Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman MP
Bruce Kent Peace campaigner
Jemima Khan Writer, campaigner
Professor Tom Kibble FRS
Mike Leigh Writer, director
Ken Loach Director
Caroline Lucas MP
Jeff McMillan Artist
Michael Mansfield QC
Prof. Nur Masalha
Jonathan Miller KBE Author, director, broadcaster
Professor Laura Mulvey Author
Dr. Karma Nabulsi
Dr Susie Orbach Psychoanalyst, author
Profesor Ilan Pappe Historian, author
Miranda Pennell Artist, filmmaker
Cornelia Parker OBE Artist
Michael Radford Director
Professor Jacqueline Rose Author
Professor Steven Rose
Gillian Slovo Author
Professor Avi Shlaim Historian, author
Dr Salman Abu Sitta Historian
Professor John Smith Artist
Keith Sonnet
Baroness Jenny Tonge
Harriet Walter DBE Actor
Marina Warner Author, historian
Jane Wilson Artist
Louise Wilson Artist
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT
Pat Gaffney General secretary, Pax Christi
Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU
Richard Kuper Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Hugh Lanning Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite
Profesor Jonathan Rosenhead British Committee for Universities for Palestine
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef

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