Nobel laureates call for military embargo on Israel

Six Nobel peace laureates have called for a military embargo on Israel in the wake of the recent Gaza strikes which claimed more than 500 lives.

Published : 21 July 2014, 12:28 PM
Updated : 21 July 2014, 12:29 PM

In an open letter, they have urged the UN and governments to impose it immediately.

A total of 99 people, which included Nobel laureates, artists and public intellectuals, signed the letter.

According to the website of rights organisation, Palestine Legal Action Network (PLAN), the Noble laureates, who signed the letter, are Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Argentine rights activist Adolfo Peres Esquivel, US activist, advocating for banning land mines, Jody Williams, Irish peace campaigner Mairead Maguire, Guatemalan activist 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.

An abridged version of the letter was published in the Guardian on Jul 19.

"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," the letter reads.

It claimed that Israel attacks largely stemmed for the 'vast international military cooperation' and said that the Middle East state is set to receive military aid worth $30bn from the US between 2009 and 2019.

"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," the letter says.

It also flayed emerging economies like India, Brazil and Chile, which are rapidly increasing military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights.

The letter further stated that the governments are sending a "clear massage" of their approval for Israel's aggression, war crimes and "possible crimes against humanity" by trading arms with it and facilitating its military technology development.

It claimed that military trade and joint researches with the country is encouraging Israel to violate international laws as well as entrenching its system of occupation.

"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," the letter reads.

It also called upon states that expressed solidarity with the people of Gaza to cut all military relations with Israel.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher