A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, prominent artists and activists have issued a call for an international military boycott of Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, The Guardian reported Wednesday.
- Nobel laureate: No to boycott of Israel
- UN expert: Boycott companies in Israel settlements
Expanding Jewish presence on campuses
The group said it was "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 letter read.
'Military embargo against Israel.' Mike Leigh (Photo: AFP)
According to The Guardian, the 52 signatories include the Nobel peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel; the film directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach; the author Alice Walker; the US academic Noam Chomsky; Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; and Stéphane Hessel, a former French diplomat and Holocaust survivor who helped edit the universal declaration of human rights.
According to the British newspaper, the letter accuses several countries of providing important military support that "facilitated the assault" on Gaza. "While the United States has been the largest sponsor of Israel, supplying billions of dollars of advanced military hardware every year, the role of the European Union must not go unnoticed, in particular its hefty subsidies to Israel's military complex through its research programs.
"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 letter says.
The letter opens with a quote from Nelson Mandela: "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
The other signatories 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.