Sat 9th July 2011; NO EMBARGO
DESMOND TUTU CALLS FOR ARMS EMBARGO AS
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has come out in support of an arms embargo against
The Nobel Peace Laureate said “I endorse this call for an arms embargo because we desire peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis through non-violent ways.”
According to the New York Times, Israeli commentators have “criticized the country’s leaders for overreacting and for broadcasting an image of insecurity and panic.”
Amongst those arrested is the UK co-ordinator of the “Welcome to
“By their actions,
Napier said the group were pleased to hear that Tutu and others had called for an arms embargo against
The Jerusalem Post reports that pro-Palestinian Israeli activists who had held up signs inside the terminal saying ‘Welcome to
Organisers of the
Notes for editors:
See previous media releases for background here:
1. “Welcome to
The English-language section of the French website can be accessed here: http://bienvenuepalestine.com/?page_id=232
According to the group:
However, having nothing to hide, and coming with totally peaceful intentions, we have decided that we are no longer willing to lie in order to do something that no other state would consider illegal.
Government agencies have been informed, and the Israeli authorities have been forwarded all information on our intentions.
Contrary to claims that we aim “to spread chaos at Tel Aviv airport”, our only aim is visit Palestinian families, share their daily life for a week, visit the towns, villages and refugee camps, discover the difficulties encountered by their inhabitants, and experience their culture and expectations.
2. The date of the 'fly-in' was chosen to coincide with the 7th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in 2004 that Israel's West Bank wall, which today almost completely encircles the city of Bethlehem, is illegal.
The ICJ ruling can be found here: www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf
3. For Tutu’s support of an arms embargo on
Please note that an earlier media release misattributed a quote by Walden Bello to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For clarification:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, said, “I endorse this call for an arms embargo because we desire peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis through non-violent ways.”
Walden Bello, Right Livelihood Award recipient (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) and member of the Philippines parliament, said, “A comprehensive military embargo is a just response to
4a. The UK co-ordinator of the initiative is Mick Napier, who, along with the majority of international participants, is due to arrive in Ben Gurion Airport on Friday July 8th.
Mick Napier is the chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and can be contacted on:
00 44 (0)7931200361
4b. Sofiah Macleod is the UK-based contact for press enquiries.
Sofiah Macleod: + 44 (0)7958002591 or + 44 (0)131 620 0052 or + 44 (0) 7401631658
5. Updates will be available on:
and Twitter @scottishpsc
6. Jerusalem Post quote on honesty ensuring deportation:
“700 pro-Palestinian activists plan to land in Ben-Gurion”
7. Quote from New York Times reference criticism of Israeli leaders’ overreaction:
New York Times, 8th July 2011
8. Details of Jerusalem Post reporter, Larry Derfner’s arrest:
9. Jerusalem Post report of arrest of Israeli Activists:
“Aharonovitch: 100 activists expected to land in
10. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netenyahu “has ordered Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to exert all efforts to prevent an infiltration into
Haaretz, Wednesday 6th July 2011:
11. Statement from Netenyahu’s office:
"This planned event is a continuation of the attempts to undermine Israel's right to exist and to attempt to breach its borders and sovereignty by sea, land and by air," according to the MAAN news agency.
Maan News Agency, Tuesday 5th July 2011:
12. Haaretz, Thursday 7th July 2011:
13. Statements from some of the
Les Levidow has been opposing the Israeli Occupation through various campaign groups since the 1980s. These include: the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), Jews for Boycotting Israel Goods (J-BIG) and Jews Against Zionism (JAZ). During the first intifada he was a member of the joint Jewish-Palestinian editorial group of the magazine Return, which opposed the Israeli Law of Return and supported the Palestinian right of return. He is author of relevant articles such as ‘Zionist Anti-Semitism’ (1991) and ‘The Zionist Origins of the War on Terror’ (2006). He is joining the Palestine Justice Network delegation in order to learn from civil society networks about ways to oppose the Occupation and build a free
John Lynes, retired university lecturer in architecture.
“Between 2002 and 2009 I worked with the Christian Peacemaker Team (www.cpt.org) in the West Bank and in
John Said, “I am taking part because I want us all - including Palestinians and Israelis - to live free from fear, from violence and from oppression. I know I may suffer imprisonment, and am ready to accept the consequences of my decisions in the hope that children in the
Anne Gray, Retired academic (sociologist/economist) from
Audrey Gray is a 77 year-old from
Audrey said “I was determined to go again, I want to make a difference in some small way. In the past 20years I have made 7 pilgrimages to the region and lived on the
The situation has become more desperate, as further restrictions of movement have been imposed. Along with others I have been invited to stay in
Joy Cherkaoui has a community work background and now works for
Joy has chosen to accept the invitation to visit
Mick Napier is a University lecturer based in Edinburgh and is chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He is UK co-ordinator of the "Welcome to Palestine" initiative.