July 9, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(London, 9 July 2011) – The Free Gaza Movement welcomes, endorses, and supports the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) call for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel.
Freedom Flotilla II, and Israel’s attempts to thwart it through outrageous acts of intimidation, lies, threats of violence, and sabotage, has reminded the world that the criminal blockade on the Gaza Strip is still in force, depriving Palestinian civilians of their basic rights.
Last May Israel used its arsenal to launch a full military assault on Freedom Flotilla I, killing nine of our colleagues and injuring over 50. This violent assault on an unarmed civilian convoy in international waters was just another example of Israel’s unlawful use of military force and its blatant disregard for international law.
It is through the use of military force that Israel maintains its occupation and colonial apartheid regime in Palestine. Further, every Israeli military operation is used as an opportunity to showcase and promote its weapons to the global arms market thus ensuring the profits needed to support its unlawful actions.
It is with this backdrop, and on the 7th anniversary of the historic International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision ruling the Apartheid wall illegal, that we support the call for a military embargo on Israel.
In doing so, we join hundreds of civil society organizations representing millions of people from all across the globe, including trade union confederations such as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Brazilian Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT), anti-arms trade, and justice and solidarity campaigns who have announced their support for the campaign.
The appeal for an embargo is issued at a time of growing civil society mobilisation and pressure on Israel. The Freedom Flotillas, the growing Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, and yesterday’s ‘fly-in’ to Ben Gurion airport, all serve to highlight the continued injustices faced by the Palestinians and the resolve of international civil society to take action to bring these wrongs to an end.
The call finds legal legitimacy in the form of the ICJ decision which stated that all states are obligated “not to render aid or assistance” in maintaining the situation created by Israel’s violations of international law. It aims to target the complicity of state and inter-state organisations in Israel’s violent repression of Palestinians and the bankrolling of Israel’s colonial regime through the partaking in military trade relations.
Supporters of the call, including Nobel peace laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire, believe that a comprehensive military embargo, like the one imposed by the UN Security Council against the apartheid regime in South Africa, is an essential step to pressure Israel to abide by international law.
For further information go to: freegaza.org