An assortment of rabidly anti-Israel public figures, including seven Nobel Peace Prize winners, have called for an international arms embargo on Israel for its “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity” in Gaza. The statement came in a letter published in Britain’s The Guardian on Friday.
The group condemned Israeli military actions, but was silent on the thousands of rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, the terror infrastructure Israel is battling to dismantle, and Hamas’s own tactics of using human shields, fighting from densely populated areas, or targeting civilians.
“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 ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world,” read the statement.
“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 concluded.
One notable signer was a former close friend and mentor of President Barack Obama, former PLO spokesman Professor Rashid Khalidi. Obama has credited Khalidi with helping shape his political worldview.
Among the other signers were Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Jody Williams, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Mairead Maguire and Rigoberta Menchu.
Also signing were academic Noam Chomsky, filmmakers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno, writers Alice Walker and Caryl Churchill, and journalists John Pilger and Chris Hedges.