Stop Israel’s annexation of the West Bank

Letter in the Guardian, published on 10/6/2020

MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas, and peers including Tessa Blackstone and Peter Hain, along with union leaders, campaigners and cultural figures, call for the UK government and all political parties to heed the appeals of Palestinian civil society organisations for ‘effective measures’

Starting in July, the new Israeli government has said that it intends to illegally annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which was militarily occupied in 1967. This would be the culmination of years of appropriation of land through the forced displacement of Palestinians and the illegal settlement of the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem. By annexing the West Bank, Israel would be taking over occupied Palestinian territory and making it an integral part of the Israeli state.

Palestinian civil society has made a global call for “effective measures” to be taken to stop this annexation happening. For the UK, this means we should by now, at the very least, be adhering to an ethical policy on all trade with Israel, with a particular focus on applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also need to end the UK’s arms trade with Israel, which results in the violation of the human rights of Palestinians.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of organisations and individuals are cooperating to try to respond to the call from Palestine by making annexation a live issue and bringing it to the forefront of the current political agenda. Israel’s timetable is to annex land quickly with President Trump’s support – this means we cannot wait any longer.

This is why we are speaking out now, on the 53rd anniversary of Israel completing the military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, calling upon the UK government and all UK political parties to heed the call of Palestinian civil society organisations for effective measures by all states in order to stop Israel’s illegal annexation.

Jeremy Corbyn MP
Caroline Lucas MP
John McDonnell MP
Tommy Sheppard MP
Andy Slaughter MP

Tessa Blackstone House of Lords
Christine Blower House of Lords
Peter Hain House of Lords
Jo Grady General secretary, UCU
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
John Phillips Acting general secretary, GMB
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Dr Salman Abu Sitta
Prof Kamel Hawwash Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Prof Karma Nabulsi
Victoria Brittain
Julie Christie
William Dalrymple
Harriet Walter
Irvine Welsh
Philip Pullman
Joff Oddie, Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis and Joel Amey
Members of the band Wolf Alice

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