October 06, 2011

Against ethnic cleansing, against UEFA whitewashing Israel and against war criminals visiting the UK

And it's all in today's Guardian letters page:

On Thursday Palestinians are protesting about the latest instance of ethnic cleansing by the Israeli government. In the Beer Sheba (Beer es Saba) region of southern Israel about 30,000 inhabitants are about to be driven from their homes.
Their villages have been designated "unrecognised" for more than 60 years, making their lands easy prey for confiscation. And while they are refused the same rights as other Israeli citizens to facilities such as running water, schools and hospitals, the Israeli state demands their taxes.
The British government must condemn any move to evict the Palestinian citizens of Israel from their lands, which were documented under the British Mandate as privately owned Palestinian land – not ownerless as the Israeli state now claims.
Geoffrey Bindman QC
Victoria Brittain
William Dalrymple
Ken Loach
Tony Benn
Ahdaf Soueif
Miriam Margolyes
Caryl Churchill
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Linda Riordan MP
Bob Russell MP
Martin Caton MP
Katy Clark MP
Alex Cunningham MP
Julie Hilling MP
John McDonnell MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Dame Jenny Tonge
John Pilger
Leila Sansour
Ghada Karmi
Ilan Pappe
Dr Salman Abu Sitta
Prof Steven Rose
Prof Hilary Rose
Louise Christian
Rodney Bickerstaffe
Bruce Kent
Reem Kelani
Lowkey
Kika Markham
Michael Rosen
Leon Rosselson
Alexei Sayle
Jeremy Hardy
Hugh Lanning, Chair PSC
Keith Sonnet
John Austin
Canon Garth Hewitt
Andy de la Tour

• Those who lead European football must respond to an appeal from Palestinians dismayed at the prospect of Israel hosting Uefa's under-21 tournament in 2013. A state that uses military might to hold sway over land it illegally occupies and exploits, flouts international law and ignores UN resolutions surely forfeits the right to be treated as a member of the community of nations. But western powers continue to embrace Israel as an ally.  
During the 2011 under-21 tournament in Denmark in June, 42 Gazan football clubs, backed by many sporting bodies, wrote to Uefa president Michel Platini calling on his organisation not "to reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights". We ask Uefa to respond positively to this plea.
Stephane Hessel diplomat
Ken Loach filmmaker 
Michael Mansfield barrister
Miriam Margolyes actor
Nurit Peled Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought joint winner 2001
John Pilger journalist and filmmaker,
Ahdaf Soueif novelist and political and cultural commentator
Jean Ziegler vice-president, advisory committee of the UN human rights council
• The government changes the law and brings out the red carpet to allow alleged Israeli war criminals into the UK (Former Israeli minister to visit UK after change in arrest law, 4 October) but changes the rules to arrest visiting Palestinians whose only "crime" is to campaign for their rights (Palestinian activist was held unlawfully, says high court, 1 October). The Goldstone report, which has been endorsed at the UN general assembly, provides clear evidence of how in its 2008-09 attack on Gaza, Israel was responsible for attacks on children, use of human shields, and use of phosphorous bombs and flachettes in civilian areas. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also documented serious cases of abuse. For William Hague to invite to the UK Israeli leaders who were in government at the time these alleged crimes were committed is a slap in the face for relatives of the 1,400 dead, the 5,000 injured and the many others who suffered due to Israel's Cast Lead attack on Gaza.
Dr Stephen Leah
York
Not bad, not at all bad. Now wait for the balancers....

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