Sixty-four public figures, including seven Nobel Peace Prize winners, published a letter in the British Guardian newspaper calling for an international arms embargo on Israel for its ‘war crimes and possible crimes against humanity’ in Gaza. The letter reads as follows:

‘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.

“Israel’s military technology is marketed as ‘field-tested’ and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel’s system of occupation, colonisation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights.”

‘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.

Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa was one of the signatories. He was a major opponent of apartheid practices in South Africa, and has compared Israeli policies toward Palestinians with those of the South African government under the racist apartheid system.

The other Nobel laureates who signed the letter were Betty Williams, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Jody Williams, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Mairead Maguire and Rigoberto Menchu.

Two Israeli academics, Ilan Pappe and Nurit Peled, joined international colleagues in calling for an arms embargo against Israel.

Full list of signatories:
Adolfo Peres Esquivel Nobel Peace Laureate, Argentina,
Ahdaf Soueif author, Egypt/UK,
Aki Olavi Kaurismäki film director, Finland,
Alice Walker writer, US,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Laureate, South Africa,
Betty Williams Nobel Peace Laureate, Ireland,
Boots Riley rapper, poet, arts producer, US,
Brian Eno musician, UK,
Caryl Churchill playwright, UK,
Chris Hedges journalist, Pullitzer Prize 2002, US,
Cynthia McKinney politician, activist, US,
David Palumbo-Liu academic, US,
Etienne Balibar philosopher, France,
Federico Mayor Zaragoza former Unesco director general, Spain,
Felim Egan painter, Ireland,
Frei Betto liberation theologian, Brazil,
Gillian Slovo writer, UK/South Africa,
Githa Hariharan writer, India,
Giulio Marcon MP (SEL), Italy,
Hilary Rose academic, UK,
Ilan Pappe historian, Israel,
Ismail Coovadia former South African ambassador to Israel,
James Kelman writer, Scotland,
Janne Teller writer, Denmark,
Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour), UK,
Joanna Rajkowska artist, Poland,
Jody Williams Nobel Peace Laureate, US,
John Berger artist, UK,
John Dugard former ICJ judge, South Africa,
John McDonnell MP (Labour), UK,
John Pilger journalist and filmmaker, Australia,
Judith Butler philosopher, US,
Juliane House academic, Germany,
Karma Nabulsi Oxford University, UK/Palestine,
Ken Loach filmmaker, UK,
Kool AD (Victor Vazquez) musician, US,
Liz Lochhead national poet for Scotland, UK,
Luisa Morgantini former vice president of the European Parliament, Italy,
Mairead Maguire Nobel Peace Laureate, Ireland,
Michael Mansfield barrister, UK,
Michael Ondaatje author, Canada/Sri Lanka,
Mike Leigh writer and director, UK,
Naomi Wallace playwright, screenwriter, poet, US,
Noam Chomsky academic, author, US,
Nurit Peled academic, Israel,
Prabhat Patnaik economist, India,
Przemyslaw Wielgosz chief editor of Le Monde Diplomatique, Polish edition, Poland,
Raja Shehadeh author and Lawyer, Palestine,
Rashid Khalidi academic, author, Palestine/US,
Richard Falk former UN special rapporteur on Occupied Palestinian Territories, US,
Rigoberta Menchú Nobel Peace Laureate, Guatemala,
Roger Waters musician, UK,
Ronnie Kasrils former government minister, South Africa,
Rose Fenton director, Free Word Centre, UK,
Sabrina Mahfouz author, UK,
Saleh Bakri actor, Palestine,
Sir Geoffrey Bindman lawyer, UK,
Slavoj Zizek author, Slovenia,
Steven Rose academic, UK,
Tom Leonard writer, Scotland,
Tunde Adebimpe musician, US,
Victoria Brittain journalist, UK,
Willie van Peer academic, Germany,
Zwelinzima Vavi secretary general of Cosatu, South Africa