The actors Maxine Peake and Miriam Margolyes, rock musician Brian Eno, and film director Ken Loach are among those who have joined the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaignâ€™s call for immediate sanctions to be imposed on Israel.The call follows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâ€™s comments, made one day before Israelâ€™s Election Day, that there would be no Palestinian state if he was re-elected. Netanyahu also made it clear, in the same televised interview that settlement construction would not stop.
In a letter published in the Guardian this week, Peake and her fellow signatories wrote: â€śWithout sanctions on Israel, Palestinians cannot see a future free of occupation, apartheid and, in Gaza, crippling siege.â€ť
The letter went on to demand, â€śThe next UK government must push the [European Union] to impose immediate sanctions on Israel until it abides by international law, ends settlement building, and ends the occupation and the blockade of Gaza.â€ť
Hugh Lanning, Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the poet Benjamin Zephaniah, novelist Ahdaf Soueif, scriptwriter Paul Laverty and Palestinian writer and academic, Karma Nabulsi, are also signatories to the letter.
They join nearly 10,000 others who have signed a petition on Palestine Solidarity Campaignâ€™s website in less than a week, calling for the next UK government to push for sanctions.
In addition, nearly 28,000 emails have been sent to Parliamentary candidates using a Palestine Solidarity Campaign e-tool, asking if they would support an immediate arms embargo on Israel if elected to Parliament in May, 2015.
The question is one of several designed to uncover where Parliamentary candidates stand on the issue of freedom, justice and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Their answers will be published on Palestine Solidarity Campaignâ€™s website at the end of March, providing an important resource for voters.