+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Peter Gabriel to UK: Condition Israel relations on respect for human rights

Musician Peter Gabriel joined his name to a letter protesting the Prawer Plan, which could displace tens of thousands of Bedouin Palestinians from their homes in the Israeli south. The letter, which was published on the UK’s Guardian, calls upon the British government “to make its relationship with Israel conditional on respect for human rights and international law and take concrete action to hold Israel to account”.

Other names on the letter include Brian Eno and directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. All three protested Israeli policies in the past as well.  The full letter, signed by fifty public figures, reads:

Earlier this year, the Israeli knesset approved the Prawer-Begin plan. If implemented, this plan will result in the destruction of more than 35 Palestinian towns and villages in Al-Naqab (Negev) in the south of Israel and the expulsion and confinement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins. It means forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes and land, and systematic discrimination and separation. The Israeli government is pushing ahead with this plan despite the Palestinian Bedouin community’s complete rejection of the plan, and condemnation from human rights groups.

Palestinians are holding mass demonstrations in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territory to oppose the Prawer plan and urge international governments to take action capable of pressuring Israel to abandon the plan. The UK government emphasises that it has raised concerns about the forced displacement of Bedouin Palestinians “at the highest levels”. Yet such statements ring hollow when the UK government continues to export arms to Israel and continues its ties with the Israeli government and industry. It is time for the UK government to make its relationship with Israel conditional on respect for human rights and international law and take concrete action to hold Israel to account.

UPDATE: Harriet Sherwood has more on this letter.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. I would hope that you also cover the fact that there are many Israeli citizens who also oppose this plan – especially (if true as you report) that the Beduin were not consulted.

      Something needs to be done to help the beduin communities as they need help to live in a modern world that is changing around them. There is plenty of room in the Negev (i am sure a very small percentage of your readers have ever been there) so that Jews and Beduin (who really are NOT Palestinians so you should stop referring to them as such) can live in this region together and in peace.

      The Israeli Government is at fault here – no doubt – but something needs to be done. People need to stop using the Beduin as their Israel-bashing puppets.

      Reply to Comment
    2. The Trespasser

      That letter is beyond belief.

      “Palestinian Bedouins”? 70 000? Their land?

      It is reassuring, however, knowing that antisemites would not stop at anything to damage the Jewish state.

      Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “It is reassuring, however, knowing that antisemites would not stop at anything to damage the Jewish state”

        If that is the case, the antisemites are those who approved the plan.

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          The anti-Semites? You are an antisemite David. Period.

          Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            No, I never accused Jews as such of being pathetic liars like you, Tztutik.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            You are an anti-Semite David because you claim that we Jews have no right to live freely as a people in our own independent state of Israel.

            Reply to Comment
      • tod

        Trespasser the “anti-semite allegation” is the only argument that you have. Pity for you and for the people that are obliged to deal with you.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Nothing the apartheid government does shocks me anymore. What is shocking is that we all sit ideally by and watch. I’m horrified at president Barack Obama for his wishy washy stance because he of all people should see racism when it smacks him in the face .

      Reply to Comment
      • Jax

        Which “apartheid” government? The one in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon? Which one?

        Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      I wonder what Gabriel, et al., have done to aid the millions of Syrian refugees?

      Reply to Comment
      • mark

        In Syria there is a civil war. Bedouin are fighting for their land and not against a bedouin autocrat. To compare the two issues is misleading (and stupid).

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          No.

          There are several million Syrian refugees; people who have fled violence or lost their homes. There is a ongoing humanitarian crisis in the refugee camps, that these old rockers have chosen to ignore.

          The Bedouin, on the other hand, have had their day in court (and lost). There actually is due process in Israel and, unlikely as it is, the evictees could buy plots on ‘their land’ and live as they had before. The Syrians, millions of them, are just dust in wind.

          BTW. I think we can safely say that nearly all the refugees are apolitcal and most wish the civil war, now fed by outsiders, had never begun.

          Reply to Comment
          • un2here

            The Bedouins have had their day, true, but in a Kangaroo Court set up to dispossess as many people as possible, acquiring as much land as possible for the benefit of Jews worldwide. It is a thinly veiled robbery, wrapped up in layers of unjust laws and regulations.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Richard

      In America too, there are plenty of old white men who can’t seem to shake their obesession with Jews. This is a lamentable phenomenon well-understood by Jews who have grown up outside of the main cosmopolitan cities in both countries.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Sean Paul

      The “antisemitic” argument is getting old. Anytime anyone makes a valid critique of the Israeli government, there’s always the “they hate jews!” crew ready to trot out that dead horse.

      By your logic if I denounced the Holocaust it only proves that I’m racist against Germans. Get a fucking life please.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        The term used was ‘obsession’, not anti-semitism.

        As far as I know, Eno and Gabriel haven’t said anything, much less done anything, about the Syrian civil war, the chemical weapons used on civilians and the massive refugee crisis.

        Sean. Why do you think that is?

        Reply to Comment
        • un2here

          Assad’s regime isn’t supported by the EU to the same extraordinary extent that Netanyahu’s regime is(or any other Israeli coalition before him.) So there are no ties for Gabriel et al to cut off because they did not exist in the first place.

          That’s why!

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Why not a ‘Syria Aid’ concert to benefit the refugees?

            What are Eno and Gabriel afraid of?

            Reply to Comment
          • Reza

            “The pot calling the kettle black; that is no answer to the charge that your own face is dirty.”

            – “The Iron Heel,” by Jack London

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Just what is your point Joel? Why don’t you come clean and stop shedding crocodile tears for any suffering in the Arab world that has no direct link to Israel?

            Because what have you done in the last two and a hlf years to help Syrian refugees? I would suggest nothing, beyond exploiting their misery to make a cheap point in defence of Israeli human rights abuses.

            Reply to Comment
    7. CigarButNoNice

      Europeans lecturing Jews on human rights? It would be funny if the hypocrisy didn’t have serious consequences.

      I wouldn’t worry, though: the Euros are far ahead of Israel in committing suicide by letting colonists into their lands. Londonistan, nuff said. Hopefully Israel will learn from their mistake.

      Reply to Comment
      • Eric

        “Europeans lecturing Jews on human rights?”

        Well, first of all, if there is criticism coming from Europe, it is criticism against Israel and not against “the Jews”. Not all Jews are Israelis and vice versa.

        Second, if Israel wants to be seen as a “Western country” (which it is not, never was), then it has to be held to the standards of those countries, not the standards of Saudi Arabia for example.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ilonj

          European standards? No we want better standards than that. We don’t want to be known for what Europeans did to Jews in the last 2000 years. You know, the inquisition, the pogroms, the blood libels, the massacres, the crusades, the holocaust …

          Reply to Comment
    8. Sandra Watfa

      Yet another gifted opportunity to redress the untold damage caused by the British Mandate in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration.
      Will this government own up to its shameful deeds, past (and present), or will it, yet again, side with the genocide perpetrators?
      Time will tell…

      Reply to Comment
    9. TITO NAZAL

      STOP ZIONISM !!

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Stop you!

        Reply to Comment
    10. Click here to load previous comments