Human Rights Groups ask the Beatles to boycott Israel’s Anniversary (PACBI)


Press Release | February 8, 2008

Human Rights Groups ask the Beatles to boycott Israel’s Anniversary

Over 40 Human Rights organisations from around the world who campaign for peace and justice for the Palestinian people are today sending an open letter to the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, and to the families of George Harrison and John Lennon, asking them not to accept any invitation to join in this year’s 60th Anniversary celebration of the birth of the state of Israel. An invitation was delivered last week by the Israeli ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, during a visit to the Beatles Museum in Liverpool.The letter describes what happened in 1948. This was not a peaceful legally conducted creation of a safe haven for Jews escaping Europe but a brutal ethnic cleansing and massacre of Palestinians and theft of their land. The Zionist movement had set out to claim the whole of Palestine for the creation of a Jewish state long before the Nazi atrocities had occurred. In 1948 they took 78% of the land and brutally exiled or killed 750,000 Palestinians and destroyed over 400 villages- policies and actions that would never have had the support of the Beatles while they were together singing ‘all you need is Love’ and ‘give peace a chance’.

Professor Steven and Hilary Rose, founder members of Bricup (The British Committee for Universities in Palestine) say ‘We are asking the Beatles to boycott these events because they are a celebration of the denial of the human rights of the Palestinian people- inalienable rights established in the 1948 UN Declaration. These were enacted on the wave of revulsion at the Nazi Holocaust and the other atrocities of the Second World War. It is to our shame that the West does not insist that the Declaration really is universal and is enforced in The Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel. Human rights apply to all governments, and not only to those that lack the powerful friends that Israel has. This cuts in to the heart of International Law which underpins all our rights and freedoms.’

For more information please contact:

Prof Steven and Hilary Rose: [email][/email]

PSC 02077006313 or email: [email][/email]


Further Information

Copy of the letter

Open Letter to the Beatles

To Paul, Ringo and the families of John and George

Dear all

We are writing to you to ask you to decline the invitation to join the celebrations marking the birth of the state of Israel in 1948.

What happened was not the peaceful creation of a safe haven for Jews escaping from Europe; it was the brutal ethnic cleansing and massacre of the Palestinians and the theft of their land. The United Nations decision in 1947 to partition Palestine allocated 55% of
the Palestinian land for a Jewish state and 45 % for a Palestinian state. But even that gross settlement was not good enough for the Zionists who had targeted the whole of Palestine for the creation of a Jewish State – long before the Nazi atrocities. So, the Zionists took 78% of the land, brutally exiled or killed over 750,000 Arab Palestinians and destroyed over 400 of their villages in an ethnic cleansing operation that was driven by brutal terrorism.

Palestine/Israel is about the size of Wales. Can you imagine what the Welsh would have felt and done if the UN had decided to partition Wales and incomers had ethnically cleansed and massacred Welsh villages? It is not only the Palestinians who remember these days of horror as the Nakba; Israeli historians themselves have documented these events in all their bloody detail. And little has changed since in 1967 Israel seized the remaining Palestinian territory (the West Bank and Gaza) and the brutal occupation continues.

The Beatles sang “All you need is love” but Israel believes that all it needs is racism and an army. Is this a policy that would have commanded their support when they were singing together? We don’t think so. The prospect of the surviving Beatles celebrating the Zionist theft of Palestinian land in 1948 is obscene, both for the suffering Palestinian people and for the growing number of British people who support their call for justice. As John put it, it is time to give peace a chance, not to celebrate oppression.

Signed by:

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations

The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Alternative Information Center – Palestine/Israel

Rima AWAD – Arab Counseling Centre for Education – Palestine

Yehya Hijazi – Al Mirsat Organization –– Palestine

Sana Shehadeh – Palestinian Counseling Centre – Palestine

Caritas Jerusalem

Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK (PSC)

British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

British Muslim Initiative (BMI)

Friends of Al-Aqsa UK

The Peace Cycle

Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine

Raymond Deane -Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Comité de Soutien au Peuple Palestinien – Belgique

Association Belgo-Palestinienne – Belgique

Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche Orient – Luxembourg

Sonja Zimmermann- Netherlands Palestine Committee NPK

Aktionsbuendnis fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Palaestina, Germany

Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost – Austria

Fritz Edlinger, Secretary General – Society for Austro-Arab Relations SAAR

Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)

Women in Black – Strasbourg,

Collectif Judeo-Arabe et Citoyen pour la Paix Strasbourg – France

Handicap Solidarité – France
Association Farrah-France

Association Internationale de Préservation du Patrimoine Palestinien AIPPP

Civimed Initiatives – France

Amis du Monde Diplomatique 67

Magda Zenon – Hands Across the Divide (Cyprus)

CADTM – Commité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde

Solidaridad para el Desarrollo y la Paz – SODEPAZ Spain

Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa

Women in Solidarity with Palestine, Toronto

NION (Not In Our Name) Toronto

Creative Response, Toronto

New York City Labor Against the War – USA

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Women in Black Los Angeles

Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights – USA

Posted on 09-02-2008

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