Twenty-six student Palestine Societies at British universities have called upon the government in Westminster to stop arms sales to Israel. They also condemned Israel’s massacre of unarmed protestors in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The statement was issued in the wake of the Israel Defence Forces’ murderous response to peaceful Palestinian demonstrations on 14 May, the same day that America chose to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. This was the day before the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the Catastrophe of the founding of the State of Israel in Palestine. The protests in support of the Palestinian refugees’ legitimate right of return started on 30 March.
More than 100 protesters have been killed by Israeli snipers, with thousands more wounded. Journalists and medical personnel are amongst the casualties.
“The British government continues to approve arms sales to Israel,” said the societies, “in defiance of its own export guidelines. It also imports Israeli combat-proven military hardware.”
Read: The arms race
The students called on the government to introduce an embargo on the two-way arms trade with Israel, thus ending Britain’s “century of crimes” against the Palestinian people and its complicity in the ongoing occupation. They also urged university students in Britain to join the campaign for universities to divest their funds from any corporation profiting from Israel’s military occupation.
“After 70 years of the Nakba, we must do everything to prevent more catastrophes in Palestine,” the President of the Palestine Society in the University of Aberdeen, Sarah Schröder, told MEMO. “As students in Britain we feel a responsibility to stand with the Palestinians and become active to stop further arms sales to Israel and university investments in the state.”
The President of City University Palestine Society, Abdelrahman Al-Tamimi, agreed that more must be done by the British government to curb Israeli aggression. “We need to remind everyone of the continuous crimes committed by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people,” he insisted.
For Yasmin Huleileh the issue is clear; it is not enough for people to be bystanders and wait to be educated about Palestine-Israel politics. “It is a modern example of injustice, human rights deprivation, colonisation and a brutal occupation,” added the President of Warwick University Friends of Palestine Society. “To put it simply: if you support human rights, help to end the occupation.”
The statement was signed by:
City University Palestinian Society
UCL Friends of Palestine
Aberdeen University Palestine Society
University of Leeds – Palestine Solidarity Group
SOAS Palestine Society
Exeter University Friends of Palestine Society
Queen Mary Friends of Palestine
Brunel University London Friends of Palestine Society
KCL Action Palestine
Strathclyde Students for Palestine Society
Cambridge University Palestine Society
University of Bristol Friends of Palestine
Goldsmiths Palestine Society
BDS Campaign University of Manchester
Sussex Friends of Palestine Society
Warwick University Friends of Palestine Society
Aston University Palestine Society
Glasgow University Palestine Society
Sheffield Hallam Palestine Society
University of Sheffield Palestine Society
SGUL Palestine Society
Westminster Students for Palestine Society
The Palestine Society, University of Nottingham
Oxford Students’ Palestine Society
Keel Friends of Palestine
University of York Palestinian Solidarity Society