BNC Letter of Support to Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas for Boycotting Meeting with Israeli Ambassador
Cc: Mr. Mohammad Asghar, AM
To: Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, AM and Speaker of the National Assembly for Wales
Cc: Mr. Mohammad Asghar, AM
From: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC), Palestine
Re: Invitation of Israeli Ambassador to Meet with Members of the National Assembly for Wales
Dear Lord Elis-Thomas,
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC) is a coordinating body made up of Palestinian civil society organizations representing workers, farmers, students, refugees, and the social and political forces of Palestinian society at large.
We believe that it is shameful that Mohammad Asghar, or any other British public official, would call for a meeting with a representative of the Israeli state. Thirty-one Palestinians have been killed and eighty-five have been wounded by Israeli attacks over the past month in Gaza alone, where the Israeli-imposed siege has resulted in catastrophic shortages in fuel, food, clean water, medicine and other basic human needs. In the West Bank, Israel's colonial policies of land theft and strangulation targeting the indigenous Palestinian population continue unabated, as Israeli illegal settlements continue to expropriate and colonize Palestinian land; as the apartheid wall and Israeli-only roads encircle and imprison Palestinian communities; and as hundreds of Israeli military checkpoints choke the remaining life out of Palestinian society under occupation.
This year is also significant in that it marks sixty years since Israel was established through the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes and off of their lands, also marking sixty years of Israel's forcible denial of the basic human right of these Palestinians to return to the places from which they were expelled, and sixty years of institutionalized racial discrimination against the Palestinians who managed to stay and who, as citizens of Israel, have been touted as a sign of Israeli “democracy.” The Israeli apartheid reality faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel has been repeatedly compared to its South African predecessor by prominent South African, Palestinian and even Israeli figures.
As a career diplomat who holds the rank of Major (Reserve) in the Israeli Occupation Forces' Artillery Division, Ron Prosor is no regular ambassador. His job is to hide and legitimize Israel's daily war crimes and crimes against humanity to the British government and the British people. It is important to remember that it is this same army that recently murdered two British citizens who dared to stand on the side of justice. Palestine will never forget Tom Hurndall and James Miller.
Prosor's role as chief Israeli propagandist in the UK was made clear in the past weeks when, amidst the carnage in Gaza, Prosor dared to accuse British society of becoming a hotbed of anti-Israel extremism. Responding to a principled and historic decision by the University and College Union (UCU) to“consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions,”Prosor addressed the British public saying that British academics “have seen their union held hostage by radical factions, armed with political agendas and personal interests.”
Your decision to boycott the meeting with Mr. Prosor is a clear indication of your respect for international law, and the rights of human beings to live in freedom and dignity. We commend your courage, and hope that many more will follow your lead, and that of respectable British institutions like the University and College Union, UNISON, National Union of Journalists, and the Church of England as well as notable personalities like Ken Loach, John Berger and Roger Waters in making their principled positions known to the world. When the powerful states of the world turn their backs on the downtrodden and oppressed, it is up to the people of the world, people like yourself, to stand with the truth in the face of all odds. History will not forget those who speak truth to power, nor will it forgive those who were willfully blind to the horrors that power commits.
In the hope that someday we can thank you in person in a free Palestine.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign National Committee, Palestine