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Lift this inhumane blockade of Gaza NOW!

An open letter to UK PM David Cameron

By Muhammad Abdul Bari and 73 Signatories  

Al-Jazeerah,, June 7, 2010

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 0AA
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned, are appalled at the unlawful killing of humanitarian workers on board Mavi Marmara by Israeli commandoes in international waters defying international law. The Gaza Freedom flotilla was an international humanitarian effort to bring aid to the besieged population of Gaza.

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Brian Cowen, has directly blamed the Gaza Blockade for the deaths. He is quoted in the London Evening Standard: "I believe that is in violation of international law. People are entitled to have humanitarian assistance." The UN also considers the blockade illegal. We commend the Foreign Secretarys statement calling for an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip and now ask our government to pursue this course of action as a matter of urgency.

The blockade has heaped misery on Gaza's 1.5 million residents many of whom are refugees in their own country having been forcibly expelled from Israel. The UN humanitarian co-ordinator said last week that the formal economy in Gaza has "collapsed" and 60% of households are short of food. According to UN statistics, around 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, 75% rely on food aid and 60% have no daily access to water. A UN report last year said that on average it took 85 days to get shelter kits into Gaza, 68 days to deliver health and paediatric hygiene kits, and 39 days for household items such as bedding and kitchen utensils. It said that school textbooks and stationery had been delayed. A UN fact finding mission described the blockade as "collective punishment", illegal in international law.

We urge you in the name of humanity to provide leadership to end this siege; this state of affairs should not be allowed to continue for a day longer and the time has come for the newly elected British government to use all its resources to bring an end to the inhumane Gaza Blockade.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari
Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
Joined by

1.     Brendan Barber General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
2.     Professor Avi Shlaim Professor of International Relations, Oxford University
3.     Michael Mansfield QC Human Rights Activist
4.     Ken Livingstone Former Mayor of London
5.     Robert Lambert Co-Director, European Muslim Research Centre
6.     James ONions Chair, War On Want
7.     Maulana Sarfraz Madni President, UK Islamic Mission
8.     Rt. Hon Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas Presiding Officer, National Assembly For Wales
9.     Lord Ahmed of Rotherham
10.  Tony Benn President, Stop the War Coalition
11.  John F Smith - General Secretary, British Musicians' Union
12.  Brian Eno Singer, musician, composer, record producer
13.  Maulana Moudood Hassan, President, Dawatul Islam UK & Eire
14.  Musleh Faradhi - Central President, Islamic Forum Europe
15.  Andrew Murray Chair, Stop the War Coalition
16.  Oliver McTernan Cofounder & Director Forward Thinking
17.  William Sieghart Chairman, Forward Thinking
18.  Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer University of Exeter and Co-Director EMRC
19.  John Griffiths AM - Minister of Children, Education, Government of Wales
20.  Derek Simpson Joint General Secretary, Unite the Union
21.  Matloob Hussain Chairman, Union of Muslim Organisations Walsall
22.  Saleem Kidwai Secretary General, Muslim Council of Wales
23.  Salah Beltagui Convener, Muslim Council of Scotland
24.  Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra Chairman, Religions for Peace UK
25.  Christine Blower General Secretary, National Union of Teachers (NUT)
26.  Faisal Hanjara President, Federation of Students Islamic Societies
27.  Dave Prentis General Secretary, Unison
28.  Dr Mohamed Mukadam Chairman, Association of Muslim Schools UK
29.  Abdurrazagh Ezzeddin Chair, Muslim Students Society UK & Eire
30.  Ibrahim Hewitt Chairman of the board of Trustees, INTERPAL
31.  Jeremy Corbyn MP Member of Parliament (Islington North)
32.  Hywel Williams MP Member of Parliament (Plaid Cymru, Arfon)
33.  Irfan Mustafa Vice President, Indian Muslim Federation (UK)
34.  Toufik Kacimi Director, Muslim Welfare House
35.  Sheikh Qari M Ismail Lead Imam, Central Mosque Birmingham
36.  Ufuk Se秩n - Islamic Community Mill UK (ICMG UK)
37.  Lindsey German Convener, Stop the War Coalition
38.  Young Muslims UK
39.  Jews for Justice for Palestine
40.  Asif Ahmed Chairman, Scottish Islamic foundation
41.  Sandra White MSP Member of Scottish Parliament (Glasgow)
42.  Cllr Salma Yaqoob Leader, Respect Party
43.  Anas Takriti The Cordoba Foundation
44.  Dr Daud Abdullah Middle East Monitor
45.  Ahtsham Ali President, Islamic Society of Britain
46.  Bob Crow General Secretary, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
47.  Jeremy Dear General Secretary, National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
48.  Dr Ashraf Makadam Chairman, Federation Of Muslim Organisations Leicestershire
49.  Majed Al Zeer Palestinian Return Centre
50.  Muhammad Sawalha British Muslim Initiative
51.  Dr Ruth Blakeley Lecturer in International Relations, University of Kent
52.  Norman Finkelstein - Author
53.  Dr Abdul Karim Khalil Director, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Trust
54.  Revd Gwynn ap Gwilym Adviser to the Bench of Bishops, Church in Wales
55.  Nia Griffiths MP Assembly Member, National Assembly of Wales and MP of Llanelli
56.  Leanne Wood AM Assembly Member, National Assembly of Wales
57.  Christine Chapman AM Assembly Member, National Assembly of Wales
58.  Bethan Jenkins AM Assembly Member, National Assembly of Wales
59.  Sayed Mohammed Musawi Chair, World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League
60.  Billy Hayes General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU)
61.  Sally Hunt General Secretary of the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU)
62.  Matt Wrack General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union (FBU)
63.  Mark Serwotka General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
64.  Hugh Lanning Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)
65.  Chris Keates General Secretary, NASUWT, The Teachers' Union
66.  Dr Swee Ang Senior consultant, Barths Hospital
67.  Richard Newsom Consultant Surgeon and Hon Senior Lecturer, Southampton University
68.  Professor Ilan Pappe Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter
69.  Abbas M H Ismail Islamic Education Manager, The World Federation of KSIMC 
70.  Gerry Doherty General Secretary, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association
71.  Ifath Nawaz President, Association of Muslim Lawyers UK
72.  Steve Gillan General Secretary, The Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers
73.  Haji Khadim Hussain President Bradford Council for Mosques
Link for the letter in pdf format:




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