World must boycott Israel now

The British-flagged aid boat "Irene" heading for Gaza was intercepted by Israel's navy just miles from the besieged territory.

Israel's Navy has intercepted the British-flagged aid boat "Irene" heading for Gaza just miles from the besieged territory.

Israeli warships escorted the vessel to the port city of Ashdod. Irene had been some 30 km off the Gaza coast when it was stopped. Israeli, American and European Jewish activists are on board the vessel.

Everybody sees that report, everybody knows what's happening, everybody sees how major those crimes are and everybody sees how much Israelis are committed to continuing the siege of Gaza.

You go to the refugee camps, you can see how much the children are living in poverty; you can see how much the houses have lacking, the water. Ninety percent of the water is not drinkable. … There is not hope there that because they are in a straightjacket. And this is exactly what the siege is all about. Israeli officials quoted putting them on a diet. This is exactly what it is. How can you do that to one and a half million people while the world watches on?  It is inhuman it is collective punishment according to the Geneva conventions. It is an open air prison, the world's largest. And how on earth this can happen? With such documentation on it? With such research on it? With such evident horrific consequences for the people here? There is hundreds of people who have died because they haven't got access to medical supplies. This is on top of the 1400 who were killed during the bombing and over 400 children. And it s because of the siege. That's murder, more murder.

We've seen how the negotiations, for example, have been a complete waste of time. Israel decided to continue the settlements in the West bank and East Jerusalem.
This is all completely against international law. Article 242 United Nations resolutions, Geneva Convention article 49, about settling places that you have attacked by force. This is continuing crimes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. You have the collective punishment here with the Geneva conventions. And ultimately you have just the basic acts of murder. This is what the grievance is that the people have here continuously, whether it is from 1948, ethnic cleansing, the majority of Gazans were refugees forced out… brutally, with violence, with massacres, where Israelis are now. Israelis built on the ruins of Palestinian refugees. So over two thirds are in fact the descendants of the refugees here. So you have the slow-motion ethnic cleansing and the forced expulsion of so many thousands more Palestinians since then. And the extra violence of just shooting of innocents on a mass level.

They saw the international law and they've seen the different investigations … like the recent UN human rights commission report about the Mavi Marmara…

And the only way in which things are going to happen here and improve is if the world stops and looks. The international community is not doing anything, is the boycotts. It is time that for civil society to stand up and accept the best tool, it is a nonviolent tool. But it is a tool that says the international community is not doing anything. They are rewarding Israel. They are giving them 6 billion dollars of weapons every year. So it is time that the people stood up and said no.

Many artists have stopped… going to Israel … And many other academic institutions are boycotting Israel. … So are trade unions. All the major trade unions in England are now boycotting Israel. This is what everybody watching this needs to do. To get off their seats and say right, it is time for action. Boycotts, divests and sanctions, until Israel actually joins international community and international law, and stops punishing the Palestinians and stops all of these crimes like the boat that just has been taken away, like Mohammed Bakr, the 20-year-old fisherman that last week was killed … who was about to get married in one month time. This is why the world has to do something, and it is going to start with the people watching this, and getting on their feet and starting the boycott campaign. 

And I really do hope that is what happens…

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