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

Updated: Sign on: Call for U.S. accountability in Egypt

Updated: Sign on: Call for U.S. accountability in Egypt

The Ad-Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa is an initiative of social justice lawyers, activists and academics who have participated in first hand investigations of U.S. complicity in political and structural state violence throughout the MENA region. We are seeking individual and organizational endorsements for the following statement. Sign on: or use the online form:

Condemnation of U.S.-Backed Egyptian State Repression
Ad Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
August 19, 2013

The Ad Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa condemns the August massacre of hundreds of protesters and prisoners by the U.S.-backed Egyptian military. While currently directed at the Muslim Brotherhood, this dramatic escalation of state repression is designed to liquidate the Egyptian Revolution and restore the military-police state of the Mubarak regime. We also condemn all assaults on Egypt’s Christians, Shiites and other minorities. The sectarian campaign only serves to block revolutionary momentum and, as in the past, further the interests of the repressive state.

The US-backed Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) continues today to wield both undue political and economic power. The State “security” apparatuses continue to be used to repress all forms of political dissent, resulting in the death, arrest, imprisonment and torture of Egyptian revolutionary activists. The week of August 12, 2013 saw the murder of over one thousand Egyptian civilians, protestors and pedestrians, including the slaughter of over 50 Muslim Brotherhood prisoners held in detention on August 18, 2013.

Equally alarming is the resurgence, over the past few weeks, of the intelligence apparatus that was removed from domestic Egyptian life and affairs after — and as a result of — the January 25th revolution.

The remobilization of Islamophobia and the rhetoric of “war on terror” as a means of justifying the recent slaughter of those opposed to Military rule or Mubarak-era remnants threatens the Egyptian struggle for justice and accountability for all victims of state violence at the hands of the military, from Tahrir, Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud, Port Said, the Presidential Palace battles, to the massacres at the Republican Guard.

We are further concerned that the Sissi-SCAF justification of state violence under the rhetoric of “fighting terrorism” will serve as a pretext for the expansion and legitimization of the U.S.-led global “war on terror” that has victimized millions around the world, including the people of the United States.

We condemn all forms of U.S. complicity in Egyptian state repression and continue to support popular Egyptian demands for an end to U.S. military aid that has for decades financed illegal killing, torture, and imprisonment under the regimes of Sadat, Mubarak and SCAF. While we do not equate the Mursi presidency with the regimes of Mubarak, Sissi and SCAF, we acknowledge and condemn all crimes committed against the Egyptian people under the elected Mursi administration as well, including but not limited to the imprisonment, threats, and incitement of sectarian violence against the opposition. This does not however justify the gross crimes committed by the Sissi-SCAF regime.

• We condemn the illegal use of lethal violence against protesters using U.S. financed ammunition and teargas, which has left hundreds dead in recent weeks.

• We condemn all unjustified arrests and round-ups of individuals suspected of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

• We condemn the arrests and threats made against human rights workers, attorneys and all activists seeking to expose state crimes.

• We condemn Egyptian military collaboration with the U.S. and Israel in targeting the Palestinian people.

• We stand in solidarity with those opposed to the reimplementation of Emergency Law and the National Security Police, pillars of the Mubarak regime, under the dangerous pretext of “fighting terrorism.”

• We call for solidarity against all human rights infractions.

• We support the Egyptian call for an immediate transfer of power to a popularly supported civilian government.


1. We demand Egyptian authorities immediately end all state violence and ensure the protection of the human rights of all Egyptians, including all prisoners.

2. We demand the U.S. government account for its role in and be held accountable for its complicity and/or collaboration in political and structural violence committed by the Egyptian State apparatus.

3. We demand an end to U.S. Aid to the Egyptian Military.

4. We demand the release of all Political Prisoners.

5. We demand an end to all sectarian attacks.

We believe that revolutionary mobilization around the principles of the Jan 25th Egyptian Revolution — “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice, and Human Dignity” — is ongoing, and represented by the continuing struggle of workers and other activists throughout the country. U.S.-financed state repression under SCAF seeks to undermine the continuation of the true revolutionary process.

Ad-Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East North Africa

Suzanne Adely, National Lawyers Guild, Int. Committee Co-Chair, 2012 NLG Egypt Delegation, 2013 IADL Turkey Delegation

Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, Member of NLG 2011 Tunisia Egypt Delegation

Lamis Deek, National Lawyers Guild, Human Rights Lawyer, NLG Egypt Delegation Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners

Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325, NLG Egypt Delegation Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners

Corinna Mullin, Activist and Academic, NLG Tunisia Egypt Delegation

Charlotte Kates, National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners


Atef Said, Human Rights Activist Sociologist, Egypt-USA

Azadeh Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild, NLG Tunisia Egypt Delegations

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, PhD, Ass. Professor, Race and Resistance Studies, Senior Scholar: Arab Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED)

Monami Maulik, Migrant/Human Rights Organizer

Immanuel Ness, Professor, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Noha Arafa, Esq., Delegate, Assoc. Legal Aid Attorneys

Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Devorah Hill, author and educator

Kiana Karim, M.A. Candidate, Gallatin School, New York University

Rogers Turrentine

Wayne Heimbach

Manijeh Nasrabadi, activist, writer, scholar

Selma James, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK

Sara Kershnar

Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Nominee, 2012

Tom McVitie

Dick Reilly, Hammerhard Media Works

Ben Manski, President, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution

Andrew Ross, New York University

Dianne Post, Attorney

James Marc Leas, National Lawyers Guild, Co-chair Free Palestine Subcommittee, member 2009 and 2012 Gaza Delegations

Pham Binh, The North Star Website

Dennis Kortheuer, PhD, California State University, Long Beach

B. Ross Ashley, NDP Socialist Caucus, reproclaimed Fourth International

Dr. Stephen Oren

Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Review

David Letwin, Gaza Freedom March, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Jose Palazon, CC. OO.

Bernadette Ellorin, Chair, Bayan USA

Dr. Sarah Marusek,

Joe Catron, International Solidarity Activist, Gaza, Palestine

Richard Greve

Julio Vernia

Tikva Honig-Parnass, author

Roger Dittmann, US Federation of Scholars and Scientists

Joanne Landy, Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Sign on here to endorse the statement:

2013.04.11: Action Item: Thank the TUI for passing a motion calling for an academic boycott of Israel

Action Item: Thank the TUI for passing a motion calling for an academic boycott of Israel!

At its Annual Congress last week, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) became the first academic union in Europe to endorse the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel. The motion, which passed unanimously, refers to Israel as an “apartheid state” and calls for “all members to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the [institutional] exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes”.

Palestinian academics, teachers and writers have already expressed their support for this motion, but it is important that you do so too. Why? It’s probable that the TUI will face a massive backlash from domestic and international apologists for Israeli apartheid for taking this principled stand in solidarity with Palestinians, and messages expressing support for this move are important to counter this.

We ask you to go to the TUI website and use the contact form there (use a valid email address, put your location where it says ‘branch/area’, and your message where it says ‘request’) to send a short message of support – even something as simple as

“I am writing to thank the TUI for taking a principled stand for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel. You have my full support for your stance in favour an academic boycott of Israel.”

It will only take one minute to do – so please take the time to do so! Many thanks.

You may also want to share this image on Facebook

2013.04.10: Urgent Action: Egypt: Stop the militarisation of the railway! Stop terrorising the train drivers!


Picture: trade unionists and activists protest in Cairo in solidarity with the rail workers, 10 April (

Stop the militarisation of the railway! Stop terrorising the train drivers!
Joint statement 10 April 2013 (original Arabic here)

For the first time, the armed forces have blatantly intervened to break the train drivers’ strike – not by force, as in the past, nor through orders to arrest the drivers on charges of striking or incitement to strike (as has already happened to 16 drivers, 13 of them from Tanta), but by issuing call-up papers conscripting hundreds of drivers to work in the Armed Forces’ Transport Directorate. The drivers received orders from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics which stated that “it had been decided to assign them to work in a military capacity for the Armed Forces under the Transport Directorate”. The letters stated that drivers who delayed in reporting for duty at the specified place on receiving their assignments would face a six-month jail term or a fine of 5000 Egyptian pounds [£500] or both.

To add insult to injury, when the drivers reported to the mobilization centre for Railway Battalion 39 at Masr Railway Station near Al-Sharabiyya Housing, they were suddenly detained, after negotiations between them and representatives of the security services broke down. The drivers called for the cancellation of the orders but this was refused and they were told that the Minister of Transport had refused to take this action. Then the drivers were banned from leaving and they were left without food or drink from the morning of Tuesday 9 April until the time this statement was written.

As for the Egyptian government, rather than thinking about how to implement workers’ demands, which are the genuine expression of social justice, one the fundamental slogans of the revolution, it has spent two years experimenting with new ways to try and break the movement. Sometimes it smears the workers, claiming that they are exploiting the revolution for their own sectional demands, and at others it uses all forms of victimisation including dismissals and imprisonment on charges of striking.

Despite creating an arsenal of laws criminalising strike action, protests and sit-ins the government has failed to break the workers’ movement by stopping workers’ peaceful strikes and sit-ins to defend their rights. So now it is resorting to illegal imprisonment, for neither the army or the government has the right to conscript anyone, in particular if they are over 35 years old, except in specific circumstances such as war-time. In these situations, the President of the Republic has to issue an order for general mobilization, which has not happened in this case. What is happening here is an attempt to terrorise the drivers from exercising their constitutionally-enshrined right to strike by prosecuting them under military law.

The signatories condemn this attempt to militarize the railway, and to terrorize Egyptian workers and the train drivers. We declare our complete solidarity with the drivers’ just demands for their rights. We demand the right for Egyptians to a safe public transport system and to exercise their right to strike. We call on the Egyptian army not to intervene in the workers’ movement, and demand that the Egyptian government takes action to solve workers’ problems and implement their demands, which have long been considered to be fair, rather than attempting to break their movement.

Egyptian Federation for Independent Trade Unions
Popular Socialist Alliance Party
The Revolutionary Socialists Movement
The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights
No Military Trials
National Front for Justice and Democracy
Al-Nadeem Centre
“Al-Ahiya’ Bilism Faqat” Campaign

What you can do:

  • Rush messages of support for the Egyptian railway workers to us for forwarding to Egypt via
  • Send urgent protests to the Egyptian Embassy in your country (Email the Egyptian Embassy in the UK here: )
  • Take a picture of yourself and your colleagues with this sign and send to us via Twitter (@menasolidarity) or Facebook

egypt_railworkers_solidarity (1)

Endorse Workers’ Appeal: Stop U.S. weapons to Egypt


Egyptian Workers Call on U.S. Workers To Stand in Solidarity with the Egyptian People

The statement below was drafted by Egyptian labor activists. They are seeking signatures from US labor activists.

Click here to sign on, or email With a general strike by Egyptian workers, students and allies planned for February 11th, a wide distribution and support for this statement will send a clear signal to the Egyptian military regime that we will not stand for any repression of the strikers and that we support their just demands!

Stop the Import of US “Tear Gas” and all other weapons to Egypt —
We are all the 99%

Click here to sign on! or email

On November 28, 2011, five workers at the Port of Suez took a stand for justice by officially refusing to allow a U.S. shipment of lethal tear gas into Egypt. According to documents seen by the workers and leaked to the media, the port of origin was Wilmington, Delaware.

Although the Egyptian government later ordered the shipment released, the workers’ courageous action reflects widespread anger over growing repression by the ruling Supreme Council Armed Forces (SCAF) against “25 January Revolution” protesters.

“I haven’t been part of the protests, although I supported it in my heart, but I believe that we could take a stand for justice in workplaces, homes and communities as much as we can in our streets”, said Esmaa, the young woman who led the port workers’ action.

Just a few days earlier, the identical tear gas and other U.S. weapons were used to brutalize scores of peaceful Egyptian protesters. During the last week of November, gas inhalation was responsible for the death of at least three of the 56 protesters killed, while causing many others to suffer unconsciousness and epileptic-like convulsions. In recent weeks, storms of tear gas have been directed at young protestors, as a means to terrorized and deter political participation. Thousands have been injured.

Tear gas cartridges retrieved from the scene of the massacres bore the name of Combined Systems Inc., of Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

A year into the revolution, an unprecedented number of Egyptian workers and youth retuned to Tahrir (Liberation Square) to demand the fulfillment of their revolutionary demands, including: An end to military rule, accountability for deaths and injuries of scores of peaceful protestors, and the end to the criminalization of labor activism and political participation.

These demands are being brought into public spaces throughout Egypt, met with state sponsored violence, as seen in a recent massacre of over 100 Soccer fans in Port Said.

On February 11th a General Strike has been called by workers and students to push forth the demands of the revolution, despite the repression they may face.

Like U.S. wars, sponsorship of Israel, and support for numerous dictatorships throughout the region, shipment of arms to the Egyptian regime has everything to do with protecting the global 1%.

The Egyptian Revolution has its roots in workers’ economic and political struggles, and has inspired many other international social justice movements of the 99%, including Occupy Wall Street. For all those reasons, we ask you to stand with us by:

– Discussing the struggle of Egyptian workers with your workmates.

– Making a statement or holding actions in solidarity with Egyptian workers.

– Blocking shipment of tear gas and all other weapons from the United States to Egypt.

Click here to sign on now!