Letter to Susan Sarandon from the Steering Committee for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: http://www.bds-palestine.net
The letter is also posted here: http://stopthewall.org/analysisandfeatures/1584.shtml
Palestine, December 28 2007
Dear Susan Sarandon,
We have heard and seen, with sorrow, your pictures making your way through a picket line in front of Lev Leviev’s new jewelry shop in New York. It was disturbing to know that a prominent figure like you, known for her clear moral standings, has accepted to contribute to the profits made with blood diamonds and invested in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
We believe that you were not aware of the motivations behind the picket and the practical support for war crimes in Palestine clients at Lev Leviev’s shop are lending. We are happy to hear that you are exploring the issue, and we know that the details of Leviev’s involvement in the Israeli colonization of Palestine have been brought to your knowledge. Settlements are destroying Palestinian lives and livelihoods, contribute to the displacement and expulsion of the Palestinian people, and are war crimes under international law.
As UNICEF goodwill ambassador you should be particularly aware of the plight of the Palestinian children caused by the Israeli occupation and colonies. Israel currently keeps some 450 children in prisons. Since September 2000, over 800 children have been killed and over 300 schools have been damaged by Israeli military attacks. In the settlements in the Jordan Valley, Palestinian child labour is employed. In Beit Ur, Palestinian children are forced to go to school via a drainage hole in the Apartheid Wall, built to guarantee the expansion of Beit Horon settlement.
We know about your opposition to the war in Iraq and believe that it is of crucial importance that prominent figures come out to speak about justice and against war and occupation everywhere. You have yourself denounced the distorting US media coverage of the Iraq war. We can assure you mainstream media reports on Palestine are even more distorted, misinforming and biased. Several Palestinian and US independent media outlets shed light on the reality;however, we believe that only by coming here and seeing with your own eyes the reality produced by Israeli occupation and apartheid will you be able to fully understand the extent of oppression and racist segregation the Palestinian people has to face day after day.
We hope that this will help you understand the urgency of our call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, as a non-violent, civil form of pressure against Israel until it complies with international law and universal human rights.
Israel has repeatedly shown that negotiations and dialogue are for it but a masquerade to continue its colonization of Palestinian land. Only days after the much promoted Annapolis conference Israel has unveiled the real meaning of the newly created round of “peace negotiations” by announcing further settlement construction in the Har Homa colony and continuing to kill and arrest innocent Palestinians on a daily basis.
Inspired by the moral high ground gained by the global movement to isolate apartheid South Africa, Palestinian civil society has called on July 2005 on the world to start once again a boycott movement in the pursuit of justice.
Only systematic and effective international pressure and the resulting rise in the cost of military occupation have any chance of bringing us all closer to a just and sustainable peace.
Since its launch in 2005, the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions has gained notable successes among social movements, organizations and celebrities that have come out for Palestinian rights, regardless of attacks from those backing the continuous human rights abuses, war, occupation and apartheid in Palestine.
We hope you will be joining Adalah- NY’s just campaign by severing your ties with Leviev owned businesses, showing, again, your political and moral sensibility.
We hope to be able to welcome you in Palestine in the near future.
Acting Steering Committee, Palestinian BDS Campaign:
Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations
Opgai – Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative
Pacbi – Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network
National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba