28 June 2005: for immediate release
Lobby of Parliament – 2-7pm on the 13th July 2005
Public meeting – Committee Room 9 from 4-6 pm on the 13th July 2005
A national lobby of Parliament has been called for the 13th July 2005 from 2-7pm. The central message of the lobby is that Israel’s weapons of mass destruction have been tolerated for far too long. The hypocrisy governing attitudes to Israel’s possession of WMD must end, and real steps must be taken to ensure Israel complies with international treaties and UN resolutions. Speakers at a public meeting in Parliament on the afternoon of the lobby include Bruce Kent, Frank Barnaby, Mandy Turner, Mahmoud Hawari, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Glen Rangwala, Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Betty Hunter, General Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons as well as many other weapons of mass destruction. New delivery systems with ranges of over 4,800 km can threaten numerous countries, causing regional instability, and even greater ranges are planned. Israel ignores UN resolutions calling for a nuclear weapons free Middle East, and refuses to sign up to international treaties banning or controlling WMD. It will not acknowledge publicly that it has nuclear weapons and has not signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel now has a partnership agreement with NATO. The European Arms Trade is providing submarines and aircraft which could be used for delivery of WMD. This trade is also involved in oppressing the Palestinians and undermining their resistance to occupation.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said,
“Israel’s weapons of mass destruction have been tolerated for far too long. The hypocrisy governing attitudes to Israel’s actions must end and real steps must be taken to ensure Israel complies with UN resolutions calling for a nuclear weapons free Middle East. This would contribute hugely to the possibility of peace in the Middle East. The US talks of the dangers of nuclear proliferation. The UK is also quick to join the US in condemning ‘rogue states’ for their possible nuclear ambition, in the case of Iraq, to go to war on the premise of non-existent WMD. Yet for the past 40 years the nuclear weapon states have been complicit in the ‘nuclear ambiguity’ of Israel. Israel is thought to have between 100-400 nuclear weapons. The country is also recognised as having a production capability for chemical and even biological weapons.”
Betty Hunter, General Secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said,
“The recklessly partisan approach of our government which allows Israel to act with impunity on the acquisition and development of nuclear weapons as well as on its other breaches of international law must be challenged. We urge people from all walks of life to join us in our lobby, to impress upon the British government that we demand effective action to curb nuclear proliferation and bring peace to the Middle East.”
The lobby is jointly organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and is supported by Al-Awda, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Campaign to Free Vanunu and for a Nuclear Free Middle East, Friends of Sabeel, Labour Action for Peace, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, World Court Project.
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews with people taking part in the lobby and speakers please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. A press conference has been called for the morning of the lobby. 10:30am Room C, 1 Parliament Street nr tube Westminster
3. For further information on the lobby and its demands.
4. This lobby demands that: –
– The UN inspects facilities in Israel for Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD] and puts in place verification and monitoring.
– The British government and the EU work for Israeli compliance with, and ratification of, the NPT, CWC, BTWC and FMCT treaties.
– A WMD- free zone in the Middle East, including Israel, is UK Policy.
– Israel’s Star Wars is not supported by the UK government and the EU.
– An embargo is imposed on the sale of all UK and EU relevant military equipment to, and from, Israel, breaking off all military contacts.
– The United Kingdom asks the EU to insist that Israel complies with its obligations under international law.
– Full Freedom for Mordechai Vanunu
5. Public meeting in Parliament in Committee room 9 on July 13th 4-6 pm. Speakers include: Bruce Kent, Frank Barnaby, Mandy Turner, Mahmoud Hawari, Jeremy Corbyn M.P and Glen Rangwala, Chairs: Betty Hunter and Kate Hudson
6. The lobby is jointly organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign And is supported by the following organisations: Al-Awda, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Campaign to Free Vanunu and for a Nuclear Free Middle East, Friends of Sabeel, Labour Action for Peace, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, World Court Project.
7. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.