Stars bid for MidEast peace

18 January 2007 - 4:34pm
Press release

Miriam Margolyes, a star of the hit musical Wicked in London's West End, is set to help launch a new historic drive for a just settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. Britain's first wide-ranging alliance on the issue, representing over three million people, unites charities, faith groups, trade unions and celebrities, including actor Stephen Fry and film director Mike Leigh.

The ENOUGH! coalition plans major events this year, linked to the 40th anniversary of Israel's military occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It will press the UK government and others to support international law and human rights in fresh efforts for peace four decades on since the Six Day War.

Margolyes, who plays Madame Morrible in Wicked, will chair a news conference to announce the campaign at 11.00 am on Tuesday, 30 January in the Wilson Room at Portcullis House, Victoria Embankment, Westminster, London SW1A 2LW.

Among the speakers will be:

  • former Israeli pilot Yonatan Shapira, who refused to fly missions over the occupied territories.
  • Palestinian farmer Sharif Omar, whose livelihood with many others has been hit by Israel's separation wall.
  • Mona El-Farra, a Gaza doctor treating children traumatised by the occupation.
  • Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian delegate to Britain.
  • TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, who has just returned from a trade union group visit to Palestine.

 

The coalition will arrange a series of local events in April, with a special focus on Jerusalem. There will be a national demonstration and concert in London in the afternoon on Saturday 9 June, the international day of action for Palestine to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. And a lobby of the British parliament will be staged in November,

Margolyes said: "Millions of people in Britain have come together in this unique alliance to say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone on long enough. It will be wicked negligence if Tony Blair and his likely successor, Gordon Brown, fail to mark the 40th anniversary of this illegal occupation by making new moves for a just peace and urging other governments to follow suit."


CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 (office) (+44) (0)7983 550728 (mobile)

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • The news conference precedes a public launch rally later the same day. Tony Benn, the ex-UK cabinet minister, will address the rally, along with award-winning Gaza cameraman Zakaria Abu Harbid, Yonatan Shapira, Sharif Omar, Mona El-Farra and Professor Hassassian. It will take place at 7.00 pm on Tuesday, 30 January at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.
  • The coalition includes two Jewish organisations - Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Jewish Socialists' Group. Its other members are: Amicus, Amos Trust, BFAWU, Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, Britain Palestine Twinning Network, CAABU, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Birzeit University, GMB, Green Party, ICAHD UK, Interpal, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, NUJ, NUS Black Students Campaign, Open Bethlehem, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Palestinian Return Centre, Pax Christi, PCS, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, T&G, Trade Union Friends of Palestine, UNISON, War on Want, Welfare Association.

 

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