Just one day before the Israeli general election, Binyamin Netanyahu stood in an East Jerusalem settlement and said in a televised interview that he would never agree to a Palestinian state if re-elected and would not halt settlement construction (Report, 17 March). The next day, he and his party were re-elected to power with a decisive majority, giving a mandate to his pre-election commitments – commitments which fly in the face of any “peace process”, freedom and justice for Palestinians, and international law. Netanyahu’s unequivocal words cannot be ignored by the UN, the US, the UK and the EU. Israel’s prime minister has made it explicitly clear that his country will continue to breach international law, and these are not statements that can be retracted. Now is the time for sanctions. Without sanctions on Israel, Palestinians cannot see a future free of occupation, apartheid and, in Gaza, crippling siege. The next UK government must push the EU to impose immediate sanctions on Israel until it abides by international law, ends settlement building, and ends the occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
Hugh Lanning (Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Maxine Peake, Brian Eno, Miriam Margolyes, Ken Loach, Benjamin Zephaniah, Paul Laverty, Ahdaf Soueif, Dr Karma Nabulsi