Wednesday 24 June 2009

UK says no to arms embargo on Israel

"The petition, initiated by a man named Yusuf Ibrahim, was signed by over [rather ONLY] 38,000 people."

The British government has refused to heed a petition calling on the UK to impose an arms embargo on Israel and press other countries to stop supplying arms to the Jewish state.

The government responded last week to a petition posted in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead on the official Web site of the Prime Minister's Office. The petition, initiated by a man named Yusuf Ibrahim, was signed by over 38,000 people.

Anyone can post petitions on the Prime Minister's Office site, and the government will respond to those that get more than 500 signatures.

The petitioners asked the prime minister "to do everything in his power to impose an arms embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip and to apply pressure on countries supplying Israel with arms that breach international agreements with the intention of restoring lasting peace to the region," the petition read. It claimed Israel was responsible for exacerbating tensions in the region.

"Only a complete arms embargo will send a clear message to Israel that this government will not accept the prolonged armed conflict which is aggravating existing tensions in the region."
The petition also stated that an embargo would show that Britain was committed to establishing peace in the region and "will have a far reaching impact in terms of marginalizing the ideologies of radical extremist groups."

In its response last week, the government said it did not believe an embargo would benefit the region and that Israel had a right to defend itself. [...]

Source: article by Jonny Paul in JPost

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