Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

Over 240 Irish & International artists urge end to Israel’s siege of Gaza amid COVID-19 pandemic

Mary Black, Liam Cunningham, Christy Moore, Stephen Rea, Lankum, Frances Black, Colm Tóibín and over 240 others back Amnesty International’s call for a military embargo on Israel “until it fully complies with its obligations under international law” and for the rights of Palestinian refugees to be upheld.

Irish cultural figures Mary Black, Lankum, Liam Cunningham, Sinéad Cusack, Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Stephen Rea, Kevin Barry, Emer Martin, Frances Black, Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín are among more than 240 musicians, actors, filmmakers, authors and others calling for an end to Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip amid the coronavirus crisis.

In an open letter they write, “Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, predominantly refugees, face a mortal threat in the world’s largest open-air prison.”

The full letter can be read at

Commenting on the letter, Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign Chairperson, Ms. Fatin Al Tamimi thanked the signatories saying “As we Palestinians commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba this week, it is truly heartening to see so many Irish and international cultural figures call for an end to the cruel and illegal siege of Gaza, for an arms embargo on Israel and for the right of the Palestinian refugee to return. We thank them all for their support and solidarity in these critical times for Palestinians.”

The first cases of coronavirus in blockaded Gaza were reported in March. Palestinian, Israeli and international humanitarian and human rights organisations have called for the lifting of Israel’s siege so that Gaza can address its severe shortages of medical equipment.

Authors Irvine Welsh and Jeanette Winterson, actors Julie Christie, Viggo Mortensen and Steve Coogan, and sculptor Antony Gormley are also signatories to the letter, which states:

“International pressure is urgently needed to make life in Gaza liveable and dignified. Israel’s siege must be ended. And most urgently, a potentially devastating outbreak must be prevented.”

Marking two years since Israel killed sixty Palestinian protestors in Gaza, the signatories — including Irish novelists Emer Martin, Kevin Barry and Colm Tóibín, and international visual artists Kevin Beasley and Shepard Fairey, and 2019 Turner Prize co-winners Tai Shani and Lawrence Abu Hamdan — continue:

“What happens in Gaza is a test for the conscience of humanity. We back Amnesty International’s call on all world governments to impose a military embargo on Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law.”

Film producer and director James Schamus, actors Stephen Rea, Peter Mullan, Sinéad Cusack and Liam Cunningham, and artists Charlotte Prodger and Helen Marten join pioneering poet K. Satchidanandan, novelist and screenwriter Candace Allen, composer and producer Brian Eno and musicians Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and Lankum in signing the letter, which concludes:

“We recognise that the rights guaranteed to refugees by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be upheld for Palestinians as well. In these times of international crisis, we must stand for justice, peace, freedom, and equal rights for all, regardless of identity or creed. We may be staying at home, but our ethical responsibility shouldn’t.”

Also joining the appeal are writer and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, Portuguese composers Luís Cília and Sérgio Godinho, electronic artists Object Blue and Rrose, actors Ricky Tomlinson, Harriet Walter and Maxine Peake, authors Lisa Appignanesi, Erik Vlaminck, Alain Damasio and Annie Ernaux and playwrights Patrícia Portela and Einat Weizman.

The letter is also signed by Belgian pianist and composer Jef Neve, Catalan groups Txarango and Gossos, Greek singer and composer Dimitra Galani, Norwegian violinist Annar Follesø, electronic artists Hiro Kone and Violet, British musician Charles Hayward, filmmakers Andre Gregory, Anand Patwardhan, Marc Isaacs, Burt Caesar, Pantelis Voulgaris and Udi Aloni, authors Philip Pullman, Priyamvada Gopal, Ioanna Karystianni, Anne Enright and Yann Martel, graphic novelist Judith Vanistendael and artist duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

The full letter can be read at

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