Short peace bid amid Olmert storm

21 May 2007 - 6:18pm
Press release

Short flies out on Sunday night (6 May) and returns on Thursday (10 May). Pegs include: Monday - the worsening humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza through military incursions and closures. Tuesday - a demolition threat to a Palestinian family's home - which Short paid to be rebuilt by Arabs and Jews after its destruction by the Israeli authorities - amid fears of more settlements. Wednesday - goods imported from illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley for sale by UK supermarkets. War on Want is pressing David Miliband, minister for the environment, food and rural affairs, to ensure labelling tells shoppers whether goods come from Israel or the occupied territories. His mother, Marion Kozak, supports the group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which favours divestment from companies that profit from Israel's occupation. War on Want's report, Profiting From the Occupation, is available here

The visit will:

 

  • take place just before the Israeli National Day (14 May), which celebrates its foundation as an independent state, and the marking (15 May) of al-Nakbah, the Palestinians' catastrophic loss of land and expulsion in 1948.
  • come in the run-up to to the global demonstrations in London (9 June) and other cities to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the start of Israel's military occupation.
  • proceed only days after Tony Blair's record on Iraq and the Middle East looks certain to have cost many Labour votes in the elections (3 May) for local councils, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.
  • start on Blair's birthday (6 May) and end on the day reports suggest the premier will tell when he intends to step down.
  • happen just before the anniversary of Short's resignation as international development secretary over the Iraq war (12 May).

 

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