Welcome to Palestine Initiative 2012

The challenge to Israel’s illegal siege of Palestine has to move from words to deeds; a small flotilla of boats challenge the siege of Gaza by sea and the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative will fly in to Tel Aviv Airport on April 15th to insist on the rights of all Palestinians to freely receive visitors from abroad. Hopefully, hundreds of international visitors will celebrate with Palestinian friends on that Sunday a tiny progress towards the realisation of their full human rights.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The Israelis may, however, as in 2011, imprison air travellers without charge for trying to go openly to Palestine, but the numbers and international scope this time will make it much more difficult and politically costly for them. If, in addition, international air carriers agree to act as auxiliary prison guards for Israel’s illegal occupation by refusing boarding to some ticket-holders in our home countries, we will know how deal through the courts and otherwise with this violation of our rights to travel.

As with other countries, UK involvement in WtP 2012 will be much greater than last year. Most will be participating for the first time, but some will be veterans of WtP2011. Organisers are already in place in London, the North of England, Wales, Scotland and elsewhere to be a point of recruitment, to fundraise, to set up support systems here, to liaise with Palestinian and Israeli welcomers, and to organise the groups that will fly into Tel Aviv Airport on April 15th from many airports internationally. Join us.

Read the endorsement of WtP 2012 from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky and many others:

“We, the undersigned, endorse the call from the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative for supporters of Palestinian human and national rights around the world to openly visit Palestine during Easter 2012.
There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.
Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel’s policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.
We call on governments to support the right of Palestinians to receive visitors and the right of their own citizens to visit Palestine openly.
The participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012 ask to be allowed to pass through Tel Aviv airport without hindrance and to proceed to the West Bank to take part in a project there for children to benefit from the right to education.”
SIGNED:
Sam Bahour / Tony Benn / Noam Chomsky / Jonathan Cook / Stephane Hessel / Ronnie Kasrils / Nurit Peled / John Pilger / Nawal Al Sadaawi / Vauro Senesi / Desmond Tutu