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Friday, 27 April 2018

UK Government Should Cancel Prince William’s Visit to Apartheid Israel


Prince William’s scheduled trip to Israel this summer would contravene seven decades of British policy against official visits to Israel by the royal family. Despite many invitations, the royal family has avoided visits to avoid giving a royal stamp of approval to Israel’s decades-old violations of Palestinian human rights. As Israel’s far-right government intensifies its violations of international law, this is no time to change this precedent. The UK should pressure Israel to end its violations of Palestinian rights and cancel Prince William's trip. 

On March 1, the British monarchy announced that Prince William will visit Israel as part of a regional trip this summer, becoming the first royal family member to do so. Palestinian civil society, as represented in the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), calls on the UK Government to cancel Prince William’s visit to avoid adding insult to the many injuries inflicted by British imperialism on the indigenous people of Palestine.
The Israeli government has a well-documented record of using international visits to mask its grave human rights abuses. It will use this visit to cover up its ongoing piecemeal massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza demanding freedom and the UN-stipulated right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin.

“Royal-washing” Israel’s decades-old military occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people is wrong. And it is exceptionally offensive when coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, or catastrophe, when Palestinian society was destroyed and most Palestinians were ethnically cleansed, largely due to official British complicity in the Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine.

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