Engage has provided the text and signatories on a petition by UK academics asking that Israel lose its war against Hamas:
Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.I read through the list, hoping that I wouldn't know any of the people on it personally, but was dismayed to read the names of two of the Israeli "New Historians" - Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim. I would guess that their immediate plans don't include visiting Israel anytime in the near future.
We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.
We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
George Orwell, during the Second World War, used to write about pacifists being "objectively pro-fascist," because had they been able to convince enough Britons to agree with them, their advice not to fight would have led to British surrender to Nazi Germany. After the war, if I recall correctly, he apologized for using this rhetoric against the pacifists. After reading this petition, I think it is possible to say that the signers of this petition are both objectively and subjectively pro-Hamas, because by calling for Israel's defeat, what they are really calling for is Hamas's victory. The problem with their call for Israel to "accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours" is that not all of their neighbors agree with this contention, including Hamas.
I do not support this war. Whatever the contentions of Israeli spokespeople, Israel is not doing nearly enough to prevent the killing of civilians or the devastation of their homes and livelihoods. Otherwise over 1,100 people would not have been killed, including a significant number of non-combatant children, women, and men.
But I have no illusions about the peaceful intentions of Hamas. Just today, Khaled Mashall at an Arab meeting in Qatar rejected the latest ceasefire proposal, with these words:
Mashaal sought Arab support in a strongly worded address to the summit, insisting Hamas cannot stop fighting until border crossings into the Gaza Strip are opened. "We will not accept Israel's conditions for a cease-fire," Mashaal told the summit. He said Hamas demands that "the aggression stop," Israeli troops withdraw and crossings into Gaza be opened immediately.
Mashaal insisted that Israel was to blame for the offensive in Gaza, and said that "the enemy turned to the murder of civilians and the destruction after it failed before the resistance." He promised residents of the Strip that "the Israeli aggression" would collapse before their "will and determination."
Mashaal said Hamas refused to renew a 6-month-old truce with Israel that ran out in December because the period of relative calm had not led to an end to the blockade of Gaza. "Did we do wrong, by rejecting a truce that let the blockade continue?" Mashaal said. "Don't the people of Gaza deserve to live free? ... They want to live free without blockade or occupation, just like all the Palestinian people do."
He said Israel wanted to impose their policies in the Strip and that the "resistance organizations" were the only barrier between these policies and the residents. "Please listen to the voice of the resistance," he said. "Don't think that Hamas wants an open war. We are defending our people."
Mashaal asked Arab countries to boycott Israel and cut off any ties with it. "We will not accept Israel's conditions for a cease-fire," Mashaal told the summit. He said Hamas demands that "the aggression stop," Israeli troops withdraw and crossings into Gaza be opened immediately.