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Scholars, students and activists in the UK stand in solidarity with Palestinians and call for an end to British complicity in genocide

Over 3500 individuals have signed a statement proclaiming their solidarity with Palestinians and denouncing Israel's siege in Gaza.

Scholars in Solidarity with Palestine26 October 2023

Scholars, students and activists in the UK stand in solidarity with Palestinians and call for an end to British complicity in genocide

This statement is the collective expression of over 3,500 academics, students and activists, from institutions and organisations across the UK, raising our voices against the genocide of Palestinians. Signatures are affiliated with over 120 universities and colleges across the UK, including all 24 Russell Group  universities. Individuals associated with trade unions as well as civic and social justice organisations have also joined this call.

We, the organisers of this statement, see this moment as a crossroads. The UK establishment–along with the US, Canada, Australia and much of Europe–are reaffirming, not only political and military support for Israel, but their ideological commitment to Israel’s settler colonial project. At the same time, they are intensifying policing and surveillance of their own citizens, particularly people from racialised and marginalised backgrounds, who dare to speak out, organise and express solidarity with Palestinians. Public agencies, law enforcement, media and universities are enrolled in this process, reflecting a further erosion of democracy.

Despite this chilling environment and elevated threat of repression, millions of people around the world–including hundreds of thousands across the UK–are demanding an end to genocide and expressing solidarity with Palestinian people and liberation. This is a unified refusal of the criminalising and silencing of the right to speak truth to power. We place our statement in these currents; it is but one expression amongst millions in a sea of global solidarity, against a racist capitalist order and the violence it produces, for justice in Palestine, and in support of the aspirations and struggles of indigenous, oppressed and colonised peoples everywhere. 

We have opted to list signatories as received.



18 October 2023


We, concerned scholars, students, and activists in the UK, affirm our unequivocal support with the Palestinian people. We heed the calls from Palestinian universities, trade unions and movements for global solidarity and an immediate end to the genocidal violence in Gaza. Palestinians refuse to surrender to subjugation and elimination in the face of 75 years of Israeli settler colonial dispossession, ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid.

We write from the location of British imperial complicity, beginning with the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the unquestioned economic, political and military support for Israel today. This ongoing Nakba is the consequence of this complicity, and Palestinian liberation and return are its necessary restitution.

Since the beginning of this latest onslaught, Israel’s carpet-bombing of Gaza has killed more than 3300 Palestinians, including over 1000 children and 50 entire families (as of October 25th 6055 Palestinians have been killed, including 2360 children). The bombing of al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital, which targeted the injured and those seeking shelter, is an indisputable war crime. In acts that signal genocidal intent, Israel demanded the transfer of 1.1 million residents of Gaza, after cutting off water, food, fuel and electricity, thus denying 2.3 million people, half of them children, the basic necessities of life. Occupation forces and settlers are also accelerating their violence in the West Bank, committing murder, arresting hundreds, and abusing political prisoners. This is all happening in the wake of sixteen years of punishing siege imposed on Gaza.  UK complicity has enabled these crimes. 

Genocide is made possible through the racist dehumanisation of Palestinians. Yoav Gallant, Israel’s Defence Minister, has referred to Palestinians as “human animals”. Similar genocidal calls to “erase” and “flatten” Gaza are routinely reproduced within Israeli media and society. British political leaders and media have joined this chorus by offering their unconditional and unanimous support for indiscriminate attacks on civilians.

We urgently call for:

  • An immediate end to Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza and settler violence occurring throughout all of historic Palestine. We call on the UK government to stop aiding and abetting Israel through its military, economic and political support, and active participation in the dehumanisation of the Palestinian people. We support ongoing efforts to hold UK political leaders accountable for war crimes. Further, we echo the call from Palestinian Trade Unions to stop all military support to and trade with Israel.
  • We reaffirm and call for the UK government to recognise the right of Palestinians to freedom, self-determination and return. Israel stands as an ongoing setter colonial project, and we demand recognition of the right to resist Zionist settler colonialism, Israeli military occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands, and Israel’s entrenched regime of apartheid and racial domination.
  • We reject the egregious letter by UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman to police chiefs that aims to criminalise solidarity with Palestinians. This expands anti-democratic tools for surveilling and threatening the livelihoods of Muslim and other racialised communities, particularly women of colour, and stifles the right to boycott and protest. We demand these draconian measures are reversed and these rights protected.
  • We call on universities to protect academic freedom. We are alarmed by surveillance on university campuses and in the media targeting faculty and students who express solidarity with Palestinians. We demand universities reject threats by the UK government to revoke the immigration status of foreign nationals who express support for Palestine. We are also concerned by the continued weaponising of antisemitism through the IHRA definition, which conflates criticism of Israel and its racist policies with anti-Jewish racism. We reject these attempts to silence solidarity with Palestinians and other oppressed peoples and movements.


[book-strip index="1"]

The Punishment of Gaza
Israel’s 2009 invasion of Gaza was an act of aggression that killed over a thousand Palestinians and devastated the infrastructure of an already impoverished enclave. The Punishment of Gaza shows h...
Blaming the Victims

Blaming the Victims

Since the 1948 war which drove them from their heartland, the Palestinian people have consistently been denied the most basic democratic rights. Blaming the Victims shows how the historical fate of...
The Palestine Laboratory
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