Israel: Blue, White – and Green !

February 7, 2010
Richard Kuper

zf_greenOn Tuesday 9 February the Zionist Federation is laying on an ‘Israel Blue White and Green‘ event at which David Bellamy is making a guest appearance.

It is billed as ‘A panel of experts flown in especially to speak on what advances Israel has made to helping the planet’.

97 signatories, predominantly UK academics but also including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, Clare Short MP, two peers and three prominent Israeli academics have written to Bellamy urging him not to participate.

Here is the letter:

Dear David Bellamy

We are writing you this open letter to ask you not to take part in the Zionist Federation’s event Israel: Blue, White and Green, scheduled to take place on the evening of February 9th.

As you will know this is part of a whole day of activities, of which the first part (called Israel and the Environment 2010) is aimed specifically at 6th form pupils. This is the follow-on from last year’s ‘Israel Science Days’ held at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, and at the Science Museum in London.

We note, as you must have done, that the outrage at the Israel Science Days has caused the Zionist Federation to treat the location of this year’s events as a closely guarded secret. All they will say is that they will be at a ‘Central London Venue’. That secrecy alone should give you some pause for thought.

We are outraged, and think you ought to be too, at the prospect of Israel presenting itself (especially to relatively unformed minds) as a champion of environmentalist virtues. Their university scientists, as elsewhere, have made some useful contributions. These events, however, will try to use these to ‘greenwash’ the whole state of Israel. Consider the contrasting reality on the ground:

· over-pumping by Israel to supply its illegal settlements has drastically reduced the level of the water table in the Occupied Territories

· military attacks on Gaza’s waste treatment facilities has caused large sewage lakes to develop

· West Bank settlements are dumping untreated sewage and waste water into the valleys, polluting Palestinian water sources and agriculture

· Israeli companies have for years been dumping hazardous and solid waste in the West Bank

· the assault on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 wantonly laid waste to large areas of fertile agriculture, and left a heritage of long-lasting poisonous residues in Gaza City

· industries which are seen as toxic or undesirable in Israel have been set up in the West Bank where they can operate without tiresome restrictions

· many of Israel’s Nature Reserves and National Parks have been sited to obliterate the memory of destroyed Palestinian villages

· during the Occupation Israel has up-rooted or otherwise destroyed over 1½ million trees, mostly olive trees

· Israel drives out Palestinians from their land by demolishing water cisterns, destroying irrigation systems, smashing solar panels, declaring water facilities “closed military areas” etc.

This is what Amnesty International in its 2009 report (Troubled Waters – Palestinians denied fair access to water: Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territories, 2009) has to say: “during more than four decades of occupation of the Palestinian territories Israel has over-exploited Palestinian water resources, neglected the water and sanitation infrastructure in the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories), and used the OPT as a dumping ground for its waste – causing damage to the groundwater resources and the environment…..Israel has[established] dumpsites throughout the OPT without lining them, leaving dangerous substances, including hazardous industrial waste, to permeate through the soil and pollute the aquifer

This is the reality of Israel’s environmental ‘credentials’. No environmental scientist of integrity should collaborate in this public relations exercise for a noxious regime, or in the attempted indoctrination of a swathe of Britain’s school students.


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate
Clare Short MP
Nazir Ahmed , House of Lords
Jenny Tonge , House of Lords
Prof. Rachel Giora , Linguistics, Tel Aviv University
Dr. Anat Matar Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
Dr. Kobi Snitz Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute
Professor Mona Baker Translation & Intercultural Studies University of Manchester
Professor Haim Bresheeth Media and Cultural Studies University of East London
Professor Andrea Cornwall Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex
Professor Wolfgang Deckers Social Sciences, University of Richmond
Professor James Dickens Arabic, University of Salford
Professor K.D. Elworthy Mathematics Institute Warwick University
Professor Mohamed El Gomati Electronics, University of York
Professor Colin Green Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research
Professor Peter Hallward Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University
Professor Daphne Hampson Theology, University of St Andrews
Professor Nigel Harris Tectonics, Open University
Professor Robin Heath Emeritus Professor Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Professor Khalil Hindi Associate Dean American University of Beirut
Formerly Professor of Systems Engineering, Brunel University
Professor Richard Hudson, FBA Linguistics, University College London
Professor Roger Iredale International Education, University of Manchester
Professor Adah Kay Cass Business School, City University
Professor Gabriel Alexander Khoury Civil Engineering, Imperial College London
Professor A. Land Emeritus Professor of Operational Research London School of Economics
Professor Frank Land Management, London School of Economics
Professor Yosefa Loshitzky University of East London
Professor Terry Lovell Sociology, University of Warwick
Professor Moshé Machover Philosophy, King’s College London
Prof R.S.MacKay FRS Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick
Professor Nur Masalha Religion and History St. Mary’s University College
Professor Ian Mason Translation Studies Heriot Watt University
Professor David Mond Mathematics Institute University of Warwick
Professor Martha Mundy Anthropology, London School of Economics
Professor Mica Nava Cultural Studies, University of East London
Professor David Pegg Biology, University of York
Professor Sol Picciotto Law, Lancaster University
Professor Malcolm J. W. Food Physics, University of Leeds
Professor Hilary J Powers Nutritional Biochemistry, University of Sheffield
Professor Hilary Rose Social Policy, University of Bradford
Professor Steven Rose Life Sciences, Open University
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead Operational Research, London School of Economics
Professor Richard Seaford Classics and Ancient History University of Exeter
Professor David Slater Social and Political Geography, Loughborough University
Professor John Smith Fine Art, University of East London
Professor Joy Townsend Public and Environmental Health Research Unit London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Professor David Wield Professor of Innovation and Development, Open University
Professor Patrick Williams Literary and Cultural Studies, Nottingham Trent University
Dr Inma Alvarez Head of Spanish, Open University
Pura Ariza Senior Lecturer in Education, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr. Claude Baesens Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick
Dr Anna Ball Postcolonial Studies, Nottingham Trent University
Dr. John Baxter History, Hillsborough College, Sheffield
Dr Susan Blackwell English, University of Birmingham
Dr Robert Boyce International History, London School of Economics
Dr. Isobel Card Former Lecturer in Psychiatry, Leeds University
Dr John Chalcraft Reader, Government Dept, London School of Economics
Andrew Conio Senior Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton
David Cross Reader in Art and Design, University of the Arts London
Dr. Bucker Dangor Emeritus Reader, Physics, Imperial College
Dr Saroj Datta Senior Lecturer in Life Sciences, Open University
John Graham Davies Lecturer in Performance, Liverpool John Moore’s University
Dr Jorge Díaz-Cintas Senior Lecturer in Translation, Imperial College
Dr. Judit Druks Linguistics, University College London
Sarah Gartland Lecturer in English Language Roehampton University
Dr Martin Greeley Institute for Development Studies, Sussex
Denis Gregory International Labour and Trade Union Studies Ruskin College, Oxford
Dr Keith Hammond Philosophy, Education, University of Glasgow
Dr Rumy Hasan Senior Lecturer, Science & Technology Policy Research University of Sussex
Tom Hickey Principal Lecturer in Philosophy and Politics University of Brighton
Dr David Hookes Honorary Senior Research Fellow Computer Science, Liverpool University
Colin Imber Formerly Reader in Turkish, University of Manchester
Ghada Karmi Research Fellow and Lecturer Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.
Dr Paul Kelemen Sociology, University of Manchester
Dr. Laleh Khalili Senior Lecturer, Politics and International Studies School of Oriental and African Studies
Dr. David W. Kidner Senior Lecturer in Social Theory Nottingham Trent University Dr. Adam Kossoff
Art and Design, Wolverhampton University
Dr. Juan A. Lalaguna Translation Studies, Imperial College
Dr Les Levidow Senior Research Fellow, Development Policy and Practice Open University
Dr Michael Loughlin Reader in Applied Philosophy Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Philip Marfleet Reader in Refugee Studies, University of East London
Dr Lyla Mehta Fellow, Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex
Carmen Perea Gohar Former Coordinator of Spanish Language Imperial College
Judy Price Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Media University of Brighton
Gabriela Saldanha English Language Studies, University of Birmingham Mark Shuttleworth
Senior Lecturer in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation Imperial College London
Dr Derek Summerfield Hon Sen Lect, Institute of Psychiatry King’s College.
John Trapp Mathematics, Open University
Christine Vié Faculty of Science & Engineering Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Christopher Warnes Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
Dr Monica Wusteman Formerly Research Fellow, Biology Department York University
Kirsty Alexander Assistant Director, London Contemporary Dance School
Dr.C.J.Burns-Cox MD FRCP Emeritus Consultant Physician, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol
David Halpin FRCP Trauma and orthopaedic surgeon Dove and Dolphin Charity
Abe Hayeem, RIBA Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine.
Martin Kemp Psychoanalyst, London
Dr Brian Robinson Retired psychiatrist, Milton Keynes
Nelly Takla-Wright Deputy General Secretary Association of Professionals in Education and Children’s Trusts (Aspect)

Letter organised by BRICUP, BM BRICUP, London WC1N3XX, email

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