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LALIT calls on the Government to freeze diplomatic and commercial relations with Israel


Dr. the Hon. Arvin Boolell,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Regional Integration and International Trade
9th - 14th Floor, Newton Tower
Sir William Newton Street,
Port Louis

14th July 2014

Dear Sir,

We write to you to make a formal request that you, in the name of the Mauritian government, take immediate action to protest against the ongoing, horrific Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza and beyond. With the death toll continuing to climb, it has become urgent to stand up and speak out for justice and for an end to Israeli impunity.

Since July 7, draconian actions of the Israeli government have collectively punished Palestinians. This collective punishment is in violation of international law. The Israeli armed forces have bombarded, and are continuing to bombard, Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the blockaded Gaza Strip. The Israeli-imposed blocade, too, is illegal. The Israeli State continues to deny freedom of movement to residents of the West Bank, ransacking Palestinian homes, arresting hundreds of people. Since July 7, 160 Palestinians including children and women have been killed; more than a 1,000 people injured. The dead are said to include 17 members of one family, killed in an Israeli missile strike on Saturday evening. The United Nations says more than 75% of the people killed in Gaza were civilians.

Israel is continuing the tightening of its siege on Gaza, coupled with continuous air and naval strikes. It is now preparing for ground invasion. This is feared to bring even more civilian casualties. We believe that everything should be done to increase political and diplomatic pressure on the Israeli regime to stop its siege of Gaza and to stop its war on Palestine. The UN continues to be weak. On Saturday, the Security Council did nothing but call for a ceasefire and peace talks.

It is time for the Mauritian government to campaign for the diplomatic isolation of Israel, for an arms embargo, and for a boycott of its products. We remind you that in 1976 former Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam in fact decided to freeze diplomatic ties with Israel. The renewed demand to "freeze" diplomatic ties was first put forward jointly by the former President of the Republic, Mr. Cassam Uteem, and LALIT, at the time when Israel was bombing the Lebanon in 2007. This demand has been re-iterated since. In 2009, the Mauritian Government took the decision to "freeze" its diplomatic ties with Israel to protest against the State of Israel massacre in Gaza at that time. We call for relations to again be suspended.

We are thus making a formal request to your government to immediately freeze diplomatic and commercial relations. We call on you to initiate international moves for an arms embargo on the entire Middle East. In this way, Mauritius can take its responsibility and force Israel to pay a price for its immoral and illegal actions. This will force Israel to reconsider and eventually end its use of military force against the Palestinian people.

But we also realise that the end of military occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land will depend on the mobilisation of the people of Palestine and on the active support of progressive people and organisations in Israel. LALIT has since its existence actively expressed our solidarity with the different mobilisation campaigns in Palestine and Israel against the siege of Gaza and Israel’s military expansionist policy in general. LALIT members have gone to Palestine to express solidarity with the people of Palestine, and to protest against continued occupation by Israel. The Centre Idriss Goomany has joined forces in support of the Palestinian people.

We, the undersigned, call for an end to the crimes and oppression against the people of Palestine:

We call for
• the freeze of diplomatic relations, a freeze which should be maintained until the end of occupation and until a halt to colonisation of Palestine;
• an immediate arms embargo on Israel, sanctions that would cut off the supply of weapons and military aid from Europe and the United States on which Israel depends to commit such war crimes;
• the suspension of all commercial ties and trade with Israel.
Without pressure and isolation, the Israeli regime has proven time and time again that it will continue such massacres as we see now, and prolong the decades of military occupation. Ten years has passed since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled Israel’s Apartheid Wall in the West Bank to be illegal under international law. During these 10 years, the rogue State of Israel has completed the Apartheid Wall on Palestinian land in the West Bank. The State of Mauritius, under obligations as outlined in the ICJ decision, must join the call to demand that Israel is held accountable for ignoring the ICJ’s ruling.
Mauritius will thus join the growing international voice in support for the legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine for peace, justice and freedom.
We hope that you will consider our proposal and contribute towards forcing the Netanyahu regime to act according to international law and to take firm steps to end the illegal occupation and continued colonisation of Palestine, and thus pave the way for peace in the Middle East.
Yours Sincerely

Alain Ah-Vee, for LALIT
Samad Dulloo, for Centre Idriss Goomany

Tel.: 208 5551, 208 2132