Britons slam UK’s Israel collaboration

Wed Feb 1, 2012 4:59AM GMT
PressTV – Feb 1, 2012
A group of prominent British intellectuals has called on the UK’s National History Museum to end its collaboration with an Israeli firm based inside the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In an open letter, which was published in the daily The Independent, nearly two dozen prominent UK scientists, academics and artists called on the National History Museum to drop its links with Israel’s Ahava/Dead Sea Laboratories located inside an illegal settlement colony in the occupied West Bank.

“It is extraordinary, but true, that one of our great national museums is co-ordinating an activity that breaks international law. That museum is the Natural History Museum, which is collaborating in research with an Israeli commercial firm located in an illegal settlement in the Palestinian West Bank”, the letter said.

“The firm is Ahava/Dead Sea Laboratories, whose business is manufacturing cosmetics out of mud, which it excavates from the banks of the Dead Sea. Ahava/DSL is located at Mitzpe Shalem, a settlement 10km beyond the Green Line. The collaboration with the Museum is through an EU-funded project called Nanoretox, in which Kings College London, Imperial College and a number of foreign institutions are also involved. The museum is the coordinating partner for this project”, added the letter.

“Ahava/DSL is based on an occupied territory. It extracts, processes and exports Palestinian resources to generate profits that fund an illegal settlement.
Israel’s settlement project has been held by the International Court of Justice to break international law. Organisations which aid and abet this process may well themselves be found to be in violation. We find it almost inconceivable that a national institution of the status of the Natural History Museum should have put itself in this position”, the prominent intellectuals said in their letter.

“We call on the museum to take immediate steps to terminate its involvement in Nanoretox and to establish safeguards that protect against any comparable entanglement”, read the letter.

Since the letter was published, several articles in the science and technology press have come out slamming the museum’s links to Ahava.


Source PressTV

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