Brian Cox and Annie Lennox among celebrities demanding UK government end arms export to Israel

Brian Cox and Annie Lennox among celebrities demanding UK government end arms export to Israel
Scottish stars, including Brian Cox and Annie Lennox, are among the many celebrities who are calling on the UK government to end arms support to Israel.
2 min read
27 March, 2024
Brian Cox and Annie Lennox are among the many high-profile figures who have signed an open letter by Oxfam to end arms export to Israel [GETTY]

Celebrities like Brian Cox and Annie Lennox are calling on Wednesday for the UK government to stop issuing arms licenses and exporting weapons to Israel immediately.

Oxfam's open letter to Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron states that stopping arms is "just one crucial step towards helping to secure a permanent and immediate ceasefire for all Palestinians and Israelis".

The letter highlights,"British arms sold to Israel are potentially being used to commit such serious violations of international law," criticising the UK's ongoing sales as complicity in the daily slaughter of civilians  in Gaza.

"An immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire is vital to stop the death and destruction. Ending arms sales is a crucial step towards this. A ceasefire is the only meaningful way to deliver aid, and the safest way to get hostages out," the letter further asserts. 

Signatures also include comedians Aisling Bea and Nish Kumar and singer-songwriter Paloma Faith.

Even before and especially since the onset of Israel's war on Gaza, campaigners have pressed the UK to cease its arms sales to Israel

Since 7 October, the Israeli military has killed over 32,000 Palestinian civilians, injuring over 74,000.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) reports that recent UK arms exports to Israel encompass components, equipment, and technology for aircraft and radar systems.

Additionally, the campaign notes that British firms manufacture 15 percent of the components for every F-35 Israel employs in Gaza, contributing at least £336 million to the industry since 2016.

UK's criteria for arms exports mandate stopping shipments when there's a "clear risk" of violating international humanitarian law. It's contemplating restrictions on arms to Israel amid concerns that a ground invasion of Rafah could breach these laws

The UK's criteria for arms exports include stopping shipments when there's a "clear risk" of violating international humanitarian law and is considering restricting some arms exports to Israel, believing Tel Aviv could breach international humanitarian law if it were to launch a ground invasion of Rafah.