Over 100 British artists call on PM candidate Starmer to halt arms sales to Israel


Over a hundred British artists have urged Keir Starmer, the Labour Party leader and potential prime minister, to cease arms sales to Israel and take a stand against the ongoing atrocities in Gaza, according to a report by The Guardian.

This call adds to the mounting pressure on Starmer, following similar demands from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, and over 50 Labour members of parliament, all urging the UK government to halt weapon supplies to Israel.

The letter, signed by notable figures like Riz Ahmed, Kamila Shamsie, Paloma Faith, Fatima Bhutto, Miriam Margolyes, and many others, emphasized Starmer’s unique position as a former human rights lawyer to bring about meaningful change by ending UK complicity in what they describe as war crimes in Gaza. The letter also highlighted strong public support for ending arms sales to Israel.

The artists pointed out that in a span of eight months, over 35,000 people had lost their lives in Gaza, with the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah—a directive that Israel ignored, continuing its bombings of designated safe spaces.

The letter emphasised the moral reprehensibility of selling arms to a country whose leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, faces arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The artists urged Starmer to demonstrate his commitment to justice and human rights, stating that the lives of countless Palestinians depend on leaders taking a principled stand against such atrocities.

In response, Starmer indicated that under a Labour government, legal advice on UK arms sales to Israel would be reviewed. He stated, “The Rafah offensive should not go ahead. And that I think our government should follow the US lead on this in relation to arms sales and review the licenses to see whether any of them would be or are being used in the Rafah offensive.”

The full text of the letter calls for an end to arms sales to Israel, citing the grave violations of international law and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. It urges Starmer to use his potential position as Prime Minister to enact meaningful change and stand up for human rights.__Pakistan Today