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Arts, Music & Culture

*Emma Thompson bids for Palestinian Rights
*Report, /Enough!,/ 27 January 2007

*Broadbased coalition in support of an end to Israeli occupation set for

Record-breaking actor Emma Thompson revealed today why she is helping to
make political history by supporting Britain's first broad-based
alliance for a just peace in the Middle East. Ms Thompson earned her
Oscars for best actress in Howard's End and for best-adapted screenplay
for adapting Jane Austen's novel Sense and Sensibility. The only person
ever to have won film Oscars for acting and writing is backing a new
historic drive for a just settlement between Israelis and Palestinians.

The ENOUGH! coalition, representing over three million people in
charities, trade unions, faith and campaign groups has come together to
mark this year's 40th anniversary of the Israeli military occupation of
the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The launch will come only days after a report, funded by the British
government, warned that Israel's separation wall is trapping 250,000
Palestinians. The report on Israel's separation wall was produced by the
Israeli planning and rights organisation Bimkom. The report says the
wall is cutting off Palestinians from employment, education, healthcare
needs, undermining social and family life and isolating farmers from

Ms Thompson said: "This report cites the devastating effects on
Palestinians' health and livelihoods of Israel's separation wall. It
shows the vital need for our ministers to make fresh moves for a just
peace. It is high time the UK government matched its rhetoric with
action which can save Palestinians and Israelis from another 40 years'

ENOUGH will be launched with a news conference at 11.00 am next Tuesday
(30 January) in the Wilson Room at Portcullis House, Victoria
Embankment, London SW1A 2LW.

Supporters include actor -Miriam Margolyes, now appearing in London's
West End hit musical Wicked - and other celebrities such as Richard
Wilson, Stephen Fry, Angus Deayton, Zoe Wanamaker and film director Mike

Other ENOUGH! backers include the MP Clare Short, former UK
international development secretary, comedian Mark Steel, playwright
Caryl Churchill, poets Benjamin Zephaniah and Adrian Mitchell, artists
John Keane and Laila Shawa, and novelist Ahdaf Soueif.

Ms Margolyes will introduce the news conference, where the speakers will
be: Palestinian farmer Sharif Omar, whose livelihood has been hit by
Israel's separation wall, Mona El-Farra, a Gaza doctor treating children
traumatised by occupation, Professor Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian
delegate to Britain and former Israeli pilot Yonatan Shapira, who
refused to fly missions over the occupied territories.

The news conference precedes a public launch rally later the same day.
Tony Benn, the ex-UK cabinet minister, will address the rally, along
with award-winning Gaza cameraman Zakaria Abu Harbid, Yonatan Shapira,
Sharif Omar, Mona El-Farra and Professor Hassassian. It will take place
at 7.00 pm on Tuesday, 30 January at Friends House, 173 Euston Road,
London NW1 2BJ.

ENOUGH! coalition will organise throughout the year: In April - local
events across the country with a special focus on Jerusalem; 9th June -
a national demonstration and concert in London on Saturday 9 June, to
mark the 6 Day war 28th November - a lobby of the British parliament to
mark the United Nations International Day for Palestine.

The coalition comprises: Amicus, Amos Trust, BFAWU, Britain-Palestine
All Party Parliamentary Group, Britain Palestine Twinning Network,
CAABU, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Birzeit University, GMB, Green
Party, ICAHD UK, Interpal, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish
Socialist Group, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Muslim Association of
Britain, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Public Affairs Committee,
NUJ, NUS Black Students Campaign, Open Bethlehem, Palestine Solidarity
Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Palestinian Return Centre, Pax
Christi, PCS, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, T&G, Trade Union Friends
of Palestine, UNISON, War on Want, Welfare Association.

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