David Bellamy urged: 'Pull out of Zionist talk'

Botanist David Bellamy has been urged to pull out of a ZF event

Botanist David Bellamy has been urged to pull out of a ZF event

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has urged botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation event at which he is expected to speak about Israel’s environmental achievements.

Mr Bellamy is due to appear at the ZF’s Israel Blue White and Green seminar alongside leading Israeli scientists on Tuesday.

The event, which is primarily aimed at non-Jewish schoolchildren, is a follow-up to last year’s Israel Science Day which Bricup also attempted to disrupt.

But the group’s protests fell flat after a small group of demonstrators turned up at the venue and left after an hour.

Bricup wrote to Mr Bellamy this week saying: “We are outraged, and think you ought to be too, at the prospect of Israel presenting itself (especially to relatively unformed minds) as a champion of environmentalist virtues.

“Their university scientists, as elsewhere, have made some useful contributions. These events, however, will try to use these to ‘greenwash’ the whole state of Israel.”

The letter was signed by 97 supporters including Lord Ahmed, Baroness Tonge, Clare Short MP and Tom Hickey of the University and College Union.

Among their allegations is the claim that untreated sewage from Israeli settlements in the West Bank is being dumped into valleys, polluting Palestinian agriculture and water sources.

Bricup’s Jonathan Rosenhead said: “For Israel to be held up as the environmental ‘good guy’ while it is destroying the environment of the West Bank and Gaza is like Machiavelli posing as a supporter of open government.”

The ZF declined to comment on the letter, but said it expected the event to go ahead as planned.

Mr Bellamy was unavailable for comment.

Last updated: 12:40pm, February 5 2010