“Suspend the EU-Israel Trade Association Agreement!”
“Call off Israel’s accession to OECD!”
Occupied Palestine, 5 June 2010 – The European Union is set to renew this month the EU-Israel Action Plan as Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip enters its 43rd year. The Plan was first adopted in 2005 to “fulfill the provisions of the [EU-Israel] Association Agreement, build ties in new areas and encourage and support Israel’s objectives for further integration into European economic and social structures.” The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for this relationship. Article 2 of the Agreement states that internal and external policies must be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles. The EU is in violation of its own rules by adopting a business as usual approach with Israel.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) is appalled by the EU’s blatant refusal to hold Israel to account for its persistent violations of human rights and international law. The murder of human rights activists on board of the Free Gaza flotilla is only the latest in an ever-growing list of Israel’s abuses. Enough!
In May, EU countries voted to accept Israel as a member of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an exclusive club of rich nations. By voting to accept Israel, it having submitted economic data that include the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank while arbitrarily excluding Palestinians under its control, EU countries are in violation of their obligations as High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel’s parliament has yet to ratify Israel’s accession. It takes one country to call for an emergency OECD council meeting and freeze the accession process. EU countries should not ignore the masses in the streets calling for an end to Israeli impunity.
The EU is the main provider of humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians under Israel’s occupation, while at the same time contributing to the maintenance of Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid, which oppresses the Palestinian people. One example of this double standard is the provision of millions of Euros of research grants to the Israeli military company Elbit Systems. Elbit is actively involved in the construction of Israel’s illegal Wall in the occupied West Bank. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 confirmed the illegality of this Wall and its associated regime and recommended that all states do not render aid or assistance in maintaining the illegal situation created by the Wall and ensure compliance by Israel with international law.
The EU-Israel Action Plan makes reference to a “special status” Israel enjoys in its relationship with Europe on the basis of so-called “common values”. The Goldstone Report provides ample evidence that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel is yet to abide by hundreds of UN resolutions, which it has persistently ignored for 62 years, including the recommendations of the Goldstone Report, which were recently endorsed by the European Parliament. While Israel enjoys preferential access to European markets, research funding and a whole range of political and financial support, fundamental human rights are denied to the entire Palestinian people, including 1.5 million Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip who are submitted to collective punishment by Israel’s illegal blockade. Most recently, Israel attacked human rights activists from some 40 countries in international waters on board of the Free Gaza flotilla. Ample evidence exists of the fact that Israel’s regime is “the regime of a colonizing power under the guise of occupation which includes many of the worst features of apartheid”, such as the fragmentation of territory, policies of mass detention, ethnic cleansing and denial of fundamental human rights and freedoms on grounds of nationality, religion and ethnicity. These policies are a threat to global peace, security and humanity, and human lives, rights and aspirations are being shattered on the back of this so-called “special relationship” between Israel and the EU.
We question the “common values” the EU is promoting in the region.
Act now! Urge the EU to stop the Action Plan renewal process, suspend the EU-Israel Trade Association Agreement and freeze Israel’s accession to OECD
1. WRITE TO MEPs (find your MEPs at http://bit.ly/aQs17o)
2. WRITE TO the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Baroness Catherine Ashton catherine.ashton[at]ec.europa.eu and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stephan Fule (Stefan.FULE[at]ec.europa.eu)
3. Copy your letter to your MP and your Foreign Ministry
 UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT, Prof. John Dugard: A/HRC/4/17 of 29 June 2007 and A/HRC/7/17 of 29 January 2008.