Dear Mr Miliband
The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union (EU) meets on the 22nd & 23rd March 2010. According to the original published agenda, “in the margins” of the FAC, the EU-Israel Association Council will meet. That has now been cancelled.
Reports from Brussels last week indicate that the Spanish foreign minister, Miguel Moratinos, supported by his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner are poised to put their support behind a renewed upgrading of political relations between the EU and Israel. The proposal was due to be launched last week, but was quietly shelved (as quietly as it had been launched – i.e., with no public notice whatsoever) when Israel announced the building of 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.
You will recall that Israel has been seeking such an upgrade for some time, and, during the uneven Czech presidency of the EU, were hoping for a high level EU-Israel summit.
As Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, you will be our representative at the Council meeting. Last Wednesday the FCO’s Annual Human Rights Report was published. It identifies serious concerns as to whether Israeli law and Israeli military law are being applied in a just manner. Not examined in the published report, but a severe breach of human rights, is the 2003 Citizenship Law which denies some marriage rights to Arab citizens of Israel if their spouse comes from the Occupied Territories or a “hostile” Arab country.
Article 2 of the EUIAA predicates the signing of the agreement on the observance of human rights and democratic principles, which guide “their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement.”
This commitment is presently being seriously undermined, as the FCO report illustrates. We feel it is quite inappropriate to consider an upgrade in political relations between the EU and Israel until these rights are properly, consistently upheld. We ask you to make this clear to your European counterparts and to the British public.
Yours sincerely,Dan Judelson Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Click for a model letter to send to your MP or MEP (Tuesday 2pm: link is now repaired & working)
Read Moratinos & Kouchner in Le Monde last month “When will a Palestinian State exist?“