2012 campaigns on the ACCA protocol
Say No to ACAA! Open Letter to Members of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade from the Israeli Women’s Coalition for Peace, 10 September 2012
Israel’s rigged economy and the European parliament, 9 September 2012
The EU-Israel ACAA agreement – update May 2012 , 18 May 2012
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) – Aprodev statement in advance of this meeting]
MEPs vote that all EU bodies should enforce policies on West Bank and E. Jerusalem – In early July 2012 the European parliament passed a lengthy resolution, given in this posting, reminding all EU institutions of their legal and moral duties to enforce EU policies in relation to the oPt…
The EU-Israel ACAA agreement – update May 2012 , 18 May 2012
Protocol on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (the ACAA protocol).
Open Letter to Members of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade
From The Coalition of Women for Peace
Dear Committee Members,
We at the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel call upon you to vote against signing the ACAA Protocol (Protocol on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products) attached to the EU-Israel Association Agreement. This agreement facilitates the entrance of Israeli products, and particularly pharmaceutical products, to European markets, without additional testing or conformity to assessment procedures.
Our main concern with regard to Israeli pharmaceutical products is detailed in our most recently published report Captive Economy: The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Israeli Occupation. The report concludes that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)) are a captive market for Israeli and international drug companies, and this situation has grave ramifications for the occupied population.
Let us briefly note a few examples:
• The Israeli Ministry of Health allows only the import of drugs registered in Israel to the OPT, consequently blocking the neighboring Arab countries and other exporters of cheap generic pharmaceuticals such as China, India and former Soviet Union states.
• The most important Palestinian medical institutions, located in East Jerusalem, are obliged to purchase goods produced by the occupier (Israel), due to Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem under international law and its refusal to allow Palestinian pharmaceuticals into East Jerusalem hospitals and pharmacies.
• Israeli companies can sell their products in the OPT tax free and without special inspections or permits, while Palestinian manufacturers cannot sell products in Israel and are often unable to export to Europe due to draconian security procedures at checkpoints.
• Drugs can be imported to the Gaza Strip, which is under strict closure, but no pharmaceutical product is allowed out of the strip. Hence, all expired products are left to the care of the receiving health institutions in Gaza. This presents a heavy burden that requires expensive professional solutions, including toxic waste dump stations and qualified personnel.
In short, Israel’s control over the Palestinian market renders the development of an independent pharmaceutical industry there impossible. Even more disturbing is the fact that this imposition has grave consequences for the occupied population. Palestinians are forced to absorb the unnecessarily high costs of Israeli drugs and its waste management, and this situation severely undermines the availability of health care in the OPT.
Based on extensive research, our conclusion is that Israel should not be rewarded with easy access to European markets for its pharmaceutical products when as an occupying power it imposes draconian restrictions, which allow its pharmaceutical companies to reap profit from its occupation. A vote against the ACAA Protocol would send a strong message of EU disapproval of Israel’s occupation policies. A vote in favor of the protocol, on the other hand, would stand in stark contradiction to the 2009 EU decision to freeze the upgrade and ignore the principle of positive conditionality that should stand at the heart of EU-Israel relations.
Esteemed committee members, your individual votes count — be they in favor of more profit to companies benefiting from an illegal occupation, or in favor of corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights and international humanitarian law.
EJJP Open Letter to the EU, 24 July 2012
Dear High Representative Ashton, et al,
24 July 2012
Like many others, we read yesterday’s newspaper articles about this week’s meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council with extreme dismay. We have now learned that the EEAS, under the direction of the Council of Ministers, has devised a plan to formally implement a number of further cooperative activities which are implicit in the 2005 Action Plan but have so far been held in suspense, and also to request that Parliament passes the ACAA and the protocol for Participation in Community Programmes.
Without going into the procedural differences between things that the Commission can implement under the Action Plan, and more far-reaching things that require Parliamentary Assent, we would like to point out that all enhancements of benefits to Israel, or cooperation between Israel and the EU, will serve to reinforce Israel’s belief that it can continue to occupy and settle Palestinian land with impunity.
It is self-evident that Israeli governments’ basic objective since 1967 has always been to take over large parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. There is no credible alternative explanation for the pattern of Israeli actions. The current Israeli government continues to pursue that objective, but more overtly and with much less concern for international opinion than previous governments have shown. Its obdurate refusal to commit to negotiate on the basis of the 4th June ’67 borders and its continual settlement expansion – both within and beyond the big settlements near the Green Line – make that perfectly plain. We are sure you understand all that as well as we do.
It is therefore also self-evident that enhancing EU benefits to Israel, or cooperation with Israel, will not influence this Israeli government in the slightest to moderate its policy, just as previous enhancements have not influenced previous governments to do so. Further enhancements will only encourage Israeli governments to think they can continue on their present path and simultaneously enjoy growing benefits from the European Union.
There is little point in reciting another litany of Israel’s violations of human rights and international law, and how they are fundamentally inconsistent with the human rights and international law requirements of the EU-Israel Association agreement and the European Neighbourhood Policy. The fundamental violation is the long occupation and the settlement project. The many other violations are part and parcel of Israeli repression of Palestinian resistance
The issues for the EU are therefore whether it actually wants to influence Israel to change course, and likewise whether it wants to be seen to be seriously trying to do so. If it does, then it has to apply conditionality to Israel by withholding any further benefits or cooperation until Israel formally commits to negotiate in good faith on the basis of the internationally legitimate solution of the conflict.
You should also appreciate that the Council of Ministers plan, if implemented, will create a blatant dichotomy between the EU’s actions and its words. Many people, especially in the Muslim world, will perceive this as hypocritically supporting universal human rights, including the right to independence, while in reality supporting Israeli settler colonialism. Memories of Europe’s own colonial past will be revived. This will have potential adverse consequences for Europe’s relations with the Muslim world which could take security, political or economic form.
We therefore urge you, even at this late stage, to reconsider the Council of Ministers’ plan.
Dror Feiler, Chair of EJJP and Judar for Israelisk-Palestinsk Fred (Stockholm), Board Member of the EJJP Foundation
Arthur Goodman, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Officer, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (London)
Max Wieselmann, Board Member of the EJJP Foundation, Director of Een Ander Joods Geluid (Amsterdam)
Statement ahead of the EU-Israel Association Council 24 July 2012
By Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) 12/07/2012 13:01:00
APRODEV and the EMHRN welcome the upcoming meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council which is an important opportunity for the EU to raise crucial points with Israel related to the implementation of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Since the last Association Council in February 2011, Israel’s respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) has not improved, and in many respects even deteriorated. The recent EU Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process issued on 14 May 2012 expressed deep concern about developments on the ground, including in East Jerusalem and Area C, which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. Moreover, these violations in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) have severely hampered the effectiveness of the EU and Member States’ humanitarian and development policies in the OPT, in some cases directly hindering it. They have also undermined the effective implementation of the EU-PLO interim Association Agreement.
In order to maintain coherence with its declared policy, and in line with the “more for more” approach outlined in the instruments of the new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU should condition the opening of new fields of cooperation with Israel – inside or outside of the current Action Plan – on tangible improvements in Israel’s observance of its human rights and IHL obligations towards Palestinians in the OPT and, within its own territory, including towards the 1.3 million Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel. At the 9th EU-Israel association council held on 12 June 2009, the EU stated that the upgrade must be based on respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, good governance and international humanitarian law. While APRODEV and EMHRN understand that the EU no longer envisages an upgrade of its ties with Israel, they believe that conditionality should still apply to any development of EU-Israel relations. For this reason, at the forthcoming EU-Israel Association Council, the EU should send a clear message to Israel that it cannot expect a higher degree of mutual cooperation with the EU for so long as Israel does not respect its international obligations.
Specifically, the EU should, ahead of the upcoming Association Council, immediately define clear human rights and IHL benchmarks which Israel should comply with before expanding bilateral relations with Israel. This would reflect the approach of the renewed ENP which has defined “deep democracy benchmarks” to support democratisation processes in the Arab World.
Benchmarks related to Israel’s human rights and IHL obligations in the OPT should reflect, among others, the following Israeli obligations:
– Israel’s IHL obligations as an occupying power to protect civilians, and to respect the basic IHL principles of distinction, military necessity and proportionality;
– The IHL prohibitions on:
§ transferring part of the occupier’s population into the occupied territory, (i.e. settlement construction and expansion), as established in article 49.6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention;
§ forcibly displacing the occupied population (including revocation of residency permits of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem);
§ destroying civilian property and infrastructure;
§ confiscation of private property in the occupied territory (including de facto annexation of Palestinian land by force);
§ collective punishment;
– The right to family life (including measures preventing family unification between Palestinians in Israel and in the OPT);
– The right to life, including the prohibition on extra-judicial killing;
– The absolute right to be free from torture and ill-treatment;
– The fundamental right to freedom of movement;
– Respect for economic, social and cultural rights of Palestinians in the OPT;
– The right to a fair trial;
– The fight against impunity.
In line with the above-mentioned benchmarks, the EU should also condition any increased cooperation with Israel on its removal of obstacles to the implementation of the EU-PLO Interim Association Agreement.
Last but not least, the “deep democracy benchmarks” defined by the EU in its renewed ENP approach should also apply to the situation within Israel, specifically regarding freedom of association, expression and assembly, as well as the principle of non-discrimination.
At the occasion of the EU-Israel Association Council on 24 July 2012, when the human rights and humanitarian situation in Israel and the OPT are addressed, APRODEV and EMHRN demand to the EU to urge Israel to implement the following recommendations:
1. Human Rights and IHL in the OPT
Illegal closure of the Gaza Strip
– Immediately, unconditionally and completely lift the closure, including full freedom of movement of persons to and from the Gaza Strip, including between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, allowing exports from the Gaza Strip, including to the West Bank; allowing entry of construction and raw materials including those for the private sector; allowing entry of raw materials; expanding operations of the crossings; lifting restrictions on fuel imports; ensuring access to Gaza’s agricultural land and fishing grounds and the protection of civilians in these areas.
– Immediately deliver exit permits to patients in need of medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip and allow unimpeded access of medical supplies and equipment.
– Immediately end the total ban placed on all Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip, preventing their access to Palestinian universities in the West Bank. Israel must consider each individual application for permit objectively and allow access to students in line with international law.
Restrictions to freedom of movement, including the Barrier/Wall
– Remove restrictions on the right to freedom of movement which are not temporary, proportional and necessary for military necessity as required by IHL, particularly in the Seam Zone.
– Israel should dismantle the Barrier/Wall on Palestinian land as it violates peremptory rules of international law, as set out in the 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Wall from the International Court of Justice and is a major impediment to the two-state solution according to 1967 borders.
Forced displacement of Palestinians and demolitions of civilian infrastructures in area C of the OPT
– Take steps towards transferring the planning authority of the Civil Administration in Area C to Palestinians, in line with IHL. In the interim, recognise village masterplans and ensure fair and equitable access to water infrastructure and agricultural land for Palestinian communities.
– Comply with the IHL prohibition against “any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons” except where such destruction is rendered “absolutely necessary by military operations”. Israel should therefore suspend all demolitions of Palestinian structures and aid projects. Most urgently, Israel should immediately withdraw the demolition orders against the Palestinian village of Susiya and Al-Walaja.
– Refrain from forced displacement of Palestinians and withdraw the Civil Administration’s plan to expel tens of thousands of Bedouins from Area C.
Violation of the rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem
– Israel should stop its violations of international law in East Jerusalem, which is an integral part of the OPT and remains under belligerent occupation. In particular, Israel should end the practice of home demolitions and ensure access to planning permits for Palestinians, stop the revocation of residency status of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem, the ban on family unification and the forced displacement of residents.
Illegal Settlements built in the occupied territory
– Israel must reverse its settlement policy and exploitation of the natural resources of the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, and abolish the incentives, subsidies, and exemptions favouring the Israeli settlements, as expressed by the European Council in June 2005.
– As a first step, immediately cease the confiscation of Palestinian land in Area C for settlement construction.
– Cooperate with the recently established UN “Fact-Finding mission on the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.
Culture of impunity in Israel
– Fully comply with its obligations to conduct independent, transparent and credible investigations in line with international standards into the alleged violations of international law – including killing of civilians, destruction of civilian property and infrastructure, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and torture – committed by the Israeli military and Israeli security services in the OPT and in the prisons and interrogation systems in Israel. Israel must also prosecute those allegedly responsible of violations of international law.
– Remove the serious monetary, legal and physical obstacles on Palestinians to access justice in Israel.
– Fully comply with its obligation as an Occupying Power to ensure public order and safety by ensuring that Israeli settlers who allegedly perpetrated violent acts against Palestinian civilians and their property are brought to justice in compliance with Israel’s obligations under international law such as the obligation to ensure effective remedies to the Palestinian people and equal protection before the law.
2. Human Rights in Israel
Rights of the Palestinian Arab Minority
– Rescind its decision to approve the discriminatory Prawer Plan and begin to right the historical wrongs by engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Palestinian Arab Bedouin community and the Arab political leadership, and recognise the “unrecognised” Arab Bedouin villages and traditional land ownership in the Naqab.
– Refrain from adopting laws that discriminate against the Palestinian Arab minority and to revoke the existing discriminatory laws.
Rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons
– Respect the agreements reached on 14 and 15 May 2012, including the release of administrative detainees who were promised to be set free at the end of their current orders, the renewal of family visits, the end of the practice of solitary confinement and the lifting of the punitive measures used against Palestinians in Israeli custody.
– Put an end to the arbitrary and excessive use of administrative detention in violation of international human rights law and IHL and ensure that Palestinians have access to a fair legal process.
– Immediately abolish the Unlawful Combatants Law (2002) and its amendments, which seriously violate the standards of international law and allow for arbitrary detention of persons from Gaza for unlimited periods and fail to secure fair trial for them.
– Bring the provisions of military law in line with those of Israel’s Youth Law, including the rules applicable to arrest, interrogation, trial and penalties.
– Pass Legislation criminalising torture in line with its commitments as a signatory state to the UN Convention Against Torture and ratify the optional protocol of the UN Convention against torture.
Rights of migrants and refugees
– Israel should revise the recent introduction of retrogressive legislation in the form of the new “Law to Prevent Infiltration” introduced in January 2012, and the more recent approval of arbitrary mass detention measures against asylum seekers, which violate international law.
– Voice concern regarding the lack of accessible, consistent and transparent procedures enabling recognition of individuals in need of international protection under the Refugee Convention, and recommend introduction of domestic legislation to this effect, particularly with regard to asylum seekers and torture survivors from Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea currently denied access to such procedures.
Attacks against Israeli civil society organisations
– Revoke the Anti-Boycott law, which violates Israel’s obligation under human rights law to protect freedom of expression and freedom of association.
– Withdraw the bills restricting foreign governmental funding to NGOs and refrain from introducing or supporting any further legislation and practice which would effectively curtail the freedoms of association and expression in Israel.
 Council of the European Union (2012), “Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process”, Brussels, 14 May 2012
 Council of the European Union (2009), “Relations with Israel – Adoption of the European Union’s position for the Association Council’s Ninth meeting”, Luxembourg, 15 June 2009, Brussels, 12 June 2009
 This could include the following benchmark: “Guarantee to persons belonging to national minorities the right to equality under the law and equal protection of the law, and prohibit any discrimination based on national belonging”. For more detailed actions see the EMHRN report “The EU and the Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel”, February 2012, p. 61
Some related postings on the website:
The European Union and Israel-Palestine – This old website pages dates from before mid-2008. The links have generally been updated and most of them now work as at 29 July 2012 …
JfJfP Open letter to David Miliband: No upgrade between EU & Israel , 23 May 2010
More on the TUC General conference resolution, 17 September 2009
TUC debates a boycott of occupation-related goods and activities , 16 September 2010
Campaign information from JfJfP (this was last updated 19 July 2004 – reposted here 29 July 2012)
Time to act on the EU Association Agreement
The EU sees itself as broker for peace in the Middle East [note1]; yet it actively bolsters the Israeli vision of themselves as Europeans engaged in a ‘peace process’. It does this particularly by maintaining two EU-Israel Association Agreements, one on Trade, the other on Technical and Scientific Co-operation. We are concerned here only with the Trade Agreement.
This agreement allows almost all Israeli products free entry to the EU. Exports to the EU now constitute some 30% of Israeli exports and are worth some 8 billion dollars a year.
This is not an issue of an economic boycott of Israel but a question of the right of Israel to economic privileges not enjoyed by other, much poorer, countries.
The Agreement was concluded in 1995 as part of the Oslo Peace Process and Article 2 states explicitly that the Agreement itself ‘shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which…constitute an essential element of this agreement’.
There is in principle a parallel agreement allowing ‘Palestinian’ products into the EU tariff free, but in practice no Palestinian exports reach the EU because of the stranglehold of Israel on the Palestinian economy [note2].
In April 2002 the European Parliament voted to suspend the agreement, given the numerous Israeli violations of international Human Rights Law. The Council of Ministers refused to implement this decision, with Britain, Netherlands and Germany as the only countries opposing suspension [note3].
Since that time, however, the UK government has issued numerous statements condemning the human rights violations of the Israelis [note4] and in early July the properly constituted International Court of Justice at the Hague voted 14/1 that the Israeli separation wall was ‘an illegal violation of human rights’ and that it should be dismantled and compensation paid to the many victims. This ruling gives all states an obligation to see the decision implemented and effectively says that Israel’s self-proclaimed security needs cannot take precedence over its human rights obligations towards the Palestinians. Israel and the US don’t accept that, but the judge nominated by the British Government agreed in full to the ICJ ruling. All this puts the UK’s original failure to support suspension of the Association Agreement in question.
We now have a new European Parliament, including many new member countries that had to ‘clean up’ their human rights acts before being given the access to European markets currently enjoyed by Israel.
Many EU member states, like Germany and the Netherlands, feel particularly vulnerable to the possible charge of antisemitism if they oppose Israeli government policies. Hence it is particularly important that Jewish groups are at the forefront of a campaign to suspend the Agreement until such time as Israel meets its human rights obligations.
In Britain, we may have many new MEPs who may need to be convinced to take up the issue, but we are also in the advantageous position that large numbers of Labour Party MPs and cabinet ministers openly question Tony Blair’s subservience to George Bush on Middle East policy. In addition, pursuit of a fair and effective Palestinian policy could mark out a positive role for Britain in Europe, were the Government pressurised to take action.
In other words this is something that could be won, with sufficiently focussed effort.
What you can do
Each and every one of you can approach your MEP and your MP for a discussion of the issues. MEPs might be best approached by a group from their (largish) European constituency.
So if you are willing to take part in this campaign, please inform us of your constituency and we will supply you with addresses of the MEPs/ MPs and the contacts we have in your area, who have also said they are willing to involve themselves. We will also tell you about the MPs voting record on Palestine issues. We have also identified a list of priority MPs who have come out against the Wall (201 MPs ) but not yet for suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. If your MP is on the list below, you are particularly urged to get in touch contact them asap [see Appendix 1]. Read the Early Day Motion and current list of signatories.
If you can involve local Labour Party, Green, Liberal supporters and local Muslims, so much the better – you don’t have to be Jewish to take part, but it would be obviously be good for Jews to have a visible presence in this campaign. The PSC are also campaigning by lobbying local MPs; you might be able to coordinate with them. You could start by writing to your local paper on the lines of the JfJfP/EJJP statement on the Wall, Kaufman’s article in Monday’s Guardian or Halpern’s letter to the Times (as yet unpublished, see Appendix 2 ), according to your taste. Remember we don’t support a policy of boycott as an organisation. You might find a local wall/fence issue to relate it to.
We suggest you lobby your representatives by first telling them how you feel about the situation and your need to see a way forward. You might then mention the judgement on the separation barrier/wall, the demolitions in Rafah and the assassination of Palestinian leaders without due process. We unreservedly condemn the killing of civilians on either side but we also think that the double standards operating in relation to Israeli violations of international law help fuel Palestinian frustration and violence.
You can ask your representatives what they intend to do to represent your views in Europe/ at Westminster and suggest to them our four-point programme:
* Suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until Israel meets its human rights obligations (see list of MPs who have signed up to EDM1288, sponsored by Lynn Jones. See above about targeting those who signed up to a resolution against the Wall but who have not yet come out on this issue.))
* Stop all EU arms trade with Israel
* Act to bring a halt to any construction of the wall beyond the Green Line and to have it dismantled. Investigate any UK company involvement in the construction.
* Actively promote a negotiated settlement.
We would also like you to encourage Labour Members to join the Labour Middle East Committee. MEPS should also be pressed on the four points.
 See http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029394680
 Products from the settlements are not eligible for tariff reductions and the British Government is in principle committed to ensuring that they are properly labelled. Gush Shalom provides a list of producers on the settlements ( http://www.gush-shalom.org/boycott.zip or http://www.bigcampaign.org/boycott.html#settlement) and it is worth checking how many imported goods identified as Israeli originate from these producers.back to text
 The rational given by the Foreign Office at the time is based on an overblown interpretation of Article 76(c). This states that ‘nothing in the Agreement shall prevent a party taking any measures…(c) ‘ which it considers essential to its own security in the event of a serious internal disturbance, in time of war, or serious international tension’ The Article actually goes on to state that nothing in the agreement shall prevent a party taking any measures – in order to carry out obligations it has accepted for the purpose of maintaining peace and international security’. Which in principle applies equally to the EU as a party. back to text
 Examples from the FO Website:
‘The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about settlement activity with Prime Minister Sharon during his visit to the UK on 14 July, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Baroness Symons continues to do so with our Israeli interlocutors’.
‘We are seriously concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation. We have made clear to the Israeli Government our concerns about the impact of military operations in the Occupied Territories. The excessive use of force by Israel Defence Forces (IDF), resulting in civilian casualties, and the destruction of Palestinian homes and agricultural land, have contributed to Palestinians’ sense of frustration and hopelessness, and make a comprehensive settlement more difficult to achieve. Israel must ensure its actions fall within the parameters of international law, and ease restrictions on the Occupied Territories to enable economic life to recover and the humanitarian situation to improve. The imposition of closures, settlement expansion and military incursions by the IDF are counter-productive. Assassinations do nothing to prevent violence and undermine the ability of the Palestinian Authority to effectively tackle terrorism.’
We consider Israel’s building of a fence in Occupied Territories to be unlawful. Unilateral measures, such as the fence, will not provide lasting security. This can only be delivered by a negotiated settlement. Construction of the fence on occupied territory inflames public opinion and harms prospects for peace. The route taken by the fence and the effects on the Palestinian people is unacceptable. We deplore the demolition and confiscation of Palestinian land associated with the construction of the fence, which creates a physical obstacle to the two-state solution. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary raised the matter with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on his visit to London on 14 July. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv has also made representations to the Israeli Government about this. Israel’s military order of 2 October, which declares land between the fence and the Green Line a ‘closed zone’ and requires those Palestinians who live on or farm it to apply for a permit to access their land, is a matter of particular concern. Baroness Symons raised this matter with the Israeli Ambassador on 22 October 2003’. back to text
These MPs have signed the EDM calling for the British Government to do all in its power to get Israel to cease building the wall, but have not yet signed the EDM 1288 relating to the Association Agreement:
Appendix 2: Michael Halpern’s letter to The Times
Sixty years ago, still within the lifetime and memory of perhaps one third of our population, over ten million people were exterminated in concentration camps and a like number killed on the battlefields and towns of Europe. More recently we have witnessed the genocide in Ruanda and the Balkans.
The second world war was mans’ inhumanity to man, made manifest. We swore then, ‘never again’.
Yet, today, the world stands by, as an onlooker, whilst innocent people – albeit in far different numbers – are routinely killed by the Israeli army, as suspected militants.
Would we ourselves not be ‘militants’ if our land and livelihood were taken away from us; if our water supply was restricted; if our very lives from dusk to dawn were circumscribed by the laws of an occupying force?
Israel acts illegally. It has been indicted and found guilty by the International Court of Justice – yet it contemptuously continues to ignore international law.
Furthermore, it holds a clandestine nuclear arsenal that it refuses to allow to be inspected by the IAEA and which is therefore a terrible threat that could well crystallise upon the whim of an Israeli administration. The world would then be in mortal danger.
How much longer is the UK going to sit on its hands merely because Israel is funded by, our own ally, the United States?
The EU has the power to abrogate its trading Agreement with Israel. It should act now in order to force the Likud government of Ariel Sharon to respect and adhere to international law and to world opinion. We should wait no longer and appease no more.
page last updated 19 July, 2004
The Protocol on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (the ACAA protocol)