What can supporters in Europe do for Palestine before the European Parliamentary Elections

What can supporters in Europe do for Palestine before the European Parliamentary Elections
Dear Supporters and Organisation,

Attached is a copy of a Questionnaire and the fact sheet which will accompany it, which we are sending to all candidates in the forthcoming European Parliamentary Elections on Thursday 4th June.

As the EU has enormous power to pressurise Israel into obeying international law and humanitarian laws, it is important that we elect MEPs sympathetic to the rights of the Palestinians and willing to stand up to the Israel.

The EU exports over 200million Euros of arms to Israel and there exists an EU- Israel Association Agreement which gives Israel advantageous access to the EU market and funding. Consequently, the EU is Israel’s biggest importer of goods.

Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.

However there is pressure from the Israeli lobby to exclude these human rights obligations in treaties with Israel and to upgrade Israel’s special relations with the EU.

We need to elect MEPs that call for the suspension of EU’s special relationship with the EU and an end to the arms trade with Israel whilst Israel is in breach of human rights.

Please inform your networks and supporters of this questionnaire and of the responses of the candidates which will be sent to you as soon as they analysed.

Peter Reilly
Liverpool Friends of Palestine


Fact Sheet Regarding the EU and Israel from the Peace Group

The EU is
Israel‘s biggest importer of goods, and its second biggest exporter. In 2006 the total traded between the EU and Israel amounted to 23.5 BILLION Euros.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for this relationship which gives
preferential trade terms with EU countries.
Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.

The EU is therefore obligated under this Article to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement whilst Israel is in breach of human rights.

The Peace Cycle has travelled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed first hand the many abuses of human rights by the Israeli Authorities, including:

·        Loss of freedom of movement of the Palestinian people by the placement of checkpoints and earth mounds at strategic locations within the Occupied Territories, making travel between villages and towns often impossible and inhibiting the movement of trade across the territories.

·        Israeli-only roads that prohibit use by Palestinian cars and passengers thereby making their journeys far longer than necessary, and often impossible.

·        Demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli authorities resulting in the heartbreaking loss of family homes and possessions, and destroying their sense of security and belonging.

·        Theft of Palestinian land in order to build the separation wall; a barrier deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, and which has served to further limit freedom of movement and cause loss of trade, resulting in high unemployment and extreme poverty levels.

·        Refugee camps where families have been waiting for sixty years to return to their lost homes or to have compensation addressed.

·        The uprooting of millions of olive trees, a symbol of Palestinian life, to make way for continuous Israeli settlement building on stolen Palestinian lands, despite the settlements having been deemed illegal and even though cessation of this activity is clearly defined in the latest peace initiative at Annapolis.

·        Countless more acts of Israeli aggression towards the Palestinian people, which continue daily, and remain unchallenged on the pretext of security.

What the Peace Cycle has witnessed illustrates the abuses of human rights that at different times over many years have been judged to be illegal by international courts across the world.  Yet the EU does nothing visible to bring Israel to account.  Whilst this abuse goes on, the EU-Israel Association Agreement has allowed trade with Israel to flourish, with the addition of the EU-Israel Action Plan in 2005-2008 that has allowed for even closer partnerships to develop.

We call for an immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and any further trade between Israel and EU Member States in protest against Israel‘s continued violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.

For Further information on the issues, please visit  www.liverpoolfriendsofpalestine.co.uk
The Questionnaire:

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