In spite of the Israeli massacres and the continuing blockade of Gaza, and despite the fact that the last Council of Foreign Ministers halted the upgrading of EU-Israel Agreement in December, the European Commission continues to prepare a new ACTION PLAN which will bring Israel vital new economic, commercial and social benefits, bringing it closer than ever to full entry into the EU Community Programmes.
The freezing of the work on the Action Plan is only temporary and work could resume on May 18th at the next scheduled meeting on the EU-Israel Association Council. We therefore urgently need to apply pressure on the present European Parliament and on the candidates for the next one, so that the civil servants in charge of this upgrade are also put under pressure.
We need to keep demanding the complete suspension of the 9 year old Association Agreement on the grounds that Israel violates Article 2, which states that the ‘provisions of the Agreement itself shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles’.
We should also be asking our MEPs to require the External Affairs Commissioner, Benita Ferrero Waldner, to explain why the EU is continuing to work on the Action Plan with an Israeli government that opposes the 2 state solution and the whole Annapolis peace process. Does the Commission intend to reward the war crimes that Israel committed during Operation Cast Lead with even greater financial benefits and closer relations with the EU? Does one usually reward states that refuse to accept the elements that are central to Europe’s declared position? No!
We must press the EU to take this opportunity to express the outrage that European civil society feels towards Israel in a suspension of relations with Israel until it ends it’s human rights abuses against the Palestinian people and abides by International Law.
WRITE TO MEPs (find your MEPs at www.writetothem.com)
The Foreign Secretary
The Rt Hon William Hague MP
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA
The European Commissioner
Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner (fax number 003222981299, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org). Copy your letter to your MEPs.