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Action Alert: NO to Europe-Israel Plan!

July 2, 2012

Wednesday, December 3. 2008

The European Parliament has announced that a vote will be held on December 4 to enter into force the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which will enable far greater Israeli participation in European Community programmes. Originally, the EU had stated that the vote on this issue would not take place until 2009, but it seems clear that the EU and Israel are attempting to minimise the voice of protest from international civil society by suddenly announcing that it has been moved up to December 4. (Dar-ul-ishaat.com would like to thank the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign for initiating this emergency campaign).

The proposed agreement offers to Israel full access to the EU scientific, academic, research and technical programmes, and will significantly deepen EU-Israeli cooperation and integration in many important sectors. It ignores the fact that these sorts of cooperation agreements that increase Israels relationships with the international community are one of Israels primary means of supporting its ongoing occupation. By engaging in this agreement, the EU sends the message that it effectively condones the Israeli apartheid regime, and that it will not challenge Israel on its massive violations of Palestinian rights.

URGENT: Please Take Action NOW!

1) Phone your MEP and ask them to vote against the EU-Israel Association Agreement

Follow this link for contact details of your UK region’s MEPs

(Or for all European MEP’s offices at the eurpoean parliament follow this link)

2) Send a letter or a fax or email to your MEP (Pro forma letter attached below)

Pro forma letter:

Dear Member of European Parliament,

As a member of your constituency I urge you to vote against the EU-Israel Association Agreement on December 4. This agreement involves the strengthening of a broad spectrum of ties with Israel s including economic, trade, academic, security and diplomatic relations s at a time when the European Union should be challenging Israel and holding it accountable for its persistent violations of human rights and international law.

The EU is well aware of Israel ‘s ongoing illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the massive colonization of the latter; after all, the EU member-states have regularly voted for UN resolutions condemning Israel ‘s human rights violations, collective punishment and construction of settlements and the Wall.

Indeed, Israel still maintains its criminal one-year-long siege on Gaza s described by the current UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Prof. Richard Falk as a “prelude to genocide” s that has already cost the lives of hundreds of patients, mainly children and elderly, all denied freedom of movement to access treatment outside Gaza.

As such, I am appalled that the EU refuses to take concrete action to condemn Israel on these accounts. Instead, the EU is proposing to turn a blind eye to Israel s violations of Palestinian rights by deepening its relations with the occupying power. These sorts of cooperation agreements that increase Israel s relationships with the international community are one of Israel s primary means of supporting its ongoing occupation. By engaging in this agreement, the EU sends the message that it effectively condones the massive violations of Palestinian rights.

I therefore urge you to vote against the EU-Israel Association Agreement. In so doing, you would be heeding the call from the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), which represents the entire spectrum of Palestinian civil society, and which has been endorsed by over 100 international organizations, to exert pressure on Israel and to isolate it, rather than to strengthen ties with it (http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/179). This call was taken up by Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, who urged the United Nations to consider following the lead of this generation of civil society who are calling for a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations. I believe it is high time that the EU adopt this position as well.

I urge you to listen to your constituents, and to the hundreds of civil society organisations from around the world who call upon the EU to stop building an unconditional relationship with Israel, and instead to hold it accountable for its ongoing violations of human rights and international law.

Sincerely,

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