European Parliament approves EU/Israel trade agreement/Letter of protest to Mrs Ashton, EU Chief Foreign Affairs

European Parliament approves EU/Israel trade agreement/Letter of protest to Mrs Ashton, EU Chief Foreign Affairs

donderdag 25 oktober 2012 07:27

TO MRS C ASHTONHIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNION FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND SECURITY POLICYEU RELATION WITH ISRAEL IN THE LIGHT OF THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE  ”The Union’s action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.” Article 21, Lisbon Treaty http://www.proyectos.cchs.csic.es/euroconstitution/library/Lisbon%20Treaty/Tratado%20de%20Lisboa/Treaty%20of%20Lisbon%20consolidated%20version.pdf Dear Mrs Ashton, My sincere congratulations with the Nobelprize for Peace, which hasrecently been given to the European Union As you’ll know, receiving this Prize is not only a great honour, it also shapesthe moral obligation and responsibility to promote peace and human rights in Europe and the rest of the world However, with regard to the Middle Eastern conflict, the European Union has seriously failed to maintain International Law and human rights, by not taking a firm stand against the occupying power of the Palestinian territories. The last sad proof of that failure: Recently [23 october 2012] European Parliament approved a trade deal with Israel, the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptence of Industrial Products [ACAA], which will remove barriers to trade in pharmaceutical and industrial products between the EU and Israel. This ACCA trade is not an isolated thing, but fits in a plan, that work will be undertaken on about 60 different dossiers to strengthen relations between the EU and Israel [1] ISRAEL, THE OCCUPYING COUNTRYHUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, TORTURE OF PRISONERS, WARCRIMES It’s a bad signal for human rights to strengthen the relations with Israel, a State, that has a record in violating International Law for years. Israel has occupied the Palestinian terriitories since 1967, despiteUN Security Resolution 242 [1967], which summoned Israel to withdraw from the areas ithad conquered in the june war [1967]Despite this clear statement of International Law, Israel is still occupying country of the Palestinian areas and you know that. In those 45 years of occupation, Israel not only suppressed the rights on freedom of thePalestinians, it also committed many human rights violations and warcrimes, like thecontinuing administrative detention and torture  torture of Palestinian prisoners [2]and the indiscriminative military attacks on the Palestinian civilian population  [3], which have been repeatedly  condemned by European Union SETTLEMENTS Another hugh human rights violations is the existence of the settlements in theoccupied Palestinian territories, which are illegal according to International Law [4] Despite the numerous condemnations of those settlements, among else by severalUN Security Resolutions, Israel continues the building of the settlements on theWest Bank and occupied Eastern Jerusalem You, mrs Ashton, have recently condemned that [5], which is a good signal, but not enough The European Union must take actual measures against Israel and that means NOT thestrenghtening of trade relations BLOCKADE GAZA Since Hamas took over power in 2007,  Israel is blockading Gaza, which actually means the starvation ofthe Gazan civilian population, because Israel has closed its border crossings for food, medicines and other necessities of life [6] This is not only a collective punishment, but also a warcrime You know of course, that International Law forbids starvation as a formof warfare [7], yet apart from the utter inhumanity, which has been condemned by humanrights organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International RedCross, as Mr Falk, UN Special Rapporteur [8]  That the Israeli government now and then enlightens the blockade is not enoughIt has to be lifted completely! [9] MISSION OF THE EU  

  The Lisbon Treaty states, that indivisibly of human rights and fundamentalfreedoms is one of the most important goals of the European UnionThat sounds beautiful, but means a dead letter on paper, as long as it is not applied in practice Strengthening trade ties with a State, which acts with complete disrespect forInternational Law, by occupying, stealing land [which is the practice of settlements],committing warcrimes, starving the civilian population, building an illegal Wall [10]  and torturing prisoners is the worst possible signal ever that the EU can give Therefore the mission of the EU must be: To give a clear signal to Israel, that it has to respect International Law, which means withdrawing from theoccupied Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights, stop building and dismantling ALL settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, dismantling of theillegal Israeli wall and bringing to Justice those, who have committed human rightsviolations and warcrimes By Israeli refusal the EU must take actual measures against Israel, like politicalor economical sanctions And of course at first the ending of the ACCA and other trade deals with Israel EU condemnations are not enough, which the past has proved However, if the EU continues on the path of symbolic condemnations andstrengthen the ties with Israel, the Nobel Prize for Peace means nothing and you canthrow the Lisbon Treaty into the fire You are in the important position, to play a key part here Don’t forget, that if the European Union continues to support Israel by ACCA and other trades and not taking sanctions, it is co responsible for the Israeli occupation, the maintaining of the settlements and all to commit human rights violations and warcrimes I don’t think, the European will carry that on its conscience Thank you sincerely for reading this letter  Kind greetings Astrid EssedAmsterdam The Netherlands

     [1] THE GUARDIANEU MOVE TO UPGRADE RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL23 JULY 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/23/israel-eu  [2] BTSELEM.ORG DETAINEES AND PRISONERSADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION http://www.btselem.org/topic/administrative_detention TORTURE AND ABUSE UNDER INTERROGATION http://www.btselem.org/topic/torture  [3] AMNESTY INTERNATIONALOPERATION CAST LEAD/22 DAYS OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/015/2009/en/8f299083-9a74-4853-860f-0563725e633a/mde150152009en.pdf  ISRAELI ATTACKS ON GAZA/DIRTY WAR AGAINST THE PALESTINIAN POPULATIONASTRID ESSED http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/liverpool/2009/01/417434.html  [4] BTSELEM.ORG SETTLEMENTS AND LANDLAND EXPROPRIATION AND SETTLEMENTS http://www.btselem.org/topic/settlements INTERNATIONAL LAW http://www.btselem.org/settlements/international_law  [5]  THE JERUSALEM POSTEU CHIEF SLAMS GILO NEIGHBOURHOOD EXPANSION PLAN20 OCTOBER 2012 http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=288562  OCCUPIED PALESTINEEUROPEAN UNION SLAMS ISRAEL’S PLAN TOEXPAND GILO SETTLEMENT 20 OCTOBER 2012 http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/european-union-slams-israels-plan-to-expand-gilo-settlement/  [6] BTSELEM.ORG THE SIEGE ON GAZA http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/siege  [7] 

   Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited. ARTICLE 54,  Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/470?OpenDocument SEE ALSO www.icrc.org [8] BBC NEWS 
UN OFFICIAL SLAMS ISRAEL CRIMES 
10 December 2008  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7774988.stm HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 
ISRAEL’S FUEL AND POWER CUTS VIOLATE LAWS OF WAR 
29 OCTOBER 2007  http://www.hrw.org/news/2007/10/28/gaza-israel-s-fuel-and-power-cuts-violate-laws-war AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 
ISRAEL GAZA BLOCKADE MUST BE COMPLETELY LIFTED 
17 JUNE 2010  http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/israel-gaza-blockade-must-be-completely-lifted-2010-06-17  
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 
ISRAEL/GAZA/EASING BLOCAKDE OF IMPORT A FIRST STEP 
21 JUNE 2010  http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/06/21/israelgaza-easing-blockade-imports-first-step  THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS 
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: PROVIDING SUPPORT 
IN GAZA AND MONITORING DETAINEES IN HUNGER STRIKE 
15 AUGUST 2012  http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/2012/palestine-israel-update-2012-08-15.htm  [9] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 
ISRAEL GAZA BLOCKADE MUST BE COMPLETELY LIFTED 
17 JUNE 2010  http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/israel-gaza-blockade-must-be-completely-lifted-2010-06-17  [10] BTSELEM.ORG SEPARATION BARRIER http://www.btselem.org/topic/separation_barrier ADVISORY OPINION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE http://www.btselem.org/separation_barrier/international_court_decision

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