Upgrading of relations EU-Israel
Palestine Free Voice 6/04/2009
Upgrading of Relations EU-Israel.
by Hiyam Noir
To the Association Council, EU-Israel - 15-16 June 2009
Dear Mr Miliband,
I am writing to you regarding the 9th EU-Israel Association Council, which has been postponed to 15-16 June:
At the previous Association Council in June 2008, the EU responded positively to Israel’s request to upgrade EU-Israel relations. In its December 2008 Conclusions, the Council of the EU stated that the upgrading of its relations with Israel “must be based on the shared values of both parties, particularly on democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, good governance and international humanitarian law”.
However, since the EU’s decision to start the process of upgrading its relations with Israel, there has been no improvement of the situation but rather serious deterioration:
– the blockade of Gaza has been tightened, with vital basic commodities being routinely denied entry,
– Israel’s war against Gaza (December 2008-January 2009) resulted in over 1400 deaths and numerous home destructions and family displacements. The blockade prevents any necessary rehabilitation,
– the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank has accelerated 
– the number of checkpoints paralysing Palestinian economy has increased from 602 in June 2008 to 632 in March 2009
– in East Jerusalem, eviction of Palestinian families and demolitions of Palestinian homes have also accelerated in 2008. According to a report from the EU Heads of delegations in Jerusalem:” . Israel is, by practical means, actively pursuing the illegal annexion of East Jerusalem”.
Please, act according to the universal values of human rights that the EU intends to promote and stop any progress of the upgrading of the relations EU-Israel.
The British government must ensure that the EU:
– publicly confirm the upgrading of mutual relations is put on hold, and to link the upgrade of relations with Israel to its obligations under international law and the peace process,
– demand an immediate end to the Gaza blockade, to the settlement expansion and house demolitions,
– take further steps to ensure any existing cooperation instruments between the EU and Israel are only applied to Israel proper and in no case to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
– suspend the EU-Israel Association agreement until Israel fulfills its obligations under humanitarian and international law.