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Palestine –Political Campaign

Campaign Objectives

The campaign should call for Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories in accordance with UN resolutions.  In particular there should be a total freeze on expansion and new settlements until an agreement is reached and that the occupation should respect the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

Actions called for:-

We should call on the UK Government to take more serious political steps than merely the diplomatic words used to-date:-.

·         Institute travel restrictions on the Israeli government and Civil Servants similar to that imposed on the Zimbabwe and Belorussia governments. (For background see later)

·         In the light of many reports on Human Rights abuses and widespread acceptance that settlement building contravenes the Geneva Convention to re-convene the Geneva Convention meeting, which was stalled in 1999.  The government should seek a proper judicial process to determine if Israel has violated the Convention.

·         Freeze on all military exports

Who should we lobby?


Prime Minister –Tony Blair  10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA 

FAX 0207 925 0918


Foreign Secretary –Jack Straw


Minister of State for Europe –Peter Hain

(both at FCO, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AH

 FAX  0207 839 2417

·         EU Commissioner for external relations for Christopher Patten -address below

bulletMPs see links below
bulletMEPs see list for north west MEPs (for other areas, see

Notes for letter writing campaign  (see sample letters)

Approach.  You could consider alternative approaches to the Government’s commitment to achieving justice in Palestine.  On one side they could be condemned for pursuing policies of appeasement which have enabled Israel to firmly establish settlements throughout the West Bank over a period of 35 years, to deny Palestinians civil liberties, to violate their human rights and the Geneva convention without any international legal redress.  Alternatively and less confrontational, the Government could be congratulated for striving to move the peace process forwards in spite of US and Israeli opposition and encourage the government to avoid looking hypocritical in its selective support of UN resolutions by seeking serious diplomatic pressure to stop Israel building further settlements.

You could then ask the government to take the actions listed above.


Ever since the 1967 war in which Israel seized the West Bank, they have been vigorously building settlements to establish a factual position on the ground that would deny Palestinians ever revert to the 1967 borders.  In particular they have built an almost continuous ring of new settlements to surround Jerusalem and they have built settlements over all the water aquifers of the West Bank (25% of Israeli water is taken from Palestine).  Pragmatically Israel will never return to its 1967 borders.

Israel continues to build new/expanded settlements as fast as it can, to the point of almost bankrupting the economy.  It is reported that some 40% are un-occupied and it is only through generous financial inducements that Israelis are persuaded to occupy the settlements.  Would they be doing all this if they ever intended to return to their 1967 borders?  Although the strategy for permanent occupation has never been formally stated, there have been many statements, not least by Sharon and secret papers published that illustrate the thinking behind the Israeli strategy.

Part of the Oslo accord was a cessation of the expansion of the settlements.  Israel adopted an interpretation of the words that allowed it to continue to expand and to appropriate more land.  As far as the Israeli strategy was concerned, the longer Oslo dragged on, the more land they would have claim to.

If the International Community could enforce a freeze on settlement expansion, which is a part of all the UN resolutions, then it would stop being in Israel’s interest to continue the conflict.

Geneva Convention

Many organisations have condemned Israel for violating the Geneva Convention, which Israel claims does not apply to this situation!  At the very least there is a case to be answered through a proper judicial process. 

Back in 1999, the Arab states did get the UN to rule that the Geneva convention did apply to the occupied territories but on July 15th, America with British support managed to block the proceedings so that a new Israeli government could be given a chance.  Since then the matter has been closed.

It is time to call on the government to demonstrate its support for human rights and that even the governments of so called ‘friends and allies’ are not above the law.

The usual approach to putting pressure on a country is to call for sanctions as was the case in South Africa and indeed is the case on Iraq.

Israel is a rather different situation because America is never going to support sanctions and will simply provide whatever aid is needed to enable Israel to continue to enjoy its freedom.  In addition the EU exports three times as much as it imports and would never take steps that might hurt its own trade.

The PSC is calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and that is certainly a valid sign of support, but it is unlikely to ever influence their strategy.

Nevertheless, Israel does try to present itself as a member of the Western Democracies’ and tries its best to avoid any condemnation of its actions. 

When the government wanted to send a strong diplomatic message to Zimbabwe, without hurting trade, it established a travel embargo on their government.  The UK government and the EU could send a similar message to Israel.  The establishment of such an embargo would send a clear message, without actually hurting anyone.  Its effect would be more limited because of course Israel is only bothered by its relations with America.  But, such an embargo would send a clear message both to Israel and indeed to America.  In this context, when writing to Peter Hain note that he has recently been condemning cricket in Zimbabwe whilst as Minister for Europe doing nothing to condemn Israel.

Chris Patten      Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200 B-1049 Brussels 

FAX - 00 32 2 298 1299

Chris Patten is responsible for the EU ‘external affairs’, in effect the Commissions ‘Foreign Office’.  He recently published a statement which, whilst diplomatically correct clearly was critical of Israel.  This can be seen in full at:-

(at the end of that statement there are links to EU policy and to the similarly critical minutes of a EU-Israel association meeting).   However none of these statements go further than good words.  They imply no serious penalties for simply ignoring the condemnation.

We recommend that campaigners call on Chris Patten (and MEPs) to impose restrictions until Israel stops expanding settlements and respects human rights:-

·         Ban on travel to Europe from Israeli ministers

·         Freeze on further trade concessions with a view to reversing tariff reductions if Israel doesn’t respond positively.

·         Absolute ban on all military equipment exports

If you want to be economical, letters addressed to this UK address will probably be passed on to Brussels.

European Commission

Representation in the United Kingdom

Jean Monnet House

8, Storey's Gate

London SW1P 3AT

United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7973 1992

Fax: +44 20 7973 1900, 7973 1910

Who is my MP?

Assuming you have Internet access go to and enter your postcode. It’s as simple as that!  You will see the address, but if you know their name they are all available anyway at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Make any points you wish to your MP.  However the best approach, which they are supposed to action is to ask them to ask a question of the Minister.  The MP is obliged to ask the question and give you the answer.  In practice they don’t always, and questions need to be ‘PC’!    For example you could ask:-

In the light of the government’s actions to condemn Zimbabwe by blocking international travel, would the minister consider imposing the same sanctions on Israel in the light of their continued expansion of settlements in contravention of UN resolutions?  If the minister doesn’t believe that such a step would be constructive, what alternative sanctions does the minister propose?


Given the widespread claims that Israel has contravened the Geneva Convention, especially in continuing to build settlements, will the minister explain why no legal proceeding have been instituted?  Can the government explain why Israel should be able to escape a fair and judicial appraisal of the evidence and only countries that have been ‘defeated’ are brought to justice?

Who Is Your MEP?

The list of North West MEPs is available at or on the attached page.  All of these MEPs have responsibility for all of the North West.  You can write to any or all of them.

You should be asking the MEPs if they support the actions called for.  More particularly you can ask why the EU is not imposing any trade or travel sanctions in response to Israel ignoring all the diplomatic protestations.



Sample letters (see sample letters)

It’s always best to write your own, but adapting the samples may be quicker if you are comfortable with the style.  For examples see sample letters



Do please contact me by email if you want further information to support the Palestinian cause. 


updated    13-Dez-09 V1.4 -