Palestine –Political Campaign
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:-.
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
Who should we lobby?
(both at FCO, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AH
FAX 0207 839 2417
· EU Commissioner for external relations for Christopher Patten -address below
Notes for letter writing campaign (see sample letters)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Israel does try to present itself as a member of the Western Democracies’ and
tries its best to avoid any condemnation of its actions.
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.
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 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.
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
Absolute ban on all
military equipment exports
If you want to
be economical, letters addressed to this UK address will probably be passed on
Representation in the United Kingdom
Jean Monnet House
8, Storey's Gate
London SW1P 3AT
Phone: +44 20 7973 1992
Fax: +44 20 7973 1900, 7973 1910
have Internet access go to http://www.faxyourmp.com/index.php3
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.
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?
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?
The list of
North West MEPs is available at http://www.tameside.gov.uk/corpgen1/mep.htm
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
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 -