I write to ask you to object to the recent decision of the European Commission to punish the Palestinian people for democratically electing a government of which it disapproves. By withholding aid funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the EC is in effect backing the Israeli government's declaration to tighten the economic siege on Palestine. The Israeli Government has a clear motive in this - to secure acquiescence to its expansionist land grab and destroy all hope of a viable Palestinian state. Does the EU condone this? If not, what can the European Union possibly hope to gain from it's position?
The UN has made it clear in a recent report that as many as 25% of all Palestinians (900,000 plus) are dependent on the salary of a PA employee, so withholding funds will simply exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. Already 64% of Palestinians are living below the poverty line and this latest punitive action will only increase the Palestinian poverty and desperation.
Where are EU demands for an end to Israeli violence? Where are the sanctions on Israel for illegally occupying Palestinian territory, for stealing land for Israeli settlements, for building a separation barrier ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice, for operating a system of civil control that deliberately and systematically breaches human rights and inflicts calculated suffering on Palestinians, for deliberately destroying Palestinian communities and their economy, and now even refusing to hand over $50m of the Palestinians' own tax revenues each month that Israel collects as the occupying power.
Why would the EU rather starve Palestinians than press Israel to obey its international duties? Why does the EU not appreciate and understand the desperation of an occupied people rather than simply demanding obedience from them?
Please can you tell me you will call on the European Commission for an end to double standards, and give recognition to the democratically elected Palestinian government?
Thank you. Yours sincerely,
Once again a very important message to Europe about the money due to the Palestinian Authority. I would like to add my voice to this statement and ask you to raise this with anyone and everyone.
I have been sent a copy of your press release on your visit to Palestine and your meeting with the newly elected Hamas government. I would like to thank you and your team for this hopeful and courageous initiative in the current climate. I too share your fears about the EU decision to punish the Palestinians yet further. I know families who are being badly affected by this terrible decision. Your stance has re-kindled my hope in the EU.
I have already contacted my MEP, Graeme Watson, on several occasions about this and other matters in Palestine. What other avenues can you suggest to put pressure on the EU to overturn the decision?
This decision is not only immoral but is sheer madness and can only lead to more alienation and more violence. It will be totally counter-productive. The Palestinians are under unbearable pressure from the Israeli Occupation without having to suffer under these punitive measures. I fully support your position and urge you to do everything in your power to get this decision reversed.
In solidarity and for justice
I want to emphasise that I am not asking that the EU impose sanction, but merely to apply its own rules. If not, the EU should at least be honest enough to remove or rewrite article 2 of the agreement.
I am aware that there has finally been a resumption of negotiations on the Israeli side, no doubt due to pressure from the US. Unfortunately we have been here many times before. In the past 40 years that I have been aware of this conflict, I cannot remember a single occasion where Israel has accepted international law or returned more than it had taken. Israel has never willingly compromised on anything and continues to systematically rob the Palestinians of their resources and human dignity.
Israel’s disregard for all aspects of article 2 of this agreement has already lead the European Parliament (11 April 2002) to vote to suspend the EU-Israel trade agreement. it is therefore difficult for me to see how the argument that initiating a review of the agreement now would limit the EU’s influence on Israel.
Normally I turn the TV off after watching your 7pm news, but a couple of nights ago I was intrigued by the “Israel for Sale” heading, so I watched this short footage. I was a little confused as to what it was telling me, so I decided to watch last night’s too in the hope of understanding the message.
I have to say that my only conclusion from these specific clips is that Channel4 is going the same way as the BBC in terms of its bias on the question of Palestine/Israel. I’ve only recently switched from listening/watching BBC news because of its overt bias and inability to tackle the real (or root cause) issues behind this conflict.
Maybe I have not seen enough of this series and you intend to say something about Palestinian homes too. If so I can highly recommend the web site for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition http://www.icahd.org/eng/ as a source of material for your next set of programme ideas!