We would like to draw your attention to some recent developments on Palestine-Israel, and in the Occupied Territories, and to urge you to carry out a quick and simple task:
On 24th July , EU Foreign Ministers unanimously agreed to an upgrade in EU trade relations with Israel. Despite regular and frequent condemnation by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague and Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the UK along with all other European states, put aside Israel’s persistent violation of international law on settlement building, and supported the move to enhance trade relations. You can find our letter to William Hague here.
This week, Israel approved plans to change the status of the Ariel University Centre of Samaria in Nablus (in the Occupied Territories) to a full-fledged university. The impact of this decision undermines the very basis of the two –state solution by consolidating Israel’s presence and control of land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Foreign Secretary’s statement on the decision by Israel can be read here.
What you can do:
Write to your MP and ask that s/he raise these questions with the Foreign Secretary. You can email your MP on this link, just copy and paste these questions in the box provided and press ‘send’.
Dear [insert MP name]
In response to the EU’s upgrading of trade relations with Israel, as a local constituent, I am hoping you will write to the Foreign Secretary with the following questions;
1. It is estimated that the EU represents 60% of Israel’s external trade, would it not be consistent with the UK’s support for the two-state solution and its condemnation of illegal settlement building that the upgrade on trade relations should have been conditional on Israel ending its settlement activity and actively working to transfer the Occupied Territories to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people?
2. Why is it that the UK will condemn in the strongest words Israel’s violation of international law and human rights but take little concrete action to put a stop to her aggressive behaviour?
3. What likelihood is there of the ‘two-state solution’ ever materialising when British and European governments refuse to act, using their economic leverage, to end Israel’s illegal settlement building and the consolidation of her occupation of the Palestinian Territories through moves such as the university status approval decision?
4. What, if anything at all, is the Government doing to support the two state solution before it is too late? Recent developments inspire no confidence at all that the Government is genuine in its support for two states, Palestine and Israel.