Do not Ratify the ACAA!

Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany calls upon the European Parliament:

Do not Ratify the ACAA

 

The European Union has just received the Noble Peace Prize. However, an entity that continues to fund conflicts and thereby generate injustice beyond its borders cannot hope to maintain its own peace.

Although the European Association Agreement stipulates that beneficial trade relations are contingent on respecting human rights and international law, the European Union has violated its own rules by allowing Israel to enjoy trade privileges that are granted to no other country outside the EU.

Products labeled “made in Israel” find their way into the European market despite overwhelming evidence that many of these products were produced in illegal colonies built on occupied Palestinian land.

This year, the Israeli government constructed a jail with the capacity to detain some 30,000 asylum-seekers in inhuman conditions. In future, asylum-seekers will be imprisoned for three years without trial. A 23-year-old mother, Zabib, and her one-year-old daughter, Ambet, are among the first prisoners to be held in this new prison.

This year, an Israeli court ruled that Rachel Corrie, a US citizen who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, was herself to blame for her own death. We remember that the bulldozer ran over the peace activist as she was trying to protect a Palestinian family home in Rafah from being demolished.

This year, the Israeli military arrested hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied territories, including children. Numerous cases of torture were documented among the detainees. Children have been kept in isolation. Family members have been arrested to put pressure on detainees during interrogation. Almost two hundred Palestinians are held in administrative detention without being charged and without trial, and altogether over four thousand Palestinian political prisoners are held in Israeli jails.

This year, countless cases of violence committed by colonists in the West Bank against Palestinians were registered. In most cases – ranging from vandalism to murder – the Israeli police refused to investigate these crimes.

This year, the Israeli government, parliament and local municipalities within Israel continued the practice of discriminatory budgeting, promoting the  “judaization of the land” and keeping large segments of the non-Jewish population in perpetual poverty and insecurity, and at constant risk of dispossession.

The cases mentioned are just a few examples of the human-rights violations that have, sadly, become the norm in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

In view of this, the EU is obligated by its own rules to suspend all special trade benefits for Israel until these violations of international law are rectified.

By voting in favor of the ACAA, the EU would be making a statement in support of Israel’s criminal behavior, and would therefore be taking upon itself responsibility for the victims of Israeli aggression.

As Jews, we call upon the EU not to discriminate in favor of Israel, and instead to treat the Israeli government just as the EU would treat any other country that regularly violates international law, commits aggression against its neighbors, or practices policies of segregation against citizens within, as well as illegal occupation and land annexation outside its borders.

As Europeans, we call upon the EU to protect its mission of peace within and outside Europe by not rewarding a warmongering state with trade benefits, and by not taking part in the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

 

19. Oktober, 2012

European Jews for a Just Peace – A federation of Jewish initiatives and organizations in 10 European countries

Agreements on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products