European Elections campaign : “Europe must act for the law”
29 avril 2009 - French NGO’s Platform for Palestine
This position paper and the questions attached to it are grounded on the varied experience of the associations within the French NGOs Platform for Palestine. Its goals are to get a clear position from the candidates to the upcoming European elections on the Palestinian issue and provide them with tools of analysis and information on the situation in the Palestinian Occupied Territories, before these elections
The economic, social and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territories has worsened to an unprecedented level despite international law, Israel’s commitments and official recommendations and declarations. The main causes of this degradation are the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the Israeli attack in December 2008, the deadliest since 1967, along with the unprecedented growth of Israeli colonization, land confiscation, obstacles to freedom of circulation, reinforced by the wall construction.
The tragedy of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip has shown to the opinion worldwide the urgency of a political resolution of the Palestinian question. For a fair and lasting peace, it is necessary to put forward an approach based on the law.
If there is a conflict on which the European Union can be decisive, it is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The European Union is Israel’s main economic partner. Within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, an association agreement organizes their relations. An unconditional upgrading of UE/Israel relations would be deemed as encouragement for the violation of the law and of the EU’s principles. On the contrary, the EU has a fundamental tool which can stop these violations of the law in the Palestinian Territories : the suspension of the association agreement between the UE and Israel.
In the meantime, the UE, in cooperation with other international actors, can foster judicial actions following international law violations by the Israeli army during its attack on Gaza.
Talking to all the parties, including Hamas, is essential. The EU can play a central role. It has to come back to a law-based diplomacy, take distance from all the actors in the region and ask, after Anapolis’ failure, for an international Conference under the UN’s care based on international law with an agenda and guarantees of implementation.
The European citizens who were strongly mobilized against the war on the Gaza Strip want their future representatives to use all their power to make their voices heard. It is time for Europe to act for the law.