Please do not support apartheid, racism and occupation - Please do not welcome Avigdor Lieberman in Prague!
We are a group of Israeli citizens who are deeply concerned about our government’s policies of racism, apartheid and occupation, and the European Union’s complicity in these policies. It has been brought to our attention that the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is expected to visit Prague this week, in order to “deepen crucial strategic cooperation” and discuss the so-called “peace process”, as reported by your local media. Cooperation of this type means increased complicity of the Czech Republic in Israeli crimes. We are therefore writing to you to ask that you assume your responsibility to uphold basic principles of international law and human rights in Israel/Palestine. In particular we are asking you not to invite Israeli
Foreign Minister, a notorious racist, to an official visit in Prague.
The Israeli government is not a peacemaker. Last summer, our government committed a massacre in Gaza. The Israeli army killed over two thousand people, including more than five hundred children (http://imeu.org/article/50-days-of-death-destruction-israels-operation-protective-edge).
The massacre in Gaza was committed by a government in which Mr. Lieberman plays a key role. In fact, as a member of the Israeli government cabinet, he is personally responsible for the initiating and approving the attacks on Gaza’s population, which amount to severe violations of international law and war crimes.
It should also be stressed that Minister Lieberman is personally guilty of the worst kind of racist Incitement against Israel's Palestinian citizens. Mr. Lieberman is now advocating a plan to transfer Israel’s Palestinian citizens by various “incentives” (http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/lieberman-unveils-palestinians ).
Furthermore, on July 21, he called for a boycott against businesses owned by Israeli Palestinian citizens, simply because the owners were opposed to the Israeli attack on Gaza (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/israeli-arabs-shops-biycott-avigdor-liberman-demonstrations.html).
Some of us are the descendants of Holocaust survivors and Jews who experienced racism in Europe. Mr. Lieberman's racist call reminds one of the infamous “Kauft nicht bei Juden!” (Don't buy from the Jews) call, a hateful call which resonated in Europe 75 years ago, and brought about tremendous suffering and bloodshed.
Inviting Minister Lieberman to Prague amounts to an endorsement of his racist and violent ideology, as well as the Israeli government's appalling human rights violations against millions of human beings. In view of the above-mentioned facts, we are calling on you to immediately rescind the invitation to Mr. Lieberman. We also expect the Czech Republic, as a prominent member of the EU, to:
● Clarify, in the most unequivocal manner, that from now on, it will not be complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights. In particular, we expect the Czech Republic to support an investigation based on the findings of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.
● Abstain from supporting Israeli policies towards the Palestinians at the United Nations (GA).
● Promote an EU arms embargo on Israel, in accordance with the tenets of international law, and abstain from purchasing Israeli weaponry.
● Uphold the standards of human rights which every member of the EU is obliged to follow, and promote the revocation of the EU-Israel association agreement, due to Israel’s severe violations of human rights.
● Monitor all of Israel’s failures to meet the elementary criteria for membership in the OECD, and demand that Israel end all discriminatory policies that violate OECD guidelines.
● Send independent observers to monitor Israel’s human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.
● Monitor and protest against a wave of racist legislation proposals that have been adopted by the Knesset, or are about be voted on by it, and promote sanctions against Israel if these laws are not repealed.
● Cancel contracts and operations in the Czech Republic by Israeli and international companies that are clearly violating International Law through their illegal operations in servicing and building illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. Contracts should not be signed nor implemented until these companies cease their material and financial support for the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
We will gladly address any question or comment you may have.
Dr. Anat Matar
Dr. David Nir