[PDF version here]
July 7th, 2012
Dear President Barroso,
We are a group of Israeli citizens who are dismayed by our government's flagrant violations of international law practiced against the Palestinian people. Such violations include an ongoing colonization project in the occupied West Bank, a siege and its economic strangulation of the occupied Gaza Strip, and constitutional discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.
The EU being highly influential in this region is also obligated to act in stopping such practices, which stand in direct violation of EU law. At the very least, the EU should not be rewarding Israel for its morally unaccepted and illegal policies. We would therefore like to address some specific issues relating to Israel's position vis-à-vis the EU.
We have learned that there are ongoing discussions within the EU about the implementation of the EU-Israel Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) agreement. We believe that allowing Israel greater access to European markets constitutes an upgrade which should not be granted. Furthermore, the ACAA agreement does not include language which guarantees that Israeli authorities in charge of its implementation do not extend their competence over the settlements. Therefore, we call upon the EU to suspend at once any negotiations on the agreement until such concerns are addressed in a thorough manner.
Another issue of great importance relates to the participation of certain Israeli bodies in EU funded research programs. Some Israeli bodies, both public and private, are actively engaged in the violation of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. Such participation seriously undermines the legitimacy of these programs and moreover, stands in direct contradiction to the stated goals and obligations of the European Union and each of its member states. Companies such as Ahava-DSL, Elbit Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries, as well as state institutions such as the Israeli Antiquities Authority, directly participate in the construction and maintenance of illegal settlements and the illegal separation/annexation wall. These companies should not be entrusted to use EU resources in accordance with the EU’s legal obligations. We call on the EU to bar any such entities from further participation in the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) and its projects, as well as make the necessary amendments in future research funding legislation that will explicitly prohibit the participation of an entity which acts in violation of international law.
We will gladly respond to any questions or comments you may have.
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within