Dear EU High Representative Federica Mogherini,
We are Israeli citizens, active against our government's policies of occupation, colonization, and apartheid.
We are appealing to you and to the European Union to cancel the participation of Mr. Lars Faaborg-Andersen, head of the EU delegation to Israel, in the Israeli conference titled “Stop the Boycott”. The conference is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on March 28, 2016.
The conference is organized and hosted by the right-wing, anti-Palestinian Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. The conference is a propaganda event, geared toward acting in the service of policies which run counter to international law, as well as the legal and democratic principles which the EU claims to promote.
The organizers of the conference would like to make the EU complicit in these illegal policies, and use the EU as a stamp of approval. EU acceptance of this role would amount to a major legal and moral failure.
We have also noted that Mr. Faaborg-Andersen is scheduled to speak alongside Dani Dayan, a key leader of the settler movement. Dayan is one of the main public figures promoting the expansion of Israeli settlements and trying to legitimize the blatantly illegal Israeli policy of settlement construction.
It should be noted that the government of Brazil has recently turned down Israel’s appointment of Dayan as its ambassador to Brasilia. The participation of Amb. Faaborg-Andersen, or any other official EU representative, in the conference alongside Dani Dayan would mean that the EU accepts Israel’s illegal colonization project. This would contradict the EU’s statements against Israel’s recent settlement expansion plans, as well as the EU’s legal obligation to uphold international law.
Another participant in the scheduled panel is Lt. Colonel (ret) Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, who played a key role in shaping Israel's doctrines during its attack on the Gaza strip in December 2008 - January 2009. As confirmed by numerous human rights groups, this doctrine enabled and facilitated Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and has brought about the deaths and horrific injuries of thousands of civilians, including babies and children.
In view of the aforementioned facts, the conclusion is obvious: EU participation in the Yedioth conference would be an immoral, unethical move. We call on the EU to refrain from legitimizing Israeli institutions in their propaganda war for illegal policies.
At a time when some European governments do not uphold the values of free speech, let alone solidarity with the oppressed, we are encouraged by the recent Swedish foreign ministry’s statement that BDS “is a civil society movement” and that “governments should not interfere with civil society organization views”. We call on the EU to conduct its policies in accordance with this simple principle.
We also call on the EU to follow its guidelines and end its complicity in Israel's violations of human rights.
Given all the above,, we call on the EU to cancel the participation of Mr. Lars Faaborg-Andersen in the “Stop the Boycott” conference; we urge you to take steps to end European government repression of free speech and the BDS movement, and to respect the EU's legal obligation to end all forms of aid and assistance supporting Israeli violations of international law.
Please don’t let us down. Needless to say, we will be happy to meet your representatives in Israel to explain our position.
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)