From Israeli citizens - Fourth Czech intergovernmental cooperation session with Israel supports violations of international law and war crimes

May 2016

To whom it may concern,

We are Israeli citizens, active against our government's policies of racism, occupation and apartheid.

On Sunday, 22 May 2016, members of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s cabinet are expected to meet for intergovernmental consultations with the Israeli government in Jerusalem. This will be the fourth such meeting, which "affirms the traditional partnership between both countries."

We would like to alert you to the fact that this cooperation legitimizes Israeli policies which amount to violations of international law and war crimes. A close look at events on the ground in Jerusalem, right under the nose of those taking part in the meeting, reveals a shocking illegal reality:

Thus for example:

-The State of Israel carries out an explicitly racist policy in Jerusalem, which includes the ethnic cleansing of the city’s Palestinian population, and the denial of residency rights ( Israel, including the Jerusalem Municipality, imposes racist zoning and planning policies ( ), practices discrimination in access to infrastructure and services, or carries out incursions and nightly arrests of residents, including many child arrests.

-The State of Israel has erected a tall concrete barrier/wall, which literally cuts through East Jerusalem neighborhoods separating families from each other, children from their schools, or the sick from adequate medical care.

-The Israeli police regularly snatch children as young as 9 from their beds in the middle of the night, arrest and abuse them ( ).

-The municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli government are constantly demolishing houses in occupied East Jerusalem and area C ( ). These houses are built by Palestinian families on their own land, but the authorities rarely grant them the needed permits for construction, deeming virtually all Palestinian construction illegal and hence due for demolition.

The aforementioned human rights violations are taking place in the occupied and “united” city of Jerusalem on a daily basis, but they are only one element in many forms of apartheid policies which are carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people – those in the occupied Palestinian territories, those inside Israel, and those who are in forced exile due to the Nakba - the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. For example, the Gaza Strip is under a brutal siege which inflicts violence on fishermen and farmers ( ). In central Hebron, Palestinians are effectively turned into prisoners in their own communities, and exposed to endless violence by Israeli settlers and soldiers ( ). In the Jordan valley, Palestinian Bedouin communities are being ethnically cleansed via the demolitions of their encampments. And in the entire area C, Israel is demolishing numerous houses and buildings, some of which have been built with Czech government funding (as part of EU projects), in order to illegally annex the area ( ).

According to, the Czech government's statement, it only holds this special joint sessions with Slovakia and Poland. We find this fact disturbing. Israel is not a neighbor of the Czech Republic. Furthermore, Israel is an apartheid state. Therefore, one must ask: Why is the Czech government granting special privileges to the Israeli government?

We call on the Czech government to end its complicity in Israeli policies, and refrain from special cooperation sessions with the Israeli government.

Furthermore, Israeli actions run contrary to human rights principles enshrined in EU principles, including the special Association Agreement between Israel and the EU. The Czech government, as well as other EU members, must take immediate steps to suspend the agreement until Israel complies with EU principles of human rights.

Since the Czech government is highly complicit in Israel's occupation and apartheid, we also call on all Czech citizens of conscience to join the BDS campaign, and hold Israel accountable for its actions. More specifically, we call on Czech citizens to stand up to any Czech government which is morally and politically complicit in the violations of human rights and international law committed by the Israeli government.


Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from within (Israeli citizens for BDS)