Justice for Palestine now – end EUROPEAN complicity!

A call from organizations throughout Europe

2017 marks:

  • 100 years since the « Balfour Declaration » of 1917, through which the British government unilaterally promised the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine;
  • 70 years since the partition plan of Palestine, adopted by the UN in 1947, which resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750 000 Palestinians from their homeland, thus a process of ethnic cleansing;
  • 50 years since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967 of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, and an ongoing process of colonization and prolonged occupation by the State of Israel.

The continued dispossession of Palestinians of their land and their livelihood, including house demolition, land confiscation and apartheid wall; the denial of their culture and memory; the ten-year Gaza blockade creating severe inhuman conditions along with the recurrent military attacks on its population; the constant repression, resulting presently in over 7000 prisoners including more than 400 children held in military detention; the disastrous plight of Palestinian refugees further worsened by the war in Syria; and the draconian discriminatory laws in Israel itself:these facts, the fruits of over 100 years of denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, can no longer be accepted.

The anniversaries marked by the year 2017 remind us of the degree to which the colonial mindset, the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, and the refusal to apply international law and UN resolutions lead to disaster.

These dates highlight the responsibility of European and Western countries for the existence of this situation, as well as the powerlessness into which the European Union has trapped itself, as it parades the principles of respect for international law without taking the measures to enforce them.

These dates remind us, also, that the building of peace cannot occur by ignoring the historic facts; and that to recognize History is the responsibility of all parties, first and foremost the Israeli State and people, contrary to the revisionist policy constantly promoted by Israel and pushed to the extreme by its current government. The European States were actors in the colonial system between the two World Wars; they made Palestine carry the consequences of the monstrous genocide of the European Jews by the Nazis; and subsequently they did nothing to require that Israel respect UN resolutions; they, too, must acknowledge the great responsibility that they bear in the tragedy endured by the Palestinian people today.

We call upon the EU and European States:

  • to make 2017 the year that the rights of the Palestinian people become a reality, in a binding timetable: the right to self-determination, the end of the occupation of all the West Bank including East Jerusalem and of the Gaza Strip, the right to equality for all citizens of Israel, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees in the way of their choosing;
  • to cease all complicity with continued settlement activity and the myriad ways that Israel violates international law; and to demand an immediate end of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and freedom of movement for Palestinians;
    to take binding measures vis-à-vis the State of Israel, so long as it continues to violate international and human rights law, including the suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel until Israel complies with international law; to begin with, military and security cooperation – poorly concealed within several projects of the Horizon 2020 program – must be suspended immediately.

We, the undersigned, European civil society organizations, associations, political parties, and unions, solemnly reaffirm that in 2017, after 100 years of dispossession, denial, and ethnic cleansing, the rights of the Palestinian people must, at last, be respected.

Each with our respective views, we commit to act towards this goal, with the belief that a sustainable peace can only be achieved through enforcement of international law.

freepalestine.eu is a campaign site from the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine. Photo CC BY NC SA 2 Michael Loadenthal