Letter to Commissioner of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy

July 4, 2006

To: Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Commissioner of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy
European Commission
Wetstraat 200
B-1049 Brussels
Amsterdam, 4 July 2006

Dear Mrs Ferrero-Waldner,

We have noted the statements of 30 January, 9 May 2006 and 19 June 2006, made on
behalf of the Quartet (United Nations, United States, European Union and Russian
In these statements the Quartet has endorsed a European Union proposal for a temporary
international mechanism, limited in scope and duration, which operates with full transparency
and accountability and which will meet certain needs of the Palestinian people, including
support for health services, fuel and utilities and basic needs. It is hoped that additional
donors, including Israel, will be found to participate in this mechanism, which will be reviewed
after three months.
The Palestinian Authority is requested to commit itself to the principles of nonviolence,
recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements, including the Road Map. These
demands on the Palestinian Authority are, of course, essential if there is to be a lasting
However, we must put the question to the European Union as to why it, and the other parties
of the Quartet, has not made a single demand of the Government of Israel. This is especially
disturbing in the light of the current actions of Israel in the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and the
West Bank. It is the Government of Israel which has rejected countless United Nations
resolutions and its obligations under the Geneva Convention and international law. Israel
continues its occupation and expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
It is the Government of Israel which has annexed large parts of the West Bank. Israel ignored
the decision of the International Court of Justice in July 2004 concerning the construction of
the Separation Wall, and has established an apartheid system of roads and many
checkpoints in the Occupied West Bank.
It should be apparent to the Member States of the European Union that the Government of
Israel has not made any concessions which would lead to Israeli-Palestinian peace. We
question whether the Government of Israel has acknowledged the Palestinians’ right to exist
and self-determination.
European Jews for a Just Peace is a federation of Jewish Peace groups working and campaigning in 10 European countries.
In addition, the extrajudicial executions, arrests and wanton killing by the Israeli army of
Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including women, children and
men, cannot be excused for any reason. The Government of Israel has stated openly that it
intends to continue these actions, despite world criticism, including that of the United Nations
Secretary-General. We ask the officials of the European Union how many innocent people in
the Gaza Strip will be killed before Israel is restrained in its murderous policies against a
captive population. While we fully condemn the Qassem rocket attacks on Sderot from Gaza
these attacks cannot be compared to the air strikes, sonic booms and constant shelling from
land and sea by the Israeli army, which is in possession of the most modern military
weapons and planes.
The message which is being given by the European Union is, for this reason, greatly
disturbing. By allowing the Government of Israel to dictate its demands and reject
international law, and by the boycott of the European Union of the democratically elected
Palestinian Government and, therefore, the Palestinian people, there is a severe imbalance
in EU policy. Because of Israel’s continuing occupation and its destruction of Palestinian
society, Palestinians have become increasingly dependent on aid from outside. It is
humiliating for them to be forced to accept charity when, if allowed to finally have their free,
viable and independent State, they would in most probability be able to provide for
We request that the European Union:
a) begin discussions with the Palestinian Government
b) resume economic aid to the Palestinians
c) disassociate itself from Israel’s use of starvation as a political weapon
d) demand that Israel deliver the monies that belong to the Palestinians as well as to the
Palestinian Authority
e) disassociate itself from the unilateral demands placed on the Palestinians while
working for unconditional negotiations with the aim of finding a solution which fulfills
the national and humanitarian interests of both parties
f) end the blockade of the EU on the democratically elected Government of Palestine.
The European Jews for a Just Peace request that our reservations and concerns with regard
to recent decisions taken by the European Union be taken into account. Only complete
objectivity and justice in dealing with the two parties involved will lead to a lasting peace in
the region, which is certainly the aspiration and in the best interests of all, Israelis and
Palestinians alike.
Dror Feiler
Executive Committee, EJJP

European Jews for a Just Peace is a federation of Jewish Peace groups working and campaigning in 10 European countries.