Presentation by European Jews for a Just Peace at the European Parliament

February 27, 2007

On behalf of the Executive Committee of EJJP the following statement was made by its Chairman, Dror Feiler: 

“The EJJP is a federation of 14 Jewish peace organisations from different European countries which agreed at the founding meeting in Amsterdam 2002 that the only way out of the current impasse is through an agreement based on the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state and the guarantee of a safe and secure Israel and Palestine.  We condemn all violence against civilians in the conflict, no matter by whom it is carried out, and support non-violent actions aimed at ending the Israeli occupation and Israeli breaches of international law.  

The EJJP calls for:

1.  an immediate end of the occupation of the Occupied Territories – West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, with recognition of the 4 June 1967 borders;

2.  complete withdrawal of all Jewish settlements in all the Occupied Territories;

3.  the recognition of the right of both states to have Jerusalem as their capital;

4.  the recognition by Israel of its part in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem.  Israel should recognise in principle the Palestinian right to            return as a human right.  The practical solution to the problem will come about by agreement between parties based on just, fair and practical                  considerations.  It will include compensation, the return to the territory of the State of Palestine or of Israel, without endangering Israel’s existence.           We call upon the international community, especially Europe, for political and financial support.

The EJJP is part of a growing international movement of Jews opposing the Israeli occupation and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.  These include such groups as “Not in my Name”, “Jewish Voice for Peace” and “Another Jewish Voice” in the United States and others in South Africa and Australia.  We are all working together to support Israeli peace and human rights groups.

The EJJP works to achieve its goals by dissemination of information and work for boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against the occupation with our Israeli and international sister organisations.  BDS is aimed against the occupation and not against Israel.

We in the EJJP are frustrated by the policy of double standards applied by the United States and unfortunately also by the European Union.  As Jews we know what it feels like to be subjected to double standards and do not accept its being done in our name.   Moreover, the policy of double standards applied by the Quartet is putting Jews in Israel and indeed all over the world at great risk.

Some cases of the double standards which we would like to focus on are:

1)  The use of violence

The EU, as a part of the Quartet, demands that Palestinians relinquish the use of violence although accepting, by not reacting nor condemning the use of excessive violence by Israel.

2)  The racist ministers in the Government of Israel

The EU accepts a racist minister in the Israeli Government although he does not recognise the rights of the Palestinian people and propagates ethnic cleansing, as in the case of Lieberman, while punishing the entire Palestinian population for views expressed by ministers in the Hamas government.

3)  Freedom of movement

Palestinians are deprived of freedom of movement in their own territory while Jewish settlers are given extra privileges to move in the Palestinian territory.  Moreover, Palestinians are deprived of their right to move in and out of the occupied territories and of their rights for family unification by the Israeli authorities.

4)  The question of settlements and the Wall

The acceptance of the settlements and the Wall undermines the aims of the Road Map for a two state solution, that is to say, a viable, contiguous Palestinian State side by side with Israel.

We are also concerned about the favouring by the European Union of one party over the other, which might lead Palestinian society into a civil war.  

Now, after the Mecca Agreement, when the Palestinians have once more complied with the demands of the international community, it is time to put an end to the boycott of the Palestinian government and the collective punishment that has been imposed on the Palestinian people since the democratic election held in Palestine in January 2006. 

We have come here today in order to learn about your possibilities as European Parliament Members to initiate effective action that will deal with the above subjects and in addition, we would like to ask you in what way we could help you as a European Jewish Federation.”

During the three days in Brussels, when we presented EJJP and our concerns to the Parliament Members of the European Union, there have been constant Israeli incursions in Nablus (4 consecutive days) and three more unlawful executions of Palestinian activists have been carried out by the Israeli forces in the Jenin area.

It is unacceptable that the international community in general and the EU in particular are silent while such actions are being carried out on a regular basis by Israel.