The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), a network of solidarity groups and NGOs, is calling on supporters of Palestinian rights to lobby their MEPs to vote against a new EU-Israel trade protocol.
If the agreement is approved by a plenary session of the European Parliament on 23 October, the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA) would remove barriers to trade in pharmaceutical and industrial products between the EU and Israel and send Israel a clear message that the EU is willing to criticize Israeli crimes but not to take meaningful action against them.
EU officials have also failed to draft the protocol in a way that would prevent it from providing assistance or recognition to Israel’s illegal settlements.
The ECCP has set up an online tool that allows campaigners to send a pre-drafted message to all of their MEPs in just a few clicks. Translated versions have been created for Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Ireland and Belgium (in French and Dutch). Other translations are being worked on and in the meantime campaigners from other countries can send a message in English.
In the UK, over 5,500 messages have been sent by the online tool set up by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Please take a couple of minutes to send a message to MEPs and spread the tool through your networks. Activists based outside the EU can still contribute by passing on the link to the tool to their friends and contacts who live in EU countries. It’s rare that the whole of the European Parliament gets an opportunity to vote on EU-Israel relations - this is a great opportunity to show the level of public anger at the EU’s continued support for Israeli apartheid.
A proposal to delay the implementation of the protocol was defeated in the European Parliament’s trade committee last month by just two votes. NGOs across Europe had lobbied the committee members and thousands of signatures were gathered in support of the proposal. That the proposal was so narrowly defeated is testament the pressure that MEPs have been put under by solidarity campaigners and indicates that the 23 October vote by all MEPs is also likely to be close.