Letter to Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, from EI co-founder Ali Abunimah, dated 13 December 2005
Dear Mr. Solana,
I was disturbed to read in this morning’s Guardian that “A controversial report that accuses Israel of rushing to annexe Arab areas of East Jerusalem was shelved by European foreign ministers in Brussels yesterday out of sensitivity to Israel.” (“EU shelves East Jerusalem report over fear of alienating Israel,” 13 December 2005)
The Guardian report asserts that, “Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, persuaded ministers to drop the report when he warned that Europe’s influence over Israel would be severely undermined if it were to be published.”
The document that you allegedly helped cover up reportedly exposes Israel’s continuing crimes in occupied East Jerusalem, including its attempts in violation of international law to completely colonize East Jerusalem, and to alter the demographics of the city by constructing the separation wall and expanding illegal Jewish-only colonies.
I remind you that the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in July 2004 that: “it is for all States, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to see to it that any impediment, resulting from the construction of the wall, in the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end. In addition, all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention are under an obligation, while respecting the Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.”
The EU’s own Association Agreement with Israel states in Article 2 that the Agreement itself “shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which… constitute an essential element of this agreement.”
I believe that you want genuinely to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but that you are on the wrong path. You are simply freeing Israel to continue to pursue its criminal actions unperturbed while exercising no real influence. All of the money that the EU is pouring into the region is not helping the Palestinians or bringing peace. Rather, it is subsidizing the occupation. Israel destroys, and the EU rebuilds, while the Palestinian people get poorer and less free, and then Israel destroys and colonizes more. Rather than helping, the EU is like the person who provides an alcoholic with money for booze and a car to drive while drunk while saying that to do otherwise would offend the sensitivities of someone who is a great danger to himself and others. This cycle can only breed further desperation and conflict.
I therefore ask you to return the EU to a path where it will have real influence on the situation, rather than just the illusory influence afforded by your frequent photo opportunities, seminars and apparent pandering to the sensitivities of the international outlaw rather than the victim of the crimes you have documented and helped conceal. I therefore call on you immediately to pursue the following measures through the EU:
(1) Publication of the suppressed EU report on Israeli crimes in Occupied East Jerusalem;
(2) Immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement in line with Article 2, until Israel ceases and desists, under international inspection, the well-documented and systematic human rights abuses against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, including extrajudicial executions, confiscation of land, demolition of homes, imprisonment without charge or trial, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;
(3) Discharging EU member States’ obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention by imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel in order to force it to stop building the separation wall and the colonies in the Occupied Territories;
(4) The establishment of an international court of justice to try Israeli officials involved in planning, ordering and executing the above-mentioned criminal acts.
You have an enormous opportunity to do some good and help bring an end to a century-long conflict the origins of which lie as much in Europe’s past as they do in Palestine. I hope you will change course and use it.
Chicago, Illinois, USA