"We all have a stake in ending the Occupation" (Jeff Halper)
2006 Nobel Prize nominee and conscience of Israel; the sweet and affable Jeff Halper delivered a damning indictment on Israel to a packed Nun's Island Theatre in Galway yesterday evening and, to boot, graced the Free Palestine Campaign information stall in Shop Street this morning for an hour before heading down to Clonakilty, Co.Cork, where in O'Donovans Hotel at 8.00PM, hopefully, he'll be delivering a similar broadside?.
Whilst at the stall he signed our petition calling on the EU to terminate or suspend the Euro-Med Agreement which privileges Israel with access to the EU market on the basis that Israel is wantonly driving a coach and four over and through the provision for "respect for human rights and democratic principles." a provision which is the essence of this Agreement but which the EU turns the cynical, blind eye to, instead, Israel is going to be rewarded with an "upgrade" of EU ties, which Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has called for not to be implemented in a letter to the EU until Israel freezes the colonial settlling of the West Bank and terminates the building of the Apartheid Wall - Israel's Housing Ministry on Tuesday confirmed reports that 884 housing units are to be built in East Jerusalem thus kyboshing Palestinian hopes for a future capital there.
EU spinelessness and complicity with rogue state Israel can also be measured with the fact that "the EU is Israel's main trading partner and Israel is the only non-European country to participate in the EU's Research and Development program according to External Affairs Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, also, hundreds of project proposals by Israeli researchers have received EU funding, for example developing innovative cancer diagnostic techniques, hydrogen cars, machine translation techniques. Also, Israeli students are benefiting from scholarships under the EU's Erasmus Mundus exchange program," Ferrero-Waldner told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
Israel is now close to being granted "special status" within the EU's neighbourhood policy, officials in Brussels said. Such a special status might include deals in the area of air transport, higher education, trade in agricultural products and services, social security, customs, information society, environment as well as consumer protection" (Haaretz). As Robert Fisk put it in his recent: The Age of the Warrior: “When Israelis are involved, our moral compass, our ability to report the truth dries up” - as a corollary to that, when the EU is involved there is no moral compass?.
Besides starving Prison Camp Gaza, the plight of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the viability of a future Palestinian state can be assayed in a report published last summer by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which found that almost 40% of the West Bank is now taken up by Israeli infrastructure -- roads, settlements, military bases and so on -- largely off-limits to Palestinians. Israel has methodically broken the remainder of the territory into dozens of enclaves separated from each other and the outside world by zones that it alone controls (including, at last count, 612 checkpoints and roadblocks.