May 19, 2007

Green MEP for Palestine

There's a crop of letters on Palestine in today's Guardian. The one that stood out to me was from Green Member of the European Parliament, Caroline Lucas:
Your leader (May 18) is right to say the Palestinian government is in danger of becoming a fiction. What it didn't say is that by refusing to engage with it fully, the UK and EU have helped undermine it and must bear a heavy share of the responsibility. I have just returned from Gaza, where, as a member of a parliamentary delegation, I saw the crippling effects of the international economic boycott of the occupied Palestinian territories.

By refusing to recognise fully the new unity government, and by channelling aid via a temporary international mechanism rather than through the Palestinian Authority, the UK and EU are undermining the authority of Palestine's democratic institutions. This also strips us of leverage to put political pressure on Israel to transfer the tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians. And this after the government of national unity has agreed to all of the international community's demands: to declare a ceasefire and recognise the state of Israel and previous political agreements.

The government must normalise relations with the Palestinian Authority, and put pressure on the Israeli government to do the same, and end the occupation, to prevent the violence spiralling out of control. We can increase pressure on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to do so by attending the march and rally taking place in London on June 9.
That would be the "Enough already!" march so be there.

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