April 16, 2006

Petition for Palestine

I don't know how much good it will do but there is a petition against the withholding of aid from the Palestinian Authority by the EU and US here. This what it says:
To: The European Union, the US congress and the Israeli Government

We condemn the actions taken by the US, the EU and Israel to exert penal economic pressure upon the Palestinian people. The withdrawal of economic aid by the US and the EU and the criminal withholding of internationally agreed custom duties by Israel will lead to widespread suffering, starvation and death among the Palestinian people, with the weakest, children and the elderly, dying first.

This aid is desperately needed because the Israeli government systematically pursues policies that prevent economic self sufficiency on the west bank and in Gaza. these policies include:

*Use of the separation wall to cut off Palestinian farmers from their fields

*Import of labourers from East Asia rather than employ Palestinians

*Placing deliberate obstacles in the path of Palestinian exports of agricultural produce and handicrafts

*Use of the Israeli banking system to block remittances from Palestinians working abroad

*Disruption of Palestinian school and Higher Education

*Withholding of customs duties due to the Palestinian Authority under
international law

These criminal policies are linked to demands that Hamas recognize the state of Israel. Such recognition would be the end of a negotiating process, it should not be a precondition. The Palestinian people have affronted the US, the EU and Israel by electing a Hamas government. It was not made clear, when they insisted on democratic elections in Palestine, that these they should only be held if the result were acceptable to Israel.

We further note that Hamas is maintaining a ceasefire and that Israel is not and that Israel is killing far more Palestinians than vice-versa but this does not impede massive US aid to Israel nor favourable trade agreements between the EU and Israel.

In the name of justice and to end these economic crimes and murders we demand:

The immediate restoration of aid by the US and the EU

The end of Israel's economic blockade

The end of US military aid to Israel

The end of exceptional favourable EU agreements with Israel.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned
Maybe I missed something but I didn't see any names on the list connected with the Engage site. The Engage site purports to concern itself with what it calls left and liberal antisemitism. But it also claims to be opposed to boycotts against Israel. Specifically it came into being to oppose a boycott of some Israeli universities by the Association of University Teachers. And yet it appears that none of their contributors are willing to even sign a petition aimed at ending a boycott of the Palestinian Authority by the most powerful forces on earth. Maybe they'll come along later. At the time of writing the number of signatories was 470.

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