19 Dec 2008IPSC Home
IPSC Letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin
Micheál Martin TD
Minister for Foreign Affairs
80 St. Stephen’s Green
19th December 2008
On behalf of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, I write to protest that Ireland has given its backing to the upgrading of EU relations with Israel at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on 8/9 December.
As we demonstrated in our recently published submission The European Union’s Blind Eye, Israel has failed to fulfil many of its obligations under existing agreements with the EU. Nevertheless, the EU, including Ireland, has continuously turned a blind eye to these failures – and continuously upgraded its relations with Israel.
To give just one of the many examples we set out, under the Barcelona Declaration which Israel signed in November 1995, Israel undertook to “act in accordance with the United Nations Charter”. For example, Article 25 of the Charter requires UN member states “to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”. Israel has signally failed to act in accordance with Article 25 – since it has failed to implement more than 30 Security Council resolutions that require action by it and it alone.
If Israel had taken the action required by Security Council resolutions, then it would have
• removed all Jewish settlements from the occupied territories (resolutions 446, 452 and 465)
• reversed its annexation of East Jerusalem & the Golan Heights (resolutions 252, 267, 271 and 298 & 497)
• opened its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection (resolution 487).
How does the Government justify supporting the upgrading of relations with Israel, when it doesn’t act in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having solemnly undertaken to do so in an international treaty co-signed by Ireland?
The Government is committed in its programme to “continue Ireland’s strong support for the primacy of the UN in international affairs”. How does the Government justify supporting the upgrading of relations with Israel, when Israel has demonstrated contempt for the UN’s role in international affairs by refusing to “to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council”?
A final point: on 1 September 2008, the EU decided that meetings with Russia about a new partnership agreement would be postponed until Russian troops withdrew to the positions held prior to 7 August 2008. On 28 November 1995, the EU allowed Israel to become a partner, under Euro-Mediterranean Partnership arrangements, even though Israeli troops were occupying parts of Lebanon and Syria and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and Gaza), and had been for many years.
Had the conditions applied to Russia in September 2008 been applied to Israel in November 1995, the EU would have refused to enter into negotiation with Israel about becoming a partner until all Israeli troops had been withdrawn from Lebanon, Syria and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
How does the Government justify supporting the EU’s application of such very different standards in its relations with Russia and Israel?
We look forward to your responses to these questions and would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you. Perhaps you would be willing to meet with us over the coming weeks?
In the meantime, best wishes to you and your family for a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Chairperson, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign