September 5, 2012
Nazareth – This past week the Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) sent letters to the members of European Parliament on the INTA Committee, which is set to vote September 18 on the EU-Israel Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products (ACAA).
The INTA Committee will vote on the future of a new protocol that would accelerate trade relations between Israel and the EU. The HRA, along with our colleagues in the Euro-Med Human Rights Network (EMHRN), advocate the suspension of assent procedure until Israel complies with several human rights law and international humanitarian law standards. The Treaty of the European stipulates concern for human rights standards in consideration of any trade agreements, so this advocacy has solid legal precedent. Furthermore, a vote in assent to new ACAA protocol would amount to an acceptance of Israel violations of human rights in its own territory and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The HRA encouraged the MEPs on the INTA Committee to vote for a suspension in order to send a clear message that the status quo in the OPT and the status of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel is unsustainable.
The HRA, in coordination with the EMHRN, will continue to reaffirm the consideration of human rights and international law standards in EU-Israel relations and will target advocacy accordingly. Mohammad Zeidan, General Director of the HRA, said preparation of the meeting “Israel should not be rewarded for violating human rights and the EU should send a clear message that human rights are an essential element of its foreign policy with Israel as with all other countries in the world.”