Thank you for your letter with your questions about what action I will take to support Palestinian human rights. I fully appreciate that this will be an important issue for deciding how you will vote in the European Elections.
My answers are as follows:
1. Do you oppose Israel’s violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and do you support Palestinians’ right to self-determination?
Yes to both elements. Greens have long stood against a number of policies of the Israeli state and continue to call for a just and peaceful settlement in the Middle East, recognising the rights of the Palestinian people as well as those of Israelis in a way that is both fair and humane. An equitable choice needs to be made and accepted by both Israelis and Palestinians: the right to security for Israeli citizens should be considered alongside the rights of Palestinians, including refugees.
2. Will you oppose any upgrade of European agreements with Israel until Israel abides by the human rights clause in the EU Israel Association Agreement?
Yes, the Green Party feels that the EU has a significant role to play in helping to bring about a just and lasting peace.
3. Will you support mandatory EU wide labelling of agricultural goods and wine from Israel’s settlements?
Yes, we feel it is important that people across Europe should be made aware of the origin of goods.
4. Will you support a campaign to exclude all goods entering the EU from Israel’s settlements beyond the Green Line (until a peace deal is agreed)?
The Green Party does not have a specific policy that supports the banning of goods produced in settlements, but we respect the right of individuals to boycott goods produced by particular corporations and countries based on their human rights record.
5. What else would you try to do to try to achieve justice for the Palestinians?
Green MEPs will push the EU to use its role as a part of the Middle East Quartet to encourage full respect for UN mandates relating to the rights of Palestinians, and to call upon the state of Israel to negotiate with the democratically-elected government of the Palestinian people, end collective punishment of Palestinians, including arbitrary ‘administrative detention’, end illegal occupation of Palestinian land, and to ensure that Palestinians have access to water and other amenities, including right of access to their own farm land. We also call on the democratically-elected representatives of the Palestinian people to recognise the right of the state of Israel to exist within recognised, agreed and secure borders. Green MEPs also call upon the European Union to ensure that agreements of Association with Israel are suspended unless and until an undertaking is secured that the state of Israel will enter into the dialogue called for above, and ensures that the human rights of Palestinians are assured as are those of Israelis.
I do hope that you will consider voting Green in the European Parliamentary elections as I would be a strong advocate for Palestinian human rights – as the Green Party’s MEPs Jean Lambert and Keith Taylor have been, as part of a 43 member Green Group, and as Caroline Lucas was as an MEP and continues to be as an MP.
North East England Green Party