Dear President Tajani,

We wish to convey our serious concern with the fact that the EP working group “Friends of Judea and Samaria”, is organising a conference titled “Israel and the West Bank – Facts and Myths” to take place at the European Parliament on the 28th of March 2017 at 10:00-11:30, Room ASP A1E2.
As you probably know, the topic of this conference will be “trade barriers for Jewish settlements and funding of terrorism”.
This topic has been the goal of the group since its inception to “abolish trade barriers of the European Union imposed on Jewish goods from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)”.

Friends of Judea and Samaria have further stated that they plan to serve “a presentation of Israeli original food and wine from Judea and Samaria” at the conference.
We believe that the working group uses the reference to “Judea and Samaria” in a misleading manner in the sense that it omits mention of the fact that these products emanate from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The European Parliament has clearly condemned Israeli settlements and their continued expansion.
The European Union and the international community, as confirmed by the International Court of Justice and the United Nations Security Council have recognised the illegality under international law of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem on countless occasions.
In our view, this meeting and more broadly, the activities of this “working group” undermine the credibility of the European Parliament and the EU institutions at large on the Israel/Palestine file, as well as provide a public platform for encouraging and legitimizing the non-compliance by economic operators with EU and Member State legislation.
Moreover, this “working group” spreads unsubstantiated and slanderous accusations against the European Commission1 which risks damaging our inter-institutional relations. Finally, it directly undermines the work and legitimacy of our Delegation for relations with Palestine since by its name; it denies the existence of the latter. We would hence ask you to verify whether this “working group” complies with the applicable rules of our Parliament.

Based on the above, we consider it our duty to raise this at the highest level of this Parliament and we call on your urgent action:
– to avoid an unfortunate event, which would directly undermine the credibility of the Parliament on a most sensitive issue,
– to clarify who authorised the advertisement of this event in EP premises and
– to clarify how it will be guaranteed that the “original products from Israel” to be tasted will in no way be settlement produce.

1. Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL – France)
2. Gabi Zimmer (GUE/NGL- Germany)
3. Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL – Cyprus)
4. Pascal Durand (Greens- France)
5. Marina Albiol (GUE/NGL-Spain)
6. Sofia Sakorafa (GUE/NGL – Greece)
7. Angela Vallina (GUE/NGL -Spain)
8. Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL-Italy)
9. Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL – Spain)
10. Keith Taylor (Greens – United Kingdom )
11. Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL – Italy)
12. Malin Bjork (GUE/NGL – Sweden)
13. Paloma Lopez (GUE/NGL – Spain)
14. Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL – Germany)
15. Lola Sanchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL – Spain)
16. Klaus Buchner (Greens – Germany)
17. Xavier Benito (GUE/NGL – Spain)
18. Miguel Urban (GUE/NGL – Spain)
19. Estefanía Rodríguez (GUE/NGL – Spain)
20. Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL – Portugal)
21. Martina Michels (GUE/NGL – Germany)
22. Curzio Maltese (GUE/NGL – Italy)
23. Florent Marcellesi (Greens – spain)
24. Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL – Ireland)
25. Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL – Ireland)
26. Liadh ní Riada (GUE/NGL – Ireland)
27. Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL – Ireland)
28. Margrete Auken (Greens – Dänemark)
29. Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL – Finland)
30. Javier Couso (GUE/NGL – Spain)
31. Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL – Ireland)
32. Kostadinka Kuneva (GUE/NGL – Greece)
33. Bart Staes (Greens – Belgium)
34. Josu Juaristi (GUE/NGL – Spain)


Please find the original letter here

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