The Joint List called upon the European Union on Tuesday, June 30, to suspend its ties with Israel unless Netanyahu’s far-right government announces that it has abandoned its plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank as envisioned by the Trump plan.
In letters to senior EU officials, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the 15 Joint List MKs wrote that “the traditional approach based on providing incentives to Israel has thus far failed to achieve our shared legitimate positions.” According to Hadash MK Youssef Jabareen, “We requested that top EU officials act to prevent annexation including re-evaluating the EU-Israel partnership agreement, recognizing a Palestinian state according to the ’67 borders and labeling goods from the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinians deserve independence and freedom.”
Specifically, the Joint List has called on the EU to “seriously examine all options and make it clear that it will suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement (EUIAA) should Israel fail to declare that it has permanently abandoned its expansionist aims.” The EUIAA constitutes the main legal and commercial ties between Israel and Brussels. As mentioned, the letter also urges the EU to encourage member states to recognize the state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 borders, writing “Such a step would express strong support for Israelis and Palestinians striving for reconciliation.”
“Reaction to annexation should also include full implementation of the policy of differentiation between Israel and the settlements in all businesses,” the letter states. “These steps will make significant progress toward rectifying grave injustices committed toward the Palestinian people and moving Israel and Palestine toward peace.” The Joint List has sent similar letters to lawmakers around the world, including US Congressional Democrats and political parties in the UK.
Earlier on Tuesday, Borrell hinted at possible punitive sanctions against Israel as a response to annexation. “There is a strong bond between Israel and Europe and we want to strengthen this bond and further deepen our relations, not see them retract,” he wrote in an op-ed published by two Israeli newspapers. “However, this is what will inevitably happen if unilateral annexation goes ahead,” Borrell wrote.
On the same day, the Dutch parliament voted on a draft resolution, submitted by the Socialist Party, which considers the Israeli annexation plans a violation of international law. The parliament, through this resolution, called on the Dutch government and the European Union to take punitive measures against Israel if it goes ahead with its plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. In addition, last week, more than a thousand lawmakers from across Europe signed a statement against Israel’s planned annexation, urging decisive action to prevent the move and punitive measures if it goes ahead.