On Palestinian Prisoner Day, which is marked April 17 each year, more than 150 European trade unions, political parties, human rights organizations and faith groups from over 16 European countries issued a call urging the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and exclude Israeli military companies from EU Framework Programs.
This call – accompanied by an explainer video – comes at a time when at least 35 unarmed Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli snipers during three weeks of protests at Gaza’s border with Israel.
The 150 list of signatories includes 20 signatories from Ireland, including political parties Sinn Féin, Solidarity, People Before Profit and the Communist Party, trade union organizations like TSSA and Dublin and Derry trades unions councils, NGOs like Afri, the Africa Centre and Centre for Global Education, solidarity groups like the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sadaka and Academics for Palestine, and other anti-war, anti-racist and social justice organizations.
From the rest of Europe, it includes the European Network Against Arms Trade – a network of 18 organisations from 13 European countries, the National Federation of Railway Workers, Transport Workers, Officials and Employees of Luxembourg, Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, Comisiones Obreras and CGT in the Spanish State, La Centrale Generale FGTB in Belgium, UNISON in Britain and the north of Ireland, the Belgian Workers Party, Podemos in the Spanish State, déi Lénk in Luxembourg, a global Catholic peace movement Pax Christi International, Friends of the Earth Finland, Human Rights League in France and Kairos Sabeel in the Netherlands and UK among others.
150 European Organizations Call on EU to Stop Funding #Israeli Arms (VIDEO)– IMEMC News https://t.co/ML2hzhQp1x #WestBank #Jerusalem #FreePalestine ?? #Palestine #Gaza #BoycottIsrael #BDS #CNN #BBC #FoxNews #ABC #NBC #CBS #DonaldTrump #NikkiHaley #Apartheid #Israel #Netanyahu
— Eddie DiFruscia (@heavyde65) April 17, 2018
The signatories stress that,
“European taxpayers’ money is being channeled to military companies, among them many Israeli corporations, under the disguise of research and a promise that the technologies and techniques developed will be used solely for civilian purposes.”
The call states that,
“one of the ways in which arms and military companies have gained access to EU funding is through the current EU Program for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. This includes many Israeli military companies. Although the EU claims that research funds have gone only to projects with civilian applications, many of the projects approved are of dual-use nature serving military interests as well. Many others serve policies that curb or violate refugees’ rights and militarize our societies”
+150 European trade unions, political parties, human rights organizations and faith groups, urge the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and exclude Israeli military companies from EU Framework Programs. | via @ECCPBrussels https://t.co/VKUtZ3ddZw#StopArmingIsrael pic.twitter.com/s7U6fy4lkd
— BDS France (@Campagnebds) April 17, 2018
Aneta Jerska from the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine said,
“It is empowering and heartening to see so many European trade unions, civil society organizations and representative bodies publicly demanding the end of EU’s support for Israel’s violations of international law and human rights abuses. This is a powerful sign that European public opinion is well aware that Israel has been occupying and colonizing Palestine by military means in breach of UN resolutions and International Law, and by speaking out like this clearly conveying the message that we refuse to remain complicit.”
(PNN, PC, Social Media)