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Not in my Name, not with our Taxes

12 May 2010

The President of Spain Rodriguez Zapatero with Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his recent visit to Madrid, Abril 2010

It is quite disturbing and enraging to find out that Spain, the current EU presidency, is trying to forward a secret plan to boost Israel-European relations. Electronic Intifada published an article last week denouncing these plans at a time when even US officials are embarrassed by Israel plans to expand settlements in Palestine as it happened during US vice president Joe Bidden in his last visit to Jerusalem[1]. I am confused, and I believe many people should be too, after listening incoherent statements regarding EU-Israeli relation by Spanish politicians. The EU has frozen several agreements with Israel, linking this decision to Israeli policies in Palestine and as Benita Ferrero-Waldner -EU External Relations Commissioner- mentioned in 2009 after a meeting with Israeli officials: “We expect indeed a clear commitment from the new government to pursue the negotiations with the Palestinians, {…} We expect a stop of all activities undermining our objective of a two-state solution.[2] However, if we visit the EU External Relation website we find out that there is a plan –which is not secret at all–  under the title “Action Plan” that if is approved will transfer millions of euros to Israel.

This means that Israel could be eligible for €14 million in EU financial cooperation aid for the next 7 years. This is quite shocking if we take into consideration that Israel is one of the fastest growing economy in the Middle East, and it is certainly more developed that many countries belonging to the EU. It is unacceptable that In the midst of a huge economic crisis, the EU is thinking about transferring millions of euros to a state that is constantly violating the rights of Palestinians and Lebanese people and has shown its unwillingness to comply with human rights provisions and international law regulations.

This plan is based on the mutual agreements between both parties and it does not include any biding clause protecting Palestinians from human rights violations committed by Israel. Such a clause could prevent the EU to become a passive accomplice of Israeli crimes if the letter violates any article related to human rights, weapons of mass destruction or other issues alike.[3] The Plan, if signed, will give Israel carta blanca to keep up with its current racist policies that are clearly designed to prevent the creation of a sovereign and independent Palestinian State besides Israel.

The Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos made a public stand calling for tougher actions against Israel and to some extent reverted the statements made by the EU representative Javier Solana (Spanish as well) who recently said during his visit to Jerusalem in the conference Facing Tomorrow that: “Israel, let me say, is a member of the European Union without being a member of its institutions and that Israel is “an active part of all programs of the Union” and contributes its experience in advanced technologies.This kind of statements gives the impression that the EU is inviting Israel to become a member of the EU after the UN (Goldstone report) has clearly accused Israel and Hamas of violating human rights provisions during the Israeli war on Gaza in December 2008 and encourages Israel to keep its reluctance to initiate any peace negotiation with the Palestinian representatives and resistance members.

Also, Javier Solona should watch his words when he assures that Israel is a member of the EU, when Israeli border official keeps harassing and intimidating EU travelers at its borders, threaten them with deportation and making them wait between 6 and 10 hours to get a three or one month visa or to get finally deported. When a EU  citizen crossed at the Tel Aviv international airport they have to show in their computers all their files, their phone agenda and messages, and often they have to facilitate their email passwords if I wanted to cross and therefore violating any privacy right.

Moratinos mentioned that “the EU must be firm in its opposition to the Israeli government’s decision to approve the construction of new illegal units for mainly radical Jewish settlers in Palestine and East Jerusalem”[4] and this statement seems to be aligned with other EU members position such as Finland, France, Czech Republic and Sweden that are calling to freeze any negations with Israel. The new European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has also made clear her position in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that: “East Jerusalem is occupied territory, together with the West Bank”[5] and accordingly other EU members –as Spain that is also holding the current EU presidency–  should continue its pressures to Israel in order to resume peace talks, withdrawing Israeli troops from Occupied Territories, release political prisoners, ending the siege on Palestinian towns, villages, farms, and industries, stopping any settlement activity and other policies that are against human rights conventions that are supposedly endorsed by the EU and Israel.

Finally, I should mention here that Israel continues its provocations not only to the Palestinian people but to the EU as well when it has forged and misused European passports to carry out terrorist attacks in Arab countries such as Dubai and Algeria. Great Britain at least expelled one of the Israeli diplomats working in the UK (which I consider to be a very soft measure) but what I deem to be absolutely unacceptable is Spanish position to receive Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Madrid[6] last week after Algerian police detained an Israeli spy carrying a Spanish passport in Algeria. The question remains the same: for how long we will allowing Israel to do whatever he wants without consequences? How many people will have to die to realize that what is happening is simply wrong?


[1] Adam Entous and Mohammed Assad. Biden scolds Israel over settlement plan. Reuters. Mar 10, 2010.

[2] Maayana Miskin.Plan to Boost Israeli-EU Ties on Hold; Livni Protests. Arutz Sheva.04/23/09..

[3] EU/ISRAEL ACTION PLAN. European Commission External Relations.

[4] Spain calls for tougher EU stance on Israel. Middle East Online. 03-2010 <http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/palestine/?id=37805&gt;.

[5] “New EU foreign policy chief lambastes ‘Israeli occupation,’” EUTimes, Dec. 18, 2009,

[6] “FM Liberman met with officials in Spain”.  April 22, 2010. Israeli Dipomatic Network.< http://eu.mfa.gov.il/mfm/web/main/missionhome.asp?MissionID=6&&gt;

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 May 2010 10:18 am

    How discouraging to see that human rights have no say when it comes to international politics… Please keep us updated from within.

    • Daniel F. Rivera Gómez permalink*
      13 May 2010 11:07 am

      Thank you Leila, and it is even more discouraging to see that a supposedly modern state such as Israel keeps ignoring and violating rights of its own population. I try to do my best to keep in touch. Thank for your comments and muchos muchos beso desde aquí.

  2. Peter permalink
    24 July 2010 4:07 pm

    Mr Gomez, you are an idiot. The only responsibility for Gaza situation is on HAMAS.
    Read this: http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php?p=322033

  3. 13 February 2014 2:34 pm

    These are in fact enormous ideas in about blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

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