More than 100 trade unions, political parties and human rights groups send letter to EU in support of Palestinian civil society

In Arab Countries, International Advocacy Program by CIHRS

Dear High Representative,

As organisations based in Europe, we would like to alert you to the extremely serious situation created by the slander of the State of Israel against six of the most important and internationally renowned Palestinian human rights organisations: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al Haq – Law in the service of men, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

After their classification as “terrorists” on 22 October, and with the subsequent military banning order on 7 November, they are in great danger: their premises may be invaded or closed down, their equipment confiscated, their leaders and staff arrested and their funding is put in danger. The protection services they provide to the Palestinian population, as well as their ability to inform international bodies about human rights violations in Palestine, are themselves jeopardised by this decision. The European Union must remain true to its own values; it must protect them.

The statement by the EEAS Spokesperson on October 28 was not commensurate with the gravity of this threat. By stating that the  EU  “takes  such  allegations  extremely  serious”  and  by “engaging Israeli authorities for  more  information”,  it  gives  weight  to  allegations  against partners that the European  Union  has  known  perfectly  well  for  years,  and  it  legitimises  the  idea that the State of Israel would have a legitimate reason to take  up  the issue.  This  is  doubly false: firstly because these organisations are  subject  to  Palestinian  law,  and  the  State  of  Israel has no business declaring them as unlawful, and secondly because the Israeli leaders who accuse them are the same ones who could be implicated by the ICC procedures, which themselves could be based on the information and investigation files provided by these NGOs.

We therefore ask you first of all for a much clearer public statement on this issue. In particular, we ask you to:

  1. clearly reject the Israeli allegations and question their legitimacy,
  2. publicly renew your confidence in these human rights organisations, which are doing remarkable and indispensable work on the ground,
  3. formally ask the Israeli government to reverse its decisions to designate and subsequently ban them,
  4. inform all donors and financial intermediaries of your rejection of the decisions taken by the State of Israel and of your confidence in the NGOs in question,
  5. officially receive, at your level, the leaders of these NGOs and assure them of your full support,
  6. publicly and financially support the action of the ICC including the case for

Beyond this indispensable statement, it is necessary to take action.

The first act that you can take, together with the European Commission of which you are Vice- President, concerns the agreement to include Israel in the Horizon Europe research and development programme. While one can imagine that even the simple respect of the July 2013 guidelines was not frankly approved by Israel, the Commission probably wanted to make a “positive gesture” towards

Israel by declaring on 18 October that the negotiations were over. We know the result: four days later, the State of Israel launched the most serious offensive in history against Palestinian human rights organisations. And a few days later, on 30 October, the Israeli ambassador tore up the report of the UN Human Rights Committee at the UN.

In such a context, the signing of this agreement, scheduled for 9 December, would be a disgrace for Europe. We ask you, Mr. High Representative, to take the necessary measures to suspend the signing of this agreement. This is a simple measure of decency. Beyond that, more binding measures will have to be taken if the State of Israel persists in its position.


  1. European Coordination of Committees and Association for Palestine (ECCP) – Europe
  2. Fédération Internationale pour les droits humains – FIDH
  3. Trócaire – Ireland,
  4. Sinn Féin – political party – Ireland,
  5. Europe Ecologie Les Verts – political party – France,
  6. Confédération générale du travail (CGT) – trade union – France,
  7. FIOM-CGIL – trade union – Italy,
  8. Irish Congress of Trade Unions – trade union confederation,
  9. Unite the Union, Ireland Region – trade union,
  10. Unison Northern Ireland – trade union,
  11. People Before Profit political party, Ireland,
  12. Parti Communiste Français (PCF) – political party – France,
  13. Parti de Gauche – political party – France
  14. Ensemble! – political party – France,
  15. BIJ1 (Political party) – Netherlands,
  16. Mouvement des Jeunes Communistes de France – political party, France
  17. Confédération Paysanne – trade union- France,
  18. Fórsa/SENO branch – trade union – Ireland,
  19. Belfast and District Trades Union Council – trade union – Ireland,
  20. Trade Union Friends of Palestine – Ireland,
  21. MOC – Movement of Christian Workers – trade union – Belgium,
  22. Union syndicale Solidaires – trade union – France,
  23. Craigavon Council of Trade Unions – trade union – UK,
  24. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) – MENA
  25. European Coordination Via Campesina – Europe
  26. European Trade Union Network for Justice in Palestine – Europe
  27. Sadaka – The Ireland Palestine Alliance,
  28. Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) – France,
  29. Suomen Rauhanpuolustajat – Finnish Peace Committee,
  30. Defence for Children International – Switzerland,
  31. Defence for Children International – Belgium,
  32. Students for Justice in Palestine Dublin City University – Ireland,
  33. Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU) – France
  34. MRAP – France,
  35. Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
  36. The Rights Forum – Netherlands
  37. Jewish Voice for Just Peace Ireland,
  38. Centre for Global Education – Ireland,
  39. Cairde Palestine Belfast – Ireland,
  40. Gaza Action Ireland,
  41. Academics for Palestine– Ireland,
  42. MENA GROUP/Rete in difesa di (diritti umani e chi li difende) – Italy,
  43. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS),
  44. Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique (UPJB) – Belgium
  45. Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)


  1. British Committee for the Universities of Palestine – UK,
  2. Plateforme des ONGs Françaises pour la Palestine – France,
  3. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Finland,
  4. Humanitas-Centre for global learning and cooperation – Slovenia,
  5. Association Belgo-Palestinienne – Belgium,
  6. France Palestine Mental Health Network – France,
  7. Viva Salud – Belgium,
  8. Union Juive Française pour la Paix – France,
  9. ICAHD Finland,
  10. Deutscher Koordinationskreis Palastina Israel(KOPI) – Germany,
  11. European Legal Support Center – Netherlands,
  12. Comite Pour Une Paix Juste Au Proche Orient Luxembourg,
  13. Cultura è libertà, una campagna per la Palestina – Italy,
  14. AssopacePalestina – Italy,
  15. docP – BDS Nederland,
  16. Nederlands Palestina Komitee,
  17. Buendnis fuer Gerechtigkeit zwischen Israelis und Palaestinensern e.V. BIP


  1. BDS Berlin, Germany,
  2. Finnish-Arab Friendship Society,
  3. Association pour le jumelage entre les camps de réfugiés palestiniens et les villes françaises (AJPF) – France,
  4. Pand – Performars and Artists for Peace, Finland,
  5. Društvo UP Jesenice – Slovenia,
  6. Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI),
  7. Mouvement de la Paix – France,
  8. Une Autre Voix Juive – France,
  9. Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France,
  10. Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine, France,
  11. Fédération des Tunisiens pour une Citoyenneté des deux Rives (FTCR), France
  12. Vrede vzw – Belgium,
  13. Dynamo International – Belgium,
  14. Les Femmes en Noir – France,
  15. Rete Romana di Solidarietà con il Popolo Palestinese – Italy,
  16. Rete Antirazzista – Firenze, Italy,
  17. Association France Palestine Solidarité Nîmes, France,
  18. Association “Pour Jérusalem” – France,
  19. Odv Salaam Ragazzi Dell’Olivo Comitato Di Tireste – Italy,
  20. Forum Palestine Citoyenneté – France,
  21. Comité de Vigilance pour une Paix réelle au Proche-Orient – France
  22. Assopace Palestina Firenze – Italy,
  23. Chrétiens de la Méditerranée – France,
  24. Associazione Cinema e Diritti – Italy,
  25. Associazione di Amicizia Italo-Palestinese NLUS – Italy,
  26. Comitato Pistoiese per la Palestina – Italy,
  27. Donne in nero Italia – Italy,
  28. COSPE – Italy,
  29. CRED – centro di ricerca ed elaborazione per la democrazia – Italy,
  30. Campagna Ponti e non Muri di Pax Christi Italia – Italy,
  31. Giuristi Democratici – Italy,
  32. CPPI Saint-Denis [ Collectif Paix Palestine Israël] – France,
  33. New Weapons Research Group – Italy,
  34. Women in Black Vienna – Austria
  35. Slovene Philanthropy, Slovenia,
  36. Not in Our Name – For a Just Peace in the Middle East, Czech Republic
  37. Collectif Faty Koumba – France,
  38. La Courneuve Palestine – France,
  39. Comité pour le Respect des Libertés et des Droits de l’Homme en Tunisie, France
  40. BDS Italia
  41. Stichting – Groningen-Jabalya – Netherlands
  42. UK-Palestine Mental Health Network – UK,
  43. Wilpf – Finland,
  44. Ipri-ccp – Italy,
  45. Comunità delle Piagge – Italy,
  46. Aderisco a nome del Comitato varesino er la Palestina – Italy,
  47. Pro Palestina – Italy,
  48. Stradafacendo – Italy.

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