Following a recent visit to Israel and Palestine to meet peacemakers from all sides and faiths, I was struck by just how important Europe is to the situation. Yes, the US has a major role in brokering peace, especially given their high levels of support of all kinds for Israel, and yes the other Middle Eastern countries have a huge role in creating the atmosphere within which peace can flourish.
But the European Union is the destination for 80% of Israel’s exports. It therefore has huge leverage in terms of the trade agreements it has with Israel. These are currently under renegotiation, and there is a strong campaign to lobby the EU Parliament to make preferential trade agreements with Israel contingent on them abiding by UN resolutions regarding settlement activity, the ‘security wall’, land confiscation and collective punishment.
With elections for the European Parliament coming up in a few weeks, it is important that we know where our candidates stand on the issue, and so this questionnaire has been produced for people to send round to the candidates in their area.
You can find the list of registered candidates in your area here. If want an easy way to contact all of your representatives in local, national and European parliaments, writetothem.com is fantastic – just type in your postcode, select whose chain you want to rattle, and type away.