Scoville Units Unite

05 Jun

Letter RE: Freedom Flotilla – David Martin

Reply to Freedom Flotilla letter

David Martin MEP – Labour

First reply from Jim McGovern’s secretary

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately I am unable to attend the rally in Edinburgh tomorrow, but I share your outrage over recent events on the Gaza-bound flotilla, and fully agree with the points you raised in your email. I strongly condemn the Israeli raid, and would in the first instance call for an immediate and unreserved apology from the Israeli authorities. I fully support calls for an international investigation but, in order to ensure an independent and unbiased inquiry, do not believe this should be led by Israel.

The continued policy of the blockade is unacceptable and politically counter-productive. It has devastated the private sector economy and damaged the natural environment, notably water and other natural resources. The EU has consistently called for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza. This has been reiterated following the flotilla raid, and I am pleased that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is urging Israel to end the blockade.

The EU is the biggest contributor to aid in the Palestinian Territories. In March 2009, the EU pledged more than €61 million (around £55 million) in humanitarian and food aid for victims of the crisis. Food, emergency shelter repairs and medical aid is being provided through the United Nations to Gaza Palestinians.

Relations between the EU and Israel have been frozen following a vigorous campaign by the European Parliamentary Labour Party, amongst others, in the European Parliament. I recently asked the European Commission for clarification on the upgrading of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and I am pleased to say that there are no plans to upgrade the Agreement. Please find my question and the Commission’s response attached.

A human rights clause is an essential element of all of the EU’s diplomatic agreements with third countries, and Israel’s respect for human rights must be an essential part of any consideration to upgrade relations. Given recent events, I believe the EU should go further than this and withdraw all trade preferences under the current Agreement as well as beginning the process of imposing trade sanctions.

Please be assured that I fully support an immediate resolution to the conflict, an end to trade preferences for Israel and an end to the blockade, to ensure humanitarian aid gets to those who need it most and to help secure a lasting two-state solution. I have already written to the chief executives of British supermarkets urging them to end the sale of products from the Israeli occupation which I believe is complicit in the suffering of the Palestinian people. At the European level, a delegation of MEPs returned this week from Gaza. They have called for the EU to launch a political initiative immediately to lift the blockade and begin the reconstruction of basic infrastructure. The delegation has also urged that the EU and other donors increase funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), and I will fully support the attempts in the European Parliament to increase financial support to the UNRWA.

I hope this has addressed your questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,
David

David Martin
MEP for Scotland

© 2018 Scoville Units Unite | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Powered by Wordpress, design by Web4 Sudoku, based on Pinkline by GPS Gazette