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Talk, don't shoot!

02.12.2006 - 18:48
(updated: 06.06.2016 - 13:48)
The Council of chairpersons of European Left member parties had in its meeting on Monday, July 10, 2006 a broad exchange of views concerning the European developments as well as the dramatic international situation and the dangers to World peace by the developments in the Middle East region.

In particular the dangerous and aggravating situation between Israel and Palestine, undermining any hope of return to a lasting and durable peace in the region was a matter of joint concerns and criticism of the official EU and European countries’ policy. The EU is lacking any serious engagement of contributing to this urgent task.

The EL calls for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, for the unconditional resumption of negotiations and for the immediate release of all Israelis and Palestinians detained during this current crisis. This critical situation in Palestine demands urgent action.

"Talk don’t shoot!" is the slogan of the Israeli peace movement. It appears to us, the Party of the European Left (EL), to embody the appropriate response to the situation created by the aggressive Israeli military action against the Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza strip.

We resolvedly condemn the bombing of a power station, leaving one million Palestinians without electricity and water; the destruction of roads and bridges, thus denying people access to medical assistance; the shelling of houses; the bombing of the Palestinian Prime Minister's office; the arrest and imprisonment of ministers and democratically elected parliamentarians amounting to one third of the Palestinian parliament.

In view of these criminal acts, which make a total mockery of international law in every respect, and in view of the inflicted damage and the numerous victims, the alleged aim to free an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Palestinian militants seems nothing other than a pretext.

All of these inhumane actions are clearly absolutely inappropriate for saving the young man in question. Furthermore, we also expect Hamas and all Palestinian and Israeli political forces to condemn the use of violence and terrorist attacks and to restore the truce. If not, their attitude will only trigger another vicious circle of violence.

By its actions Israel, wants to destroy the parliament and government of the Palestinians, leaving their society without any institutions - ungovernable, chaotic. No negotiated settlement is possible with such a partner.

The timing of the attacks was no coincidence: The attacks started when Fatah and Hamas had signed for the first time a compromise opening the way to a two-state solution for the region.

Israel´s current actions are about to destroy any hope for a negotiated solution. We ask: What about the Roadmap, the inner-Palestinian agreement, the Geneva proposal, the demands of more and more people even inside Israel to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to elect a government of their choice?

This course of events must be stopped! The EL calls on all its members and sympathizers, and on all democratically-minded peace-loving people in Europe and beyond, to protest as loudly as possible and to demand from their governments, from the EU and from the UN the following:

- to pressure the Israeli government to stop the military incursion, to withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip

- to achieve the unconditional and immediate resumption of negotiations in order rapidly solve the crisis

- to demand that both sides release all persons captured during this latest crisis - the Palestinian ministers, parliamentarians and other individuals, as well as the kidnapped soldier

- to act in favour of an international United Nations force for the protection of civilians and to guarantee common security

- to extend the EU Border Assistance Mission - already successfully operating at the Rafah border crossing - to all border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, to ensure regular flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other goods in both directions, irrespective of the current political and military developments

- to halt the severe sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Palestinian Authority as a penalty for exercising their democratic rights

- to resume economic aid to the Palestinian Authority and to lift the EU sanctions on the Palestinian people

- to see to it that life in the Palestinian territories is restored to normal, its living functions guaranteed, the people given back their rights and dignity

The EL solemnly calls on the EU Council of Ministers and the Finnish presidency to undertake urgent and firm political initiatives so as to solve the very serious actual crisis and to actively contribute to paving the way for a political settlement of the conflict.

Despite its reservations concerning this non-transparent, non-legitimized and non-authorized form of influencing international policies, the EL calls on the Heads of States and Governments taking part in the forthcoming G-8 summit in Saint Petersburg to pressure Israel to end its military policies against the Palestinian authorities and the people of Palestine.

European Left 10.6.2006: