Bethlehem/PNN/ By: Mahmoud Zaben
The obvious official EU countries’ rolling steps towards boycotting the Israeli apartheid system, using its legal, legislative and parliamentary institutions, as well as condemning the Trump and his administration’s positions and policies carried out in the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel in 1967, especially in Jerusalem regarding the Israeli settlements, and the two-state solution.
Within the context, the EU’s Supreme Court has approved the legality of labeling the Israeli goods produced in settlements built in the Palestinian territories i.e. the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which are exported to the EU’s countries. Worth mentioning that the EU’s Commission which is (the EU’s executive arm) has approved in Nov. 2015 the labeling of the Israeli settlement products in order to distinguish them from other goods, and to stop purchasing them. It should also be noted that the EU always asserts that settlements are “illegal, and are an obstacle for achieving peace.”
At the international level, events and activities highlighted the growing international desire for boycotting the Israeli occupation, condemning its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, as well as its denial of their legitimate rights that are recognized by all UNs’ agreements and resolutions.
Within the framework, Harvard Law School students left a conference hall in New York soon after the Israeli Consul, Danny Dayan, started his speech about the legality of the Israeli settlement. A video was aired showing the students leaving the hall, but the students went on their stand of solidarity outside the hall, holding up banners that read “Israeli settlements are illegal”, and “settlements are war crimes.”
Canada, scores of students and demonstrators, who are pro-Palestinian Cause, protested at the York University Campus in Toronto, as it hosted Israeli Occupation Army’s reservist soldiers, who came to talk about their experiences while serving in the Army. They also organized campaign anti-hosting such soldiers, and chanted slogans such as “no for hosting killers,” and “Free Palestine.”
Switzerland, the Algerian National Deaf Team withdrew from the International Futsal Championship that held in Switzerland vis-a-vis the Israeli Occupation National Team, stressing that Algerians reject all forms of normalizing with Israel.
Turkey, former UN rapporteur in Palestine, Richard Falk announced the formation of an international coalition to encounter and dismantle the Israeli apartheid system in the Palestinian Territories, using all possible legal means, including boycott activities.
Netherlands, the Dutch Gov’t announced before the Parliament that it would continue to carry out the European policy of labeling the Israeli settlements’ goods in line with the Luxemburg Court of Justice’s resolution.
Sweden, the new Swedish FM, Anne Linda said, the BDS is a legitimate Movement, and that her country’s gov’t “doesn’t see a similarity between its activities and any other activities of anti-Semitism.” And that the Swedish doesn’t support boycotting Israel, but BDS is part of a non-violent movement concerns with human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, and ending occupation.
USA, a remarkable development took place where 107 lawmakers of the democratic members at the US House of Representatives signed a petition calling on Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to reverse the decision to legalize Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The petition comes days after Pompeo’s announcement that his country no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate the International Law, knowing that his statements were regionally and internationally condemned. Lawmakers expressed their strong rejection of the State Department’s decision, describing it as a US backtrack of the usual US’s policy which considers the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are inconsistent with international law as of 1978. Within the same context, 5 EU countries rejected the new American position on Israeli settlements e.g. France, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Poland, and in a joint statement, they made it clear that every settlement activity is illegal under international law, undermining the possibility of a two-state solution, and the prospect of lasting peace. Thus, we call on Israel to ban all settlement activities.”
Moreover, a recent poll on American opinion on the BDS showed that, most democrats view it as a legitimate Movement, aims to pressure Israel to comply with international resolutions and laws, to stop settlements and end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The poll that conducted on last Oct. 4 – 10, by the esteemed “Brookings Institution for Researches” in Washington also showed that 1,260 of US citizens of different directions i.e. 77% of democrats support BDS or at least don’t oppose its activities.
On Israel, a report by the National Bureau on boycott affairs is surveying the Israeli concerns on publishing the names of the “black list” of settlements, whereas, the “Ynet site” reported that after several times of postponement the publication of the names of the Israeli companies working in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michel Bachelet won’t wait until the next Israeli government is formed. It should be noted that estimations in Israel showed that following the publication of the Luxembourg Court of Justice’s resolution under which all EU countries should put marks on settlement products, the commissioner; Bachelet is going to publish the list soon.
In a crazy move, Israeli Authorities deported director of Human Rights Watch in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Omar Shaker, claiming that he is pro-BDS and participates in its anti-Israel activities. Worth mentioning that the move was met by a widespread international condemnation, including the UN, thinking that they can fool the international public opinion, and violate human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
In Palestine, most Palestinian circles have welcomed the Luxembourg Court of Justice’s resolution to label Israeli settlements’ goods, considered it a new Palestinian victory be added to a series of moral attitudes that support the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, and dismiss the Israeli void claims.
In its weekly report, the National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements welcomed the Luxembourg Court of Justice’s resolution on the legality of the labeling Israeli settlements’ goods, which were established in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967.
The Bureau asserted the resolutions is a long-awaited moral victory resulted from hard-work and strenuous efforts led by BDS in the EU countries to isolate the Israeli apartheid system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which is more dangerous than the one that was in South Africa. Likewise, the Palestinian National Boycott Committee and BDS’ leaderships worldwide also welcomed the decision that has been approved by the newly elected Oslo City’s Council led by the Socialist Left Party -SV- and the Labor and Green parties, to ban Israeli settlements’ goods and services be purchased in the markets.