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Tel Aviv University
[TAU] Prof. Rachel Giora and Dr. Anat Matar in a letter to the EU call to suspend existing trade agreements with Israel and blame Israel for Gaza war
Explanatory notes:
Professor Rachel Giora (department of linguistics) and Dr. Anat Matar (department of philosophy) have been circulating a petition to the European Union to suspend existing trade agreements with Israel.


            The two Israeli faculty members urge the EU not to be swayed by what they  characterize as their country’s “attempts to bully European states into silent complicity with [Israel’s]...illegal conduct.” As examples of such egregious behavior, they allege the “growing disenfranchisement of many Israelis,” the “ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people, including the murderous siege of the Palestinian population of Gaza,” home demolitions in “occupied East Jerusalem,” and “settlement expansion.” They beseech the EU to suspend the agreements until “Israel...upholds international and humanitarian law.”


            .Comment: Employing the familiar litany of unsubstantiated canards of the extreme anti-Israel left,  the petition sullies the good name of Israel and its international standing and, if implemented, would cause incalculable economic harm. Its authors purport that their objective is to pressure Israel to adhere to “democratic principles.” Instead, the petition is a brazen effort to subvert the democratic institutions of the country whose laws they are pledged to uphold.


From: Rachel Giora
Date: Sun, May 3, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Subject: letter to the EU

Please consider signing this letter drafted by neta Golan (Neta is
collecting the signatures. her email is:  neta.golan@gmail.com)? Could each
member sign her/his name adding the name of the group next to the signature?
 Rachel Giora


We are Jews, Palestinians, Israeli citizens who aspire to live in peace, are disturbed by our government's attempts to bully European states into silent complicity with its utterly unacceptable and illegal conduct. The latest attempt by the Israeli government to cynically silence criticism from the EU is in opposition to democratic principles, from freedom of speech to standards of international relations.

We applaud the European Parliament and the European commission who have taken steps to freeze the upgrade of the trade agreements with Israel since the criminal Israeli assault on Gaza. This course of action is the only one consistent with the admirable principles on which the European Community was set up.

Considering the deteriorating state of the rule of law in Israel, the growing disenfranchisement of many Israelis - who after years of conflict are quickly and dangerously losing faith in their country's democratic institutions - we feel that the greatest danger facing Israel today is the specter of impunity.  If allowed to continue our state's policies of ongoing war crimes against the Palestinian people, including the murderous siege of the Palestinian population of Gaza, the on-going home demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem and the settlement expansion through out the west bank will kill any chance for peace.   

We experienced the catastrophic results of Europe's announced upgrade of economic relations with our country when the Kadima party was in government. Our then-leaders took this announcement as a sign of Europe's approval of the war crimes that the committed in Lebanon in 2006 and proceeded to use the same tactics against the population of Gaza. We can only expect more of the same from out current government, which doesn't even bother pay as much as lip service to any notion of normalized relations with the Palestinians or anyone else. Our only hope for a change in our country's policies is that our leaders be held accountable by Europe and the international community.  

The most effective means at Europe’s disposal, if you are not to abandon both Palestinians and Israelis to a fate of death and destruction that the current Israeli policies are leading us to, is to implement the human rights clause that is part of your trade agreement with Israel and suspend the existing trade agreements with Israel until it upholds international and humanitarian law.


Noa Abend

Adi Dagan

Prof. Rachel Giora

Neta Golan

Dr. Anat Matar




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