THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ISRAEL
The European Union maintains a delegation to Israel: http://eeas.europa.eu/israel/index_en.htm
The preferential treatment given to Israel is conferred by the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of industrial products (ACAA), adopted by the European Parliament on 23 October 2012. The Boycott National Committee has previously called for the earlier version of this agreement to be scrapped: “We are appalled by the EU’s blatant refusal to hold Israel to account for its persistent violations of human rights and international law … The EU is well aware of Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the massive colonization of the latter; after all, the EU member-states have regularly voted for UN resolutions condemning Israel’s human rights violations, collective punishment and construction of settlements and the Wall.” http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/179
The EU is however quite clear that it does not recognise Israel’s occupation of land seized in 1967. In August 2008 it was stated by the Commission that goods produced in the occupied territories would not qualify for the preferential terms under the Agreement. In July 2013 the EU announced new funding guidelines that exclude any Israeli organisation based in the West Bank, Gaza or Golan Heights. Chapter and verse is in the EU’s official journal of 19 July 2013 and you can find it HERE (scroll down to page 9). Its preamble puts it simply: “The EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over any of the territories referred to in point 2 (ie the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem) and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law”.
This refusal to recognise West Bank settlements has now given rise to a requirement that goods that come from West Bank settlements be labelled to that effect. The Israeli government is very upset about this, although it continues to benefit massively from the EU-Israel agreement.
THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE PALESTINIANS
The European Union maintains a delegation to the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’. http://eeas.europa.eu/occupied_palestinian_territory/index_en.htm
On 24 October 2012 the EU and the Palestinian Authority concluded a European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan. This gives the Palestinians nothing like the privileged position enjoyed by Israel. It is also unlikely to achieve anything significant while Israel keeps up its siege of Gaza and exercises a high level of control over the West Bank.
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Members of the European Parliament are elected by multi-member constituencies. North West England has 8 members and the ones to look out for are:
Labour - Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan, Julie Ward
Conservative - Jacqueline Foster, Sajjad Karim