European Coalition for Israel promotes peace in the Middle East based on United Nations values and respect for the rule of law
The Middle East and Northern Africa are undergoing a massive crisis. States are collapsing and radical Islam is on the rise. An unprecedented wave of refugees from Syria, Iraq and other countries needs to be cared for. The Israel/Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.
Europe and the states of the world are confronted with the question of what policies they should adopt towards the Jewish State of Israel.
ECI argues that Israel is not an obstacle to peace, but central ingredient in the roadmap towards true prosperity in the region.
The Jewish State of Israel was established in May 1948. Rising upon the ashes of the Shoah (Holocaust), it was not created by the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, and its right to exist does not depend on UN resolutions. Rather, it embodies the fundamental pre-existing rights of the Jewish people to self-determination and the right to reconstitute their nation. These rights were articulated in the San Remo Resolution of 1920 and the Mandate for Palestine that was endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922.
Since the 1960s, however, Israel has been the subject of a concerted campaign to undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel as a “Jewish” state. Increasingly, International law is often cited to support these claims. In particular, Israel is often alleged to be an “apartheid” state that should be dismantled.
This strategy of “lawfare” against Israel was institutionalized at the NGO Forum of the UN World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. It has led different initiatives among which the modern “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement (BDS) whose goal is to delegitimize the State of Israel. Many NGOs, states and non-state organizations have adopted policies based that, directly or indirectly, reflect this rejection of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
ECI believes that attempts to “delegitimize” Israel not only contravene the fundamental rights of the Jewish people to self-determination, but they also threaten the integrity of the international legal order, undermine the credibility of the UN system, and contribute to increasing instability in the region and hostility between Israel and its neighbors.
While Israel is not perfect, it is the only nation in the region that functions as a modern, pluralistic democracy ensuring protection of the basic civil and religious rights of all minorities. Israel’s democratic principles and institutions provide an institutional model for rebuilding the failed states of the Middle East.
In this light, ECI encourages all States and international organizations to adopt policies towards Israel and the Middle East reflecting the following values and principles:
- Protection of core UN values such as: the sovereign equality of states; suppression of acts of aggression; justice based on respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law; and the principles of “good neighbors” and the development of “friendly relations among nations”;
- Recognition of the age-old rights of the Jewish people to national self-determination, as expressed in the democratic Jewish State of Israel;
- Encouragement of the State of Israel to continue to build democratic institutions and practices, based on the rule of law and protection of the fundamental human rights of all minority groups in Israel;
- Defence of the rights of Israel as a sovereign UN Member State to territorial integrity, political independence, and sovereign equality;
- Opposition to the use of violence to achieve political goals and all acts of aggression against civilians; promotion of economic, social and cultural cooperation between Jews, Arab Palestinians, and all other religious and ethnic groups in Israel and in the region;
- Recognition of the right of the Jewish people to assert sovereignty over the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, based on the San Remo Resolution and the Mandate for Palestine, while respecting existing agreements concerning holy sites and protecting the civil and religious rights of all minorities;
- Ensuring that the Palestinian Authority and the Arab Palestinian leadership protect the rights of minorities in their jurisdiction – including Christians, abide by the rule of law, and comply with all existing agreements;
- Understanding that Arab Palestinian rights to self-determination were at least partly fulfilled in the creation of Arab states after World War I, and in any event cannot be allowed to conflict with the pre-extsting rights of the Jewish people; and
- Respect of Israel’s right to negotiate peace with its neighbors based on the rights, obligations, and principles laid down in existing instruments, including the San Remo Resolution (1920), the Mandate for Palestine (1922) and the Oslo Accords (1993-1995).
ECI works to promote these principles among European leaders and in the international institutions.