Call for Immediate Action: It is time for a European voice

Your Excellency, As a representative of the Palestinian civil society in Israel, I approach you with the sincere hope that the European Union, as well as your respective government, will take serious measures against the appointment of Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman as minister for strategic affairs in the current Israeli government.


In this regard we also express our reservations and disapproval of the planned meeting between the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and MK Lieberman to discuss the Iranian nuclear project, as reported in local newspapers.


We, as representatives of the Palestinian civil society in Israel, assume that many European politicians will consider Lieberman’s new position as an internal Israeli matter, Israel being a democratic state. In relation to this, we would like to mention that Israel did interfere in EU politics, namely in the case of the elections in Austria, when Jörg Haider’s party joined the Austrian government in 2000.


The Palestinian civil society in Israel confirms its position, stating that “Yisrael Beiteinu”, the party headed by Avigdor Lieberman, is based on the same grounds on which racist and neo-Nazi parties in Europe were founded. It was Yisrael Beiteinu whose slogan during the last Israeli elections highlighted Palestinians on both sides of the green line as “a demographic and strategic threat” calling for their immediate transfer. This party’s ideology is racist and is in total opposition to the democratic values that Israel calls for. 


Lieberman has been invited by the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to join the coalition and was offered the leadership of the new ministry of “Strategic Affairs”. This new ministry and its leadership by Lieberman endanger the existence of the Palestinian population in Israel, holding all the rights of citizens within the Israeli state.


It is important to draw your attention to the fact that Avigdor Lieberman called for the death penalty for Arab MKs whom he accused of collaboration with “terrorists” (May 4th, 2006)


The appointment of Lieberman as minister of Strategic Affairs opposes the declared values and legal bases of the Association Agreement, in particular item number 2, and the Neighbourhood Policy of the EU (the paragraph on Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel) and all member countries.  Any continued silence of the European countries will be understood as an approval of Israel’s new governmental coalition directed towards racism.


In this regard, and as a representative of the Palestinian civil society in Israel, I strongly urge you to:


Call your respective government to raise a voice against the appointment of Lieberman as a minister of Strategic Affairs and to take immediate and drastic steps in order to pressure the Israeli government to resolve this matter and reconsider assigning “Yisrael Beiteinu” as part of its new coalition

Call your respective governments to offer the required protection within their mandate as EU member states to stop this campaign aiming at further violation of the basic rights of the Palestinian citizens of the Israeli state

Hoping that this call will inspire you to take action from your respective position,

Yours Sincerely,

Ameer Makhoul

General Director
Ittijah – Union of Arab Community Based Associations
(UN-ECOSOC Special Consultative Status)
P.O.Box 9577 Haifa 31095
Tel: +972 4 8507110
Fax: +972 4 8507241
Mobile: +972 54 4862171